Unlike traditional ‘western’ carrot cakes, this Croatian carrot cake recipe uses no walnuts. And I prefer it. Of course when my grandmother was baking this cake in Slavonia, there was no cream cheese icing, but I added that to this cake incase you wanted that extra lift. Hey, we like it a bit traditional and a bit modern here.
Without the icing, it’s still a wonderful, oh so moist cake, so don’t worry if you forgot to buy the cream cheese, it’s still good! Because I made it with the icing, I needed to level out the top of the cake (extra bits for the chef) so that the icing looked straight. The baking powder and vanilla sugar are the traditional Croatian ones used in the little packets. You can buy these at your local deli, but roughly I think there would be about a tablespoon in each packet.
FOR THE CAKE
~ One egg
~ 350 grams fine (caster) sugar
~ 400 grams plain flour
~ 350 grams grated carrot
~ One cup of vegetable oil
~ One cup of milk
~ One and a half packets of baking powder
~ 100 grams of sultanas
~ Zest of one lemon
~ One packet of vanilla sugar
FOR THE ICING
~ 250 grams of cream cheese
~ 100 grams of unsalted butter, softened
~ 3 cups of icing sugar
~ Half a teaspoon of vanilla paste OR one teaspoon of vanilla essence
- Preheat the oven to 180°C
- Combine the egg and sugar in a large mixing bowl, and beat by hand until the mixture rises slightly.
- Gradually add in the grated carrot, stirring as you go. Then add the oil, sift in the flour and baking powder and add the milk.
- Finally add the sultanas, lemon zest and vanilla sugar. Stir by hand until well combined.
- Pour out the cake mixture into a well-greased and floured round cake tin.
- Bake for about 50 minutes on 180°C. Test to make sure the cake is done by putting a knife in through the thickest part of the cake and if it comes out clean it’s ready. If not, place it back in the oven until cooked through.
- Leave to cake to cool.
- For the icing, combine the cream cheese and butter, mixing thoroughly to combine. Add the sifted icing sugar, vanilla and combine with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy. Leave to cool in the fridge for half an hour. When the cake is cool enough, decorate with the icing. Serve.
Let me know if you tried this hearty rustic cake recipe and what you thought?
Dobar Tek! Zivjeli! (Bon Appetit! Cheers and let’s live!)