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South African Carrot Cake

By November 6, 2020October 3rd, 2023FinGlobal

South African Carrot Cake

November 6, 2020


Let’s talk cake; carrot cake to be precise. The origins of carrot cake are largely disputed. Some say it came from England while others are under the distinct impression that it is a German delicacy. One thing is for sure, it’s popular in many nations! Recipes for it appear in a 10th Century Arabian cook book called T’Khabis al-jazar. It was served as a treat by George Washington and many even speak of it originating in a castle kitchen, purely designed for the discerning taste buds of the rich and famous. While we don’t quite know where carrot cake comes from, we know that it is a very popular treat in South Africa. In fact, South African carrot cake is something that just about every Saffa has had a taste of.

Whether you are on South African shores or abroad, when a hankering for carrot cake strikes, you need a good recipe to whip up your own! And that’s exactly what you’re about to receive!


Easy Carrot Cake, South African Style

This is a simple carrot cake recipe designed to be quick and easy to whip up and oh-so delectable to the taste. While it’s simple to follow, the recipe will not disappoint. Without much further ado, let’s jump right in.


Carrot Cake Ingredients

Before you can sink your teeth into a delightful slice of carrot cake, you need to gather some goodies. Here’s what you need to get…


Carrot cake ingredients for the cake:

  • 400g of white sugar
  • 4 large eggs (or 12 tablespoons of aquafaba for a vegan version)
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 240g of cake flour
  • 1 teaspoons of bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 teaspoons of cinnamon
  • 6 grated carrots
  • 1 and ½ cups of vegetable oil
  • 70g of desiccated coconut
  • 75g of walnuts
  • 75g of pecan nuts
  • 180g of canned pineapple (drained and crushed)


Carrot cake ingredients for the topping:

  • Chopped walnuts to sprinkle on top
  • 125g of soft butter
  • 500g of sifted icing sugar
  • 1 cup of cream cheese (or coconut cream cheese for a vegan version)
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract


What to do – How to Whip up a Carrot Cake

The instructions for making carrot cake are fairly simple to follow. Here they are:

  • First, preheat your oven to a balmy 180 degrees Celsius.
  • While the oven is heating, grease and line your cake tins with baking paper. This recipe requires 2 cake tins of around 23cm in diameter. You can work with other size cake tins. You simply adjust your recipe accordingly.
  • In a jug, beat the sugar, vanilla extract, and eggs together and then slowly mix in the oil.
  • In a bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, cinnamon and salt.
  • Add the egg mixture into the dry ingredients and mix well.
  • Now, combine the grated carrots, nuts, coconut, and pineapple and add the mixture to the cake batter that you have just made. Mix well but don’t overmix.
  • Pour the mixture into your cake tins and then pop them into the oven for around 50 minutes or until cooked through. Keep an eye on the cakes as you want them cooked through but still moist.


Now that the cakes are baking, it’s time to make the creamed topping. Here’s what to do:

  • Cream the butter and half of the icing sugar in a bowl.
  • Beat the creamed butter and icing sugar mixture until it forms a fluffy consistency.
  • Add the cream cheese and continue to beat at a slow speed before adding the remaining icing sugar and vanilla extract. Don’t overbeat – just make sure everything is well mixed.

When the cakes are done baking you need to let them cool before you add the topping. To cool them, simply turn them out of the tins and onto cooling racks. When sufficiently cooled, spread one cake with half of the creamed icing mixture and then place the other cake on top. Spread the remaining icing on the cake top and sprinkle with the chopped walnuts. And voila! You have just made yourself a good old fashioned South African carrot cake. All that is left to do is share it!


How is Carrot Cake Best Served?

Because of the cream cheese frosting, it is best to keep carrot cake in the refrigerator until you wish to eat it. You don’t have to serve it cold and hard (although it’s good that way too). You can remove it from the fridge about an hour before you are ready to eat it, so that it can get to room temperature. Rumour has it, that’s when it’s at its best.  Carrot cake is most often serve with a steaming hot cup of tea, creamy coffee or even beer (yes, you read that right!).

If you are a lover of carrot cake, try out the recipe above and let us know what you think! For a bit of variety you can leave the nuts out and add in a handful of raisins – that’s up to you!


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