Carrot Ginger Cake

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Whether you’re celebrating Easter at a family gathering or simply welcoming a much-anticipated spring, this long weekend pairs perfectly with a carrot ginger cake.

I visited the Hummingbird Bakery at their location in Notting Hill on Portobello Road when travelling around the UK at 20. I purchased the bakery’s second cookbook, Cake Days, when I settled in Bath at 21. I’ve made this cake a few times before and it’s always a hit. This is the kind of carrot cake I prefer, with a smooth batter. I’m not a fan of the recipes that call for raisins, nuts and pineapple. The impressive four layers of cake make for a tasty dessert. The frosting is refreshing and not too sweet.

I left my cake bare, but I have a few suggestions for finishing touches. One idea is to sprinkle candied ginger along the top edges of the cake. If you’ve added some pecans to the batter, you can place some roasted pecans along the top edges of the cake. Alternatively, you can use some green and orange food colouring to create carrots out of some leftover icing.

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Recipe Source: Cake Days by The Hummingbird Bakery

Yields 14 to 16 slices

Ingredients:
•cake
450 grams carrots, peeled and finely grated (I passed them through the food processor)
2 tablespoons ginger, peeled and grated
80 ml buttermilk
3 eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
350 ml vegetable oil
420 grams granulated sugar
500 grams all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
80 grams pecans, roasted and chopped (I did not use any)
•frosting
100 grams unsalted butter, softened
600 grams icing sugar
250 grams cream cheese, softened
1 tablespoon orange zest, finely grated (optional, I did not use any)

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Instructions:
•cake
1) Preheat the oven to 325F.
2) Butter four 8-inch round cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper.
3) In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the carrots, ginger, buttermilk, eggs, vanilla, vegetable oil and sugar together until well combined.
4) In a separate bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ground cinnamon and ground ginger together.
5) Pour the flour mixture into the carrot mixture and beat until well incorporated.
6) Stir in the pecans if you are using some.
7) Divide the batter between the four prepared pans.
8) Bake for 30 minutes.
9) Transfer the pans to wire racks and let cool completely.
•frosting
1) In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and icing sugar together until combined. The texture should be powdery.
2) Add the cream cheese (and orange zest if using) and beat on medium-high speed until the frosting is light, fluffy and smooth.

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