Cardamom Carrot Cake with White Chocolate Icing

This cake has a spicy kick and chocolatey cream cheese icing.
  • For the cake
  • Baking spray (recommended: Baker's Joy)
  • 170 ml vegetable oil
  • 340 g white sugar
  • 115 g light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 tsps vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 680 g grated carrots (about 6 to 8 carrots)
  • 115 g drained crushed pineapple
  • 570 g plain flour, plus 1 tbsp
  • 1 1/2 tsps baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 225 ml buttermilk, at room temperature
  • 170 g toasted pecans, chopped
  • For the icing
  • 170 g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 340 g cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 1/4 kg icing sugar, sifted
  • 2 tsps vanilla extract
  • 115 g fine white chocolate, melted and cooled
  • 2 tbsps double cream
  • 225 g sliced almonds, toasted and coarsely chopped
For the cake:

1) Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas mark 4. Grease 3 (20-cm) round cake pans and line the bottom of the pans with parchment paper. Spray the paper and pans with baking spray. Set the pans aside until ready to use.

2) In the bowl of an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the oil and sugars together until combined. Mix in the vanilla and add the eggs, 1 at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add the carrots and pineapple and mix until combined.

3) In a large bowl sift together the 350gs flour, baking powder, sodium bicarbonate, salt, cardamom and cinnamon. With the mixer speed on low, add the flour mixture to the carrot mixture alternately with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour. Mix until just combined. In a small bowl, toss the pecans with the remaining 1 tbsp of flour. Fold the pecans into the batter.

4) Pour the batter evenly into the prepared cake pans. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean, about 35 to 45 minutes. Cool the cakes in the pans on wire racks for 15 minutes. Remove the cakes from the pans and cool completely on the racks.

For the icing:

1) While the cakes are cooling, prepare the icing. In the bowl of an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter and cream cheese together until well combined. Reduce the speed to low and gradually add the confectioners' sugar. Mix until combined.

2) Add the vanilla and white chocolate. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat until smooth, about 1 to 2 minutes. Set aside 220ml of icing for decoration. Add the heavy cream and beat until combined.

To frost the cake:

1) Arrange 1 cake layer on a cake plate. Spread the top with the cream cheese icing and top with a second and third cake layer, spreading the icing between each layer. Spread the icing on top and around the sides of the cake. Apply the almonds to the sides of the frosted cake.

2) Fill a pastry bag, fitted with a star tip, with the reserved icing and pipe a border around the top of the cake. Cut the cake and serve.

A viewer, who may not be a professional cook, provided this recipe. The Food Network Kitchens chefs cannot make representation as to the results.

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