Is it just me or did 2012 fly by in the blink of an eye? No sooner had I become used to writing 2012 as the year instead of 2011 and then it was over and now I have to get used to the fact it’s 2013.
I wonder if age has an impact on how quickly we perceive time. When you’re a child there’s painstaking countdowns to events such as your birthday, Christmas or Easter, and the days just seem to drag by. But when you get a little older no sooner do you ring in the new year when all of a sudden it’s Easter before you know it.
I recently reflected on the year that’s just passed and shared my readers top 12 recipes of 2012, but I didn’t share my favourite recipes of 2012. One of which is my Gluten Free Banana Cake with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting (followed closely by my Mushroom Bourguignon).
Even if you aren’t on a gluten free diet this is one delicious cake. In fact I made this cake twice for my husbands family while we were visiting them in Adelaide over Christmas, and let me tell you, each time this cake disappeared just as quickly as 2012 had done because everyone loves a good banana cake.
When we came home from Adelaide I had a sudden craving for carrot cake, which I haven’t had in the longest time, usually because I find them overly oily and heavy, so I resolved to turn my gluten free banana cake recipe into a carrot cake. And it worked out brilliantly!
The beauty of this cake is that it’s so simple to make. There’s no need to cream butter and sugar, in fact there’s no butter in this recipe at all. All you need is a food processor to first grate the carrots, and then blitz all the ingredients together. Of course you could grate the carrots by hand, but since you will have the food processor out anyway why not put it to good use?
While I was tempted to go with my cinnamon cream cheese frosting, which by the way I think would work brilliantly with this cake, I went for a lemon cream cheese frosting. I grew up eating carrot cakes with lemon cream cheese frosting, so lemon cream cheese frosting it had to be for me. Next time though I will make this with the cinnamon cream cheese frosting because I will definitely be making this cake again.
- 350g of carrots, peeled and tops removed
- ½ cup of pecans
- 5 large eggs
- 1 heaped teaspoon of baking powder
- ½ teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
- 250g (8.8 ounces) of ground almonds (almond meal)
- 220g (1/2 pound or 7.75 ounces) of brown sugar
- 1 tsp of ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp of ground nutmeg
- 1 tsp of ground ginger
- CREAM CHEESE FROSTING:
- 250g (1/2 pound) of cream cheese, at room temperature
- 50g (1¾ ounces) of butter, at room temperature
- 100g (3.5 ounces) of icing sugar, sifted
- zest and juice of half a lemon, or to taste
- Grease two 20cm springform pan and preheat the oven to 180 Celsius (350 Fahrenheit).
- Grate the carrots using a food processor and remove the grated carrots from the bowl and set aside. Remove the grater attachment from the food processor and switch to the chopping attachment and add the pecans and pulse until roughly chopped. Set aside with the carrots.
- Add the remaining cake ingredients (except the carrots and pecans) and process to combine. Finally add the carrot and pecans and pulse to combine with the cake batter.
- Divide the batter between the prepared springform pans and bake for 15 to 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and let the cake cool completely in the tin before removing.
- To make the frosting combine the butter and cream cheese in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and beat until smooth and creamy. Add the icing sugar and lemon juice and zest and beat for another 5 minutes, or until pale and fluffy.
- Spread the frosting between the cake layers and over the top of the cooled cake.