I think I’ve mentioned how in love I am with Sarah Randell’s Family Baking book. I’m nearly bowled over by every recipe–they are all simple, full of good and interesting ingredients, and perfect for every night desserts or treats. This recipe was a perfect use for all the random items in my fridge box the other night, so I made it and loved it. The pears felt so unusual to me, but they were the perfect touch. Can’t wait to include it in many fall evenings to come.
Pear + Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
1 1/2 c. (200 g) all-purpose flour
3/4 c. (100 g) spelt flour
1 t. baking powder
1 t. bicarbonate of soda
1 T. ground cinnamon
2 pinches of ground cloves
4 large eggs
1 1/2 c. (275 g) light brown or muscovado sugar
1 c. (250 ml) virgin coconut oil or rapeseed oil
1 c. (150 g) grated carrots
2/3 c. 100 g grated zucchini (courgettes)
2 pears, cored and chopped
1 c. (150 g) walnut or pecan pieces
2/3 c. (100 g) sultanas
For the cream cheese frosting
5 T. (75 g) very soft unsalted butter
6 1/2 oz. (200 g) cream cheese, chilled
1/2 c. (100 g) authentic thick Greek yogurt, chilled
1 1/4 c. (175 g) powdered sugar, sifted
1 T. poppy seeds
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (180˚C, 160 fan˚C, Gas 4).
Sift the flours, baking powder and baking soda into the bowl of an electric mixer (or use a large mixing bowl and an electric whisk). Tip any spelt left in the sieve into the bowl too. Add the cinnamon, cloves, eggs, sugar and oil. Mix together.
In another bowl, mix the carrots, courgettes, pears, nuts and sultanas. Using a large metal spoon, fold these ingredients into the cake mixture, making sure everything is thoroughly combined.
Divide the mixture between two 8 in. (20-cm) round cake tins that are buttered and base-lined with baking parchment. Spread the mixture out evenly with a spatula. Bake in the preheated oven for 40–45 minutes [28-30 minutes worked better for me], or until risen, golden and set in the centre. Let cool in the tins.
To make the poppy seed frosting, whisk together the butter and cream cheese, add the yogurt and icing sugar and whisk again – an electric whisk makes quick work of this. Stir in the poppy seeds, then refrigerate until needed.
Tip the cold cakes out of the tins and peel off the base papers. Place one cake on a board or serving plate, bottom-side uppermost. Spread half the frosting over it. Put the other cake on top, top-side uppermost, and spread the remaining frosting over the top.