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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Lemon Drizzle Cake

Lemon Drizzle Cake has to be one of my all time favourite cakes. While there are a gazillion recipes on the internet and in books, I wanted to add my own. Firstly because hopefully this blog will become a go-to resource for our children as they continue on their cooking and baking journey. Also, I like my lemon drizzle a certain way. That is, with a fresh lemon glacé icing draped and drizzled over the top. I hope that you enjoy my take on this classic cake?

FF Lemon Drizzle Cake
Lemon Drizzle Cake

Since there are various ways to make a lemon drizzle cake, I thought I’d explore them. Traditionally a lemon sugar syrup is made and poured over the top of the cake, creating a crunchy, sugar crust as it cools. For my take on this version see these Mini Lemon Drizzle Bundt Cakes.Perfect individual portions of sunshine.

FF Lemon Drizzle Cake
Lemon Drizzle Cake

Lemons are a must-have ingredient in my kitchen. Used in both sweet and savoury recipes they are essential in my Tangy Lemon Potato Salad where the un-waxed, scrubbed lemons are cut so thinly they are eaten as part of the dish. Also they are used to thin down mayonnaise for my Crunchy Homemade Coleslaw.Whether halved and added to the cavity of a roasting chicken, or simply squeezed over baked salmon, they add a burst of flavour that lifts each dish.

FF Lemon Drizzle Cake
Lemon Drizzle Cake

While lemon extract is available and I confess sometimes is used in my recipes, nothing is quite as good as using the real thing. During lemon season I buy un-waxed lemons as they tend to be slightly under ripe. However, I have had many a mouldy lemon lurking in the fridge! So, if buying waxed lemons, simply scrub under hot water with a nail brush. As a note, I lightly scrub un-waxed lemons as well if using the zest.

You will need a 25cm x 11cm x 7.5cm (10” x 4.5” x 3”) 2lb loaf tin,

Recipe: Lemon Drizzle Cake serves 8

225g/8oz  Unsalted Butter at room temperature

225g/8oz Caster Sugar

4 Large Free Range Egg

250g/9oz Plain White Flour

1 tsp Vanilla Extract – I use Nielsen-Massey 

2 tsp Baking Powder

1 Whole Lemon – finely zested and juiced

1/4 tsp Sea Salt – I use Maldon Sea Salt, halve quantity if using free flowing

175g/6 oz Icing Sugar

Optional – White and Yellow Sprinkles – mine are from Waitrose

Method: Preheat oven to 160C/140C fan, 325F, gas mark 3.

  • Place butter, caster sugar and salt into a large bowl and whisk until pale and creamy.
  • Sift the flour and baking powder into a separate bowl.
  • Add 2 eggs, the vanilla extract and half of the sieved flour to the creamed butter and sugar. Whisk until just combined.
  • Now add the last 2 eggs, remaining flour and lemon zest.
  • Stir the ingredients together with a metal spoon until thoroughly combined.
  • Spoon the lemon cake batter into the prepared tin ensuring the top is level.
  • Place the cake into the centre of the oven and bake for 1 hour 10 minutes – 1 hour 20 minutes. My cake took 1 hour 15 minutes.
  • The cake is baked when it is golden in colour, firm to touch and an inserted skewer comes out clean.
  • As soon as the cake is baked remove from the oven and allow to cool for 20 minutes in the tin.
FF Lemon Drizzle Cake
Lemon Drizzle Cake before and after baking.
  • While the cake cools make the glacé icing.
  • Sieve the icing sugar into a bowl and add the lemon juice. Stir until thickly combined and completely lump free. If the icing is too thick add a few drops of water.
  • After 20 minutes cooling, run a palette knife around the outside edge of the cake. Turn the cake out – take care it will still be warm. Peel back the parchment paper from the base and discard.
  • Place the cake on to a cooling rack which is then place over a tray or plate.
  • Using a spoon drizzle the lemon icing over the cake, encouraging it to drip down the sides in places.
  • Finally scatter over some yellow and white sprinkles and leave the cake to cool completely.
FF Lemon Drizzle Cake
Freshly iced Lemon Drizzle Cake in the Spring sunshine.

Once cooled this cake is easily sliced. Serve with lemon tea for extra lemon flavour.

Keep the cake in an airtight container and eat within 5 days. Refrigerate during warmer weather.

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Lemon Drizzle Cake you may also like these:

Iced Cherry Coconut Loaf Cake

FF Lemon Drizzle Cake
Iced Cherry Coconut Loaf Cake

Raspberry Lemon Celebration Layer Cake

FF Lemon Drizzle Cake
Raspberry Lemon Celebration Layer Cake

Pomegranate Lemon Drizzle Bundt Cake

FF Lemon Drizzle Cake
Pomegranate Lemon Drizzle Bundt Cake

Since this cake is so delicious, it’s good to know that I have successfully doubled the recipe and baked two cakes at the same time. It is my firm belief that all food tastes better when shared. So, whether you are baking this cake for yourself, or alternatively as a gift, it’s definitely worth making two. In fact why not give both cakes away?

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

Sammie xx

No part of this post may be reproduced or duplicated without the written permission of the owner. Please see my Disclosure Policy.

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