Pull the strips off the sheet and immediately wrap them round the spoon!

At first, cake with vegetables doesn't sound particularly tempting. However, in recent years, the baking industry has made massive strides. We have variations including zucchini, pumpkin and spinach — not forgetting the one that perhaps started it all: carrot cake. And most recently, when you are looking for a luxurious celebration cake, combining carrot with apples and nuts — as we do in the following recipe — really takes everything to a whole new level.

You'll need:

For the batter:

  • 4 oz butter
  • 7 oz sugar
  • 7¾ oz brown sugar 
  • 3 eggs
  • 6 fl oz buttermilk
  • 3¼ fl oz oil
  • 8 oz flour
  • 5⅔ oz chopped pecan nuts
  • 2 oz coconut flakes
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 4 peeled carrots
  • 2 apples

For the decoration:

  • ½ carrot
  • 13½ fl oz water
  • 14 oz sugar
  • chopped pecan nuts

For the cream:

  • 4 oz butter
  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 16 oz icing sugar

Here's how:

1. Preheat a convection oven to 350°F. For the batter, put the butter, both types of sugar, the eggs, buttermilk and oil in a large bowl and beat them with an electric whisk until foamy. Then add the other dry ingredients and grate in the carrots and the apples. Mix everything again with a spatula until it's thoroughly mixed together. 

2. Now divide the batter evenly between three large springform pans (diameter: 9 inches) that have been greased with covered with butter and dusted with flour. Bake all three layers for about 25 minutes and then let them cool.

3. Peel slices from a carrot, until you have peeled about half of it away. Then bring the water and sugar to the boil, add the carrot slices to the syrup and blanch them in it for 1 minute. Scoop them out and lay them next to each other on a baking tray lined with baking parchment. Dry the strips in an oven set to 210°F with the heat coming from above and below for 20 minutes.

4. Then, one after another, wrap the still-warm strips around the handle of a kitchen spoon, let them cool a little, remove them from the spoon, and collect the curled strips in a bowl.

5. To prepare the cream: beat the butter and cream cheese together until they are foamy — they should be at roughly the same temperature — then stir in the icing sugar a little at a time.

6. Now to assemble your masterpiece. Put the first cake layer on a cake plate and spread several tablespoons of the cream on top of it. Set the second layer of cake on top, cover that with a similar amount of cream and then top it off with the final cake layer. Use the rest of the cream to cover that and round the side of the entire cake.

7. For decoration, sprinkle with pecan nuts according to taste and then for an eye-catching centerpiece, arrange some curled carrot strips in the middle of the cake.  

This cake is not just ideal as the highlight of your buffet — it also has many other advantages. As well as being a moist and creamy dessert, it's also full of healthy ingredients and just goes to show how versatile carrots can be.
 
And if it's made you hungry for more sweet dishes featuring carrot, you can give our Brazilian Carrot Cake a try. 

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