- 175ml vegetable oil, plus extra for the tin
- 75g natural yogurt
- 3 large eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 200g self-raising flour
- 250g light muscovado sugar
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ fresh nutmeg, finely grated
One of the most useful of spices for both sweet and savoury…
- 200g carrots (about three), grated
- 100g sultanas or raisins
- 100g pistachios, finely chopped (or slivered if you can get them)
For the icing
- 100g slightly salted butter, softened
- 200g icing sugar
- 100g full-fat cream cheese
- 100g fondant icing or marzipan
- orange food colouring
Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Oil and line a 900g loaf tin with baking parchment. Whisk the oil, yogurt, eggs and vanilla in a jug. Mix the flour, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg with a good pinch of salt in a bowl. Squeeze any lumps of sugar through your fingers, shaking the bowl a few times to bring the lumps to the surface.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry, along with the carrots, raisins and half the pistachios. Mix well to combine, then scrape into the tin. Bake for 1 hr 10 mins or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. If any wet mixture clings to the skewer, return to the oven for 5 mins, then check again. Leave to cool in the tin.
To make the icing, beat the butter and sugar together until smooth. Add half the cream cheese and beat again, then add the rest (adding it bit by bit prevents the icing from splitting). Remove the cake from the tin and spread the icing thickly on top. Scatter with some of the remaining pistachios. Dye the fondant or marzipan orange by kneading in a drop of food colouring. Roll into little carrot shapes, then use a skewer to make indentations and poke a few pistachios in to look like fronds. Top the cake with the carrots, then serve. Will keep in the fridge for up to five days (eat at room temperature).