Its method is not overly complicated and it doesn’t have 10 different types of cake layers/creams/curds/mousses/frostings, but it still has a taste that is so much more complex than just a normal carrot cake. What it does have is specks of crystallized ginger and orange zest, layered and topped with a white chocolate and cream cheese frosting.
The original recipe uses butter rather than cream cheese, but I don’t like the idea of eating that much butter, and I prefer cream cheese frostings, so I only use a small proportion of butter in this recipe.
The ingredients list is quite long, and there is a LOT of carrot grating to be done, so pull out your food processor now to save your arms some work and get those eggs and cream cheese thawing on the counter!
Zesty ginger carrot cake with white chocolate cream cheese frosting
Recipe from Sweetapolita
Makes a double layered 9 inch cake
1.25 litres / 42.3 oz grated carrots
125 ml / 4.2 oz finely chopped crystallized ginger or stem ginger in syrup
finely grated zest of 1 orange
625 ml / 21.1 oz all purpose flour
1 Tbs baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground ginger
250 ml / 8.5 oz butter, room temperature (margarine is fine)
375 ml / 12.7 oz granulated sugar
2 tsp vanilla
150 ml / 5 oz milk
- Preheat oven to 350F/175C and line the bases of two x 9 inch round cake pans with baking paper. Grease the sides of the pans with butter or oil.
- Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, ground ginger and salt. Sprinkle over the orange zest and stir in.
- Beat the butter in a LARGE mixing bowl until creamy, then gradually add the sugar and continue to beat for 3 minutes on medium speed.
- Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then the vanilla.
- Reduce speed to low and add 1/3 of the flour mixture. Once combined, add half of the milk. Repeat with 1/3 of the flour then the rest of the milk, finishing with the final third of the flour.
- Stir in the crystallised ginger then the carrots.
- Pour or scoop the batter into the pans and bang them a few times on the counter to spread the batter and get rid of air bubbles.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean and the cake is firm to touch. (I have never baked this cake for just 35 minutes, in my oven it always takes at least 45 minutes, so check it at 30-35, but expect that it will take longer).
- Cool in pans for 15 minutes, then turn out onto racks and cool completely.
White chocolate cream cheese frosting
200g cream cheese
50g butter (original recipe uses just 250g butter, with no cream cheese)
175 g/6 oz white chocolate, chopped
1 tsp vanilla
¾ tsp almond extract
Pinch of salt
750 ml icing/powdered sugar, sifted
- Melt the chocolate then set aside to cool slightly.
- Meanwhile, beat the cream cheese and butter until very fluffy, then beat in the melted chocolate. Add the vanilla, almond extract and salt and beat well to combine.
- Reduce speed to low and add the powdered sugar gradually, stopping as soon as a good consistency is reached. I find 750g of icing sugar to be insanely high (white chocolate is already very sweet), so I usually end up using about 300g for the frosting used in between the cake layers, then adding a bit more for the frosting that I use to decorate the cake with swirls or any other piping.