Cooking with the children: our favourite carrot cake recipe

carrot-cakeThis is our version of the BBC yummy carrot cake. There is slightly less sugar to make it more suitable for the kids. Also less cinnamon, more nutmeg and more orange zest which gives the cake a crisp springy taste. It’s moist, yummy, keeps well. And most of all super easy.

When cooking with the children, it is fun to let them participate. Get them a child apron or use already stained clothes (old daddy shirts with the sleeves cut off are perfect!) so you don’t have to worry about the mess. The mixture of this cake is light and slightly runny so it is easy for the children to mix.

  • 150g light muscovado sugar
  • 170ml sunflower oil
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 150g grated carrots (finely or coarsely depending on your taste)
  • grated zest of 2 oranges
  • 175g self-raising flour (or 170g of plain flour and 3 tsp baking powder)
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ to 1 tsp nutmeg
  • a 18cm (7”) square cake tin or 20cm (8”) round cake tin

1.  Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas 4/fan 160C. Oil and line the base and sides of your cake tin with baking parchment.

2.  Break the hard lumps in the sugar if there are any, add the oil and the eggs. Mix thoroughly then add in the grated carrots and orange zest.
3.  Mix the flour, bicarbonate of soda, cinnamon and nutmeg together. Mix with the egg, oil and sugar mixture. The mixture will be fairly soft and almost runny.
4.  Pour into the tin and bake for 40- 45 minutes, until the tip of knife comes out clean. If you’re not sure the temperature of your oven is even, turn the cake every 10/15 minutes. While it’s cooking, let the children do the dishes.
5.  Cool in the tin for a few minutes, then remove the baking parchment and cool on a wire rack.

You can easily double the recipe for a larger cake. In that case, use a 30cm (12″) square tin or 34 cm round cake tin.

For a child-friendly version (i.e not too much sugar), try serving with yoghurt instead of icing. A glass of juice or herbal tea for the kids. A cup of tea or a coffee for the grown-ups… All yummy