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The perfect dessert doesn’t exis–

| By Antonia Day | Journal

Brunch? Birthday? Gather & Feast’s Scrumptious Carrot Cake With Cream Cheese Frosting Is Perfect for Any Occasion

The perfect dessert doesn’t exis–

Welcome to Put on a Spread, a recipe series that takes you inside the kitchens – and dining rooms – of some of our favourite home cooks. For this instalment, passionate self-taught cook of Gather & Feast, Ashley Alexander, shares her scrumptious carrot layer cake with cream cheese frosting recipe.

Ingredients

For the cake:

  • 250ml (1 cup) extra virgin olive oil
  • 300g (1 1/3 cup) brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 3 eggs
  • 350g finely grated carrot (roughly 5 large carrots)
  • 315g (2 1/2 cups) plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp bi-carb soda/baking soda
  • 200g (3/4 cup) thick unsweetened natural Greek yoghurt
  • 60g (3/4 cup) roasted walnuts, roughly chopped

For the cream cheese frosting:

  • 500g cream cheese, softened at room temperature
  • 60g (4 tbsp) salted butter, softened at room temperature
  • 90g (2/3 cup) pure icing sugar, sifted if lumpy
  • 1 tbsp vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract

For the topping:

  • 20g (1/4 cup) roasted walnuts, roughly chopped
  • Zest of 1 orange

Method

For the cake:

  1. Preheat your oven to 180°C (350°F). Grease and line two 20cm (8-inch) round cake tins, 5cm (2-inch) high, and set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together olive oil, brown sugar, vanilla extract, eggs, and spices until smooth.
  3. Add grated carrot and mix well.
  4. Fold in flour, baking powder, baking soda, yoghurt, and chopped walnuts until combined.
  5. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cake tins.
  6. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  7. Allow the cakes to cool completely in the tins before removing. You can speed up the cooling process by placing them in the fridge or freezer.

For the cream cheese frosting:

  1. In a stand mixer or large bowl with hand beaters, beat the softened butter until smooth.
  2. Add cream cheese and beat until smooth.
  3. Add vanilla and icing sugar, and beat until the frosting is smooth and creamy. Set aside in the fridge until ready to use.

Assembly:

  1. Once the cakes are completely cooled, place one layer onto a serving plate.
  2. Spread about a third of the cream cheese frosting evenly over the top of the first layer.
  3. Place the second layer on top and spread another third of the frosting around the sides of the cake.
  4. Spread the remaining frosting on top of the cake and use an offset spatula to smooth it out.
  5. Sprinkle the top of the cake with chopped roasted walnuts and freshly grated orange zest.

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