Carrot cake loaf with dates

This carrot cake loaf, with its delicious, zesty cream-cheese icing and chopped walnuts, is soft and full of flavours.

To make this carrot cake loaf, you will need:

For the loaf: 

  • 3 extra-large eggs
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 250ml sunflower oil
  • 260g cup cake flour, sifted
  • 80ml desiccated coconut
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 250ml carrot, finely grated
  • 250ml banana, mashed
  • 100g walnuts, chopped
  • 100g dried dates, finely chopped and soaked in