Mascarpone Topped Carrot Cake

Mascarpone Topped Carrot Cake, moist, cinnamon spiced carrot cake, with added walnuts for crunch and sultanas for sweetness. Topped with lemon scented mascarpone cream cheese and walnuts.

FF Mascarpone Topped Carrot Cake
Mascarpone Topped Carrot Cake perfect for Afternoon Tea

When I crave cake, I really, really C R A V E it!

There are two important points to note:

Firstly I rarely crave cake, maybe once or twice a year – but when I do I have to have it.

Secondly, without exception it HAS to be homemade. Too often I have been let down by supermarket copies, or bakery flops. The only way to satisfy my craving is to bake the cake myself!

FF Mascarpone Topped Carrot Cake
Mascarpone Topped Carrot Cake flavour and texture in perfect harmony.

Yesterday, the craving hit for carrot cake. I’d been struggling with a migraine all day and wanted to snuggle under the duvet until the pain had passed. During a brief respite in the afternoon I whipped up this Mascarpone Topped Carrot Cake in less than 10 minutes.

FF Mascarpone Topped Carrot Cake
Mascarpone Topped Carrot Cake beautiful simplicity.

I have dozens of cookbooks and even have a Crazy Caramel Carrot Cake on here, but in all honesty I didn’t have the patience to trawl through them deciding which cake to make. I knew the flavours I wanted to taste in my head and so I created the recipe as I went along. Fortunately having baked a lot of cakes I did have a rough idea of proportions.

From memory I recalled baking a carrot cake with our youngest daughter, following a school recipe book method. All I could remember was that the recipe used oil! However, I love the flavour that butter imparts to a moist cake, so I added both!

FF Mascarpone Topped Carrot Cake
Mascarpone Topped Carrot Cake all the ingredients beautifully distributed throughout the cake.

The need for walnuts, both flavour and crunchy texture was prevailent, so I made some walnut flour to boost the nutty flavour within the cake. It’s so easy, just toast the walnuts to bring out their flavour and either pulse in a food processor or use a mini chopper to achieve the desired result. Think ground almonds and you’re spot on.

One of the big problems I find with shop bough carrot cakes is that they are simply too sweet. I’m not talking the frosting or icing, the actual cake itself. Carrots are an inherently sweet vegetable, sultanas plump up and provide natural sweetness, why dump loads of extra sugar in the recipe? Don’t get me wrong there is sugar in this cake. It is there to add sweetness in balance with the other ingredients.

Can you tell that I’m really picky about my carrot cake 😉

FF Mascarpone Topped Carrot Cake
Mascarpone Topped Carrot Cake the perfect cake?

Recipe: Mascarpone Topped Carrot Cake serve 8-10

100g/4oz Unsalted Butter plus a little extra for greasing the tin.

50g/2oz Sunflower Oil

1tsp Vanilla Extract – I use Nielsen Massey

150g/5oz Light Soft Brown Sugar

1/4tsp Salt – I use Maldon

3 Large Free Range Eggs

150g/5oz Plain White Flour

50g/2oz Walnut Flour – walnuts chopped in a food processor or mini chopper until flour like consistency

2tsp Baking Powder

2tsp Cinnamon

150g/5oz Grated Carrot

50g/2oz Walnut Pieces – plus extra halves for topping the cake (approx 10)

