How do you improve a carrot cake? Tough call, but lots of cinnamon and sultanas does the trick in this delicious and surprisingly low-calorie tea cake. It’s made with sunflower oil instead of butter, and is a creation of the Hairy Bikers who reckon that it is only 239 calories per slice. Perhaps the toughest part of a calorie-controlled diet is the self-denial, but sometimes a little self-indulgence can help keep you on the path. When delicious and (almost) guilt-free creations like this are available, why deny yourself?
RECIPE – serves 10
200g (net weight) carrots, peeled, trimmed and grated
3 large eggs
100 ml sunflower oil
100g caster sugar
200g self-raising flour
finely grated zest of an orange
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
icing sugar to decorate
Heat the oven to 190C/ Fan 170C/ Gas 5. Line the base of a 23cm springform cake tin with parchment paper, and lightly oil the sides.
Beat the eggs with a whisk until light and frothy, add the sunflower oil and sugar and whisk until fully combined. Stir in the carrot, sultanas, orange zest, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add the baking powder to the flour, mix it in thoroughly, then add the flour and fold it in carefully until the mixture is just combined. You want to keep as much air in the mix as possible so don’t overmix it. There is no need to sift the flour into this cake.
Pour into the lined cake tin and gently level it off.
Bake in the middle of the oven for 25-30 minutes until the top is golden and the sides of the cake are just starting to shrink away from the sides of the cake tin. If you are unsure then a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake will tell you if it is done – if the skewer comes out clean then the centre is baked.
Cool in the tin for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
This cake will happily last 3 or 4 days in the fridge – if it is around that long…