Friday, 10 February 2012

Carrot and Orange Cake with Grand Marnier

The idea of grating a ton of carrots to make a cake never appealed to me. Not being a huge fan of cooked carrots, when presented with a choice of cakes, carrot cake was never a first, second and even third choice.
Often they have spice in that I am not overly keen on, making me opt for something else.

However one thing helped to kick me into gear to make this,  its Chris and Conor's favourite cake, the one they choose first, not to be seen as a mean wife and Mum, I had to spoil my boys.  

Also with Valentine's Day I decided to show my love and try to make the best carrot cake recipe they have ever tasted.

Knowing my Philips Robust Food processor would make short work of peeling carrots, I set about looking for a suitable recipe. Only to find out I wouldn't actually be grating at all!

 Its actually made with cooked and blended carrots. It sounds unusual, may even make you go ewww,  but like me stick with it, its so worth it!

Its from James Martin and its his Granny's recipe.
Well the Grand Marnier isn't part of his granny's ingredients but the clever man has added it!

 This gorgeous orange liqueur is a fave tipple of mine, one of the first ever reviews I did on the blog in fact! 

OK you need to assemble the ingredients while the carrots are cooking as its so fast once they are ready and the use of fluffy egg white means it needs to be in the oven as soon as they are folded in.

The recipe given had a 30cm tin, now my tins are large but I had none this big, looking at the cake mixture prepared, it did not seem enough for a tin that size. So because needs must also, I used a 24cm tin with a loose base, I imagine two large sandwich tins may work. It will need halving when cool so if you are not confident about doing this then maybe two tins is the way to go.

My only tips are to throw in the leftover oranges after juicing to give extra flavour and another tip, don't peel the carrots, just top and tail. Sounding a great recipe already, no fuss, just the hope of a gorgeous moist, tasty carrot cake.

Tip For a non alcoholic version I have also used orange juice extract to the icing instead of liqueur, and ideal for a teetotal cake for the cream filling too.

5 medium-sized carrots, sliced
2 oranges, juice only
125 ml corn oil
375 g caster sugar
4 free-range eggs, separated
350 g plain flour
15 g baking powder
500 ml double cream
2-3 tbsp orange liqueur
110g icing sugar
1tsp orange liqueur
1.5 tsp water

1. Preheat the oven to Fan 160/Normal180C/Gas Mark 4.
2. Grease a 30cm round cake tin with butter. Line with a cartouche (Easy way to make greaseproof circle, check out youtube)

3. To make the cake, place the carrots in a medium pan, just cover with water and add the orange juice and leftover oranges. Bring to the boil and cook until tender. Drain, but do not cool.
4. Put the carrots in the processor and blend to a paste, then flour baking powder, corn oil, sugar and 4 egg yolks in to blender or food processor and blend to a purée. Cool this mixture.

5. Whisk the egg whites until stiff and set aside.

6. Place the carrot mixture in a large mixing bowl and gently fold in the egg whites in two halves. You will need to get the prepared mixture straight into the oven so make sure the whites are ready to go in. 

Pour the mix into tin. Bake for 40-45 minutes until golden and clean when tested with a skewer. Remove from the oven and leave to cool on a wire rack.

7. When the cake is cold, whisk the double cream until thick but not stiff and gradually stir in the liqueur.

8. Now cut the sponge in half horizontally and sandwich with the whipped cream.

9. Sift the icing sugar into a bowl and stir in the liqueur and water until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Drizzle over the cake and leave to set.
Voila, you have the most moist luscious carrot cake you will try.

Check out a lovely Grand Marnier summer drink here


  1. Sounds great! Nice and moist too by the look of it.

  2. Oh lush I must make this soon, sounds easy.

  3. This sounds absolutely gorgeous! I adore carrot cake!

  4. Ooooh! Looks delicious. I think I'd drizzle some more Grand Marnier before I served it because I love it.

  5. this looks and sounds amazing!

  6. Thanks for the great recipe, my other half loves carrot cake so he may be getting a treat soon. :) @wordsfromsarah xxx

  7. Yum, this looks good! I've only just started eating carrot cake - I always assumed I wouldn't like it but it's awesome! hehe :)

  8. This is probably my favourite cake! Would love some now. Looks delicious.

  9. It looks amazing and adding to the flavour with Grand Marnier is great.