75g/3oz Sultanas

375g Mascarpone Cheese

2tbsp Icing Sugar – sifted

1/2tsp Lemon Extract – Vanilla Extract can be substituted

Method: Preheat the oven at 180C/160C fan, gas mark 4

  • Grease and line the base of loaf tin with baking parchment.
  • Place all of the walnuts into a dry frying pan over a medium heat. Shake the pan occasionally and remove from the heat when you can smell the walnuts – approx 3-5 minutes. Tip the walnuts on to a tray so they can cool.
  • In a large bowl add the butter and microwave on low until just melted.
  • Add in the sunflower oil, sugar, salt and vanilla extract. Whisk for 5 minutes, gradually increasing the speed from low to high.
  • Next add all 3 eggs. Continue whisking on high for a further 2 minutes. You want the liquid mixture to be very light and frothy.
  • Prepare the 50g of walnut flour by chopping in a mini chopper, or pulsing in a food processor.
  • Add the walnut flour, plain flour, cinnamon and baking powder to the bowl – you can sift them in – I didn’t!
  • Next add the grated carrots, sultanas and 50g of walnut pieces to the bowl.
FF Mascarpone Topped Carrot Cake
The whisked frothy liquid and all the cake ingredients added.
  • Using a metal spoon fold all of the cake ingredients together until they are fully mixed, taking care not to over mix the batter. Enjoy the gorgeous aroma of cinnamon as you start mixing!
  • Tip the loose cake batter into the prepared loaf tin and smooth the top.
FF Mascarpone Topped Carrot Cake
Mascarpone Topped Carrot Cake ready for the oven.
  • Place the cake tin in the centre of the oven and bake for approximately 1 1/2 hours, or until an inserted skewer comes out clean.
  • Once baked remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool in the tin for 20 minutes.
  • Gently go around the outside rim of the cake with a palette knife to ensure no part of the cake has stuck to the tin.
  • Tip the cake out, removing the base layer of baking parchment and allow to fully cool on a cooling rack.
FF Mascarpone Topped a Carrot Cake
Beautifully scented carrot cake cooling.

Making the Mascapone Topping

  • In a bowl add the mascarpone cream cheese, sifted icing sugar and lemon extract (vanilla if you do not have lemon).
  • Whisk on a high speed for 3 minutes until the mascarpone is light and fluffy.
  • Dollop the mascarpone cheese on top of the cold carrot cake.
  • Using a palette knife spread the mascarpone so that it evenly covers the top of the cake. you can leave the topping smooth or create a pattern with the palette knife.
FF Mascarpone Topped Carrot Cake
Mascarpone Topped Carrot Cake next walnuts!
  • Adorn the top of the cake with the saved walnut halves and your Mascarpone Topped Carrot Cake is complete.
FF Mascarpone Topped Carrot Cake
Mascarpone Topped Carrot Cake ready to serve.

My suggestion for serving, is, to chill the cake in the fridge for 30 minutes – somehow it just seems to pull the cake together as one and set it – if you can’t wait, don’t worry.

Slice and enjoy with a delightful cup of afternoon tea, preferably made in a pot, it gives the leaves time to release their flavour as well as colour.

FF Mascarpone Topped Carrot Cake
Mascarpone Topped Carrot Cake my absolute favourite.

I love this pretty tea-for-one set that my hubby bought me for our anniversary. It really does turn a simple slice of cake and cup of tea into a sumptuous afternoon feast.

The Mascarpone Topped Cream Cake absolutely satisfied my cravings. The tiny hint of lemon in the mascarpone is very subtle and works with the nutty, fruity, spiced cake. This may very well be one of THE very best recipes I have come up with so far!

No I’m not egotistical, in fact the very opposite. Many recipes do not make it on to Feasting is Fun as they aren’t good enough. Considering I wasn’t at my best, physically, this cake hits all the right spots. Spiced, crunchy, moist, fruity without tasting like a fruit cake. For me it is perfect.

If you have enjoyed the recipe for this Mascarpone Topped Carrot Cake you may also enjoy these:

Classic Coffee & Walnut Cake

FF Mascarpone Topped Carrot Cake
Classic Coffee & Walnut Cake

Double Chocolate Chip Loaf Cake

FF Mascarpone Topped Carrot Cake
Double Chocolate Chip Loaf Cake

Loveliest Lemon Curd Cake

FF Mascarpone Topped Carrot Cake
Loveliest Lemon Curd Cake

Any of these delicious cakes would make a wonderful gift to new neighbours, friends who have moved home, even bereaved families. Taking cake to those struggling with grief isn’t necessarily for them to eat. No doubt they will have endless visitors wishing to pay their respects. A slice of cake, that someone has thoughtfully made, served with a cup of tea, may just make the visits more bearable.

The walnuts used in this recipe come from a a very dear friend who has a walnut tree in her garden. My dearest friend passed away a few months ago. Yet making this cake, or cooking using either things she bought me, or those her family have kindly given me, has, in some way, made her passing easier.

Everytime I use her cutters, cake stand, dragee balls or a myriad of other everyday kitchen items, I feel close to her. Remembering her laugh, tinkling across the gardens mid afternoon, or how we finished each other’s sentences. She truly was the very best of people who lived her life to the full, despite becoming a widow at too young an age. Pat was the Green Goddess, my chief taste tester.

This post is dedicated to her and the love she had for people. Life is not about what we do. It is not about who we love. It is indeed about those whose hearts we touch. How much we are loved in return. Please see Important Stuff.

Sammie xx

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Crazy Caramel Carrot Cake

Hello lovelies, thank you so much for stopping by. I have a real treat for you today, in the form of my Crazy Caramel Carrot Cake.

FF Crazy Caramel Carrot Cake
Crazy Caramel Carrot Cake incredibly delicious.

There is a reason for this particular cake’s title. I was absolutely CRAZY for attempting to make this cake last Sunday.

If you follow me on Twitter, you may well have heard of @SBC Takeover. It stands for Sunday Bake Club Takeover. Anyway, I was joining in a Tweet chat with them a few weeks ago and they asked me to join. Me?!!!

Each week they have a different theme as to what you should bake. Last Sunday it was vegetables. Yay I thought. Carrot cake is my favourite cake in the entire Universe, easy peasy. You’d think?!!!

Crazy Caramel Carrot Cake - crazy, good, cake! www.feastingisfun.com
Crazy Caramel Carrot Cake – crazy, good, cake! www.feastingisfun.com

 

Since I figured, if I were going to take part, I was going to push myself. Yeah that always seems like a fun idea when you think about it – then you have to do it!!

I had a recipe-ish in mind for the cake I wanted to bake – but, it needed some adjustment. This time I was going to use a Bundt tin, because, erm, it seemed like a good idea at the time. So I fiddled with the recipe, hoping I’d got the right quantities to bake my Crazy Caramel Carrot Cake in my chosen Bundt tin.

As I was making the cake, carefully photographing each stage, just in case it did work and I could share it with you lovely people, I had a thought. Always, always a dangerous activity for me.

Crazy Caramel Carrot Cake - pecan nuts within, for crunch and used as decoration - beautiful. www.feastingisfun.com
Crazy Caramel Carrot Cake – pecan nuts within, for crunch and used as decoration – beautiful. www.feastingisfun.com

 

 

There are Pecan nuts in the cake and it occurred to me that they’d also look nice, if I used them to decorate the cake (assuming the cake turned out – literally, from its intricately designed Bundt tin). All good, but what was I going to ice/frost the cake with? I wasn’t feeling the cream cheese frosting that ALWAYS goes beautifully with carrot cake, I wanted Caramel.

Confession time. I. Don’t. Like. Caramel.

Really I don’t, so I would be CRAZY to put something I don’t like, on my favourite cake, of all time, ever.

Somehow, deep inside, I knew I could get it to work – for me. I know caramel and salted caramel have been done to death over the last few years, but I’d never jumped on that band wagon. Why would I? I don’t like caramel.

Or should I say I didn’t like caramel, until I’d made my own. I instinctively shy away from super sweet food, especially icings and frostings. My own, homemade caramel sauce, is a gazillion miles away from the tooth aching, molten sugar of my previous caramel tastings.

Drizzled over this beautiful Bundt and adorned with toasted Pecan nuts this Crazy Caramel Carrot Cake is the perfect twist on a classic.

Crazy Caramel Carrot Cake - beautiful, delicious and easy to make. www.feastingisfun.com
Crazy Caramel Carrot Cake – beautiful, delicious and easy to make. www.feastingisfun.com

 

Bundt pan dimensions are 23.5cm (9″) wide x 11cm (4.5″) deep. The pan holds 3 litres (5.3 UK pints). You could also use a 10″ greased and lined springform cake pan.

Recipe : Serves 10 Crazy Caramel Carrot Cake

For the Cake :

200g/7oz Unsalted Butter plus extra for greasing the tin.

260g/10oz Caster Sugar

3 Large Eggs

1tsp Vanilla Extract – I use Nielsen-Massey 

1/4tsp Salt

260g/10z Plain White Flour

2.5tsp Baking Powder

2.5tsp Cinnamon

300g/11oz Grated Carrot

50g/2oz Pecan Nuts

For the  Caramel Topping :

50g/2oz Butter

175g/6oz Light Brown Sugar

300ml/11fl oz Double Cream

1tsp Vanilla Extract

50g/2oz Pecan Nuts

Method : Preheat the oven to 180C/165C fan.

Before starting on the cake batter, you need to toast the pecan nuts. This brings out their flavour and keeps them crisp and crunchy within the cake.

In a dry pan, heat the pecan nuts, gently tossing to ensure even toasting, for five minutes. Set aside to cool.
In a dry pan, heat the pecan nuts, gently tossing to ensure even toasting, for five minutes. Set aside to cool.

 

Melt approx 1tbsp of butter and using a pastry brush, ensure the inside of the Bundt tin is completely greased.
Melt approx 1tbsp of butter and using a pastry brush, ensure the inside of the Bundt tin is completely greased.

 

To make the cake, firstly cream the butter and sugar together, until pale and fluffy.

Sift in one third of the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, vanilla extract and one egg and mix gently.

Repeat this process twice more, adding the egg before the dry mix at the last stage.

Place 50g of cooled pecan nuts, onto a board and roughly chop.
Place 50g of cooled pecan nuts, onto a board and roughly chop.
Add the grated carrot and chopped pecans to the cake batter.
Add the grated carrot and chopped pecans to the cake batter.
Gently fold in the carrot and nuts until fully incorporated within the cake batter.
Gently fold in the carrot and nuts until fully incorporated within the cake batter.
Spoon the cake batter into the tin, gently pressing down to remove any air pockets.
Spoon the cake batter into the tin, gently pressing down to remove any air pockets.

 

Place the cake in the middle of the oven and bake for 1hour.

Whilst the cake is baking, make the Caramel Sauce.

Place the butter, sugar, cream and vanilla extract in a heavy based pan.
Place the butter, sugar, cream and vanilla extract in a heavy based pan.
Crazy Caramel Carrot Cake swirl the ingredients over a medium heat. When the sauce is bubbling and golden brown in colour it is done!
Crazy Caramel Carrot Cake swirl the ingredients over a medium heat. When the sauce is bubbling and golden brown in colour it is done!

Remember the caramel is very hot, so no dipping your finger into the saucepan!!

Crazy Caramel Carrot Cake- decant the sauce, equally, into 2 heat proof containers and set aside to cool.
Crazy Caramel Carrot Cake- decant the sauce, equally, into 2 heat proof containers and set aside to cool.

 

After 1 hour of baking insert a skewer into the deepest part of the cake, if it comes out clean the cake is baked and can be removed from the oven. If not, return the cake to the oven and check at 5 minute intervals.

Leave the cake to cool completely in the tin.
Leave the cake to cool completely in the tin.
Once cooled turn out your Crazy Caramel Carrot Cake into a cake stand.
Once cooled turn out your Crazy Caramel Carrot Cake onto a cake stand.
Crazy Caramel Carrot Cake drizzle over the cooled caramel sauce.
Crazy Caramel Carrot Cake drizzle over the cooled caramel sauce.

 

You will only need half of the caramel sauce. The other half can be frozen, for up to 3 months, or kept in the fridge for a week.

crazy Caramel Carrot Cake now to decorate with pecan halves.
Crazy Caramel Carrot Cake now to decorate with pecan halves.
Crazy Caramel Carrot Cake stunningly beautiful and tastes spectacular. www.feastingisfun.com
Crazy Caramel Carrot Cake stunningly beautiful and tastes spectacular. www.feastingisfun.com

 

Your beautiful Crazy Caramel Carrot Cake is now ready to serve!

 

Crazy Caramel Carrot Cake www.feastingisfun.com
Crazy Caramel Carrot Cake www.feastingisfun.com

 

You will have to trust me (wink), this cake is not overly sweet. The cinnamon scented carrot cake, with hidden pecan crunch, is perfectly complimented by the delicious caramel sauce. Don’t believe me??? try this for yourself!!!

I cannot encourage you enough to make this delicious twist on a classic, Crazy Caramel Carrot Cake.

Also this cake is easily baked in an ordinary cake pan. however, if I can encourage you also to obtain a Bundt tin, your baking world will sooo benefit. All that beautiful detail and no extra effort required from the baker. That’s got to be incentive enough.

Have you ever disliked a food or flavour and then been persuaded to change your mind?

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Crazy Caramel Carrot Cake you may also like these:

Malted Marbled Chocolate Cake

FF Crazy Caramel Carrot Cake
Malted Marbled Chocolate Cake.

Lemon Blueberry Bundt Cake

FF Crazy Caramel Carrot Cake
Lemon Blueberry Bundt Cake

Summer Mixed Berry Sponge Cake

FF Crazy Caramel Carrot Cake
Summer Mixed Berry Sponge Cake

Whatever you are making, baking and creating in your kitchens, have fun.

Sammie x

 

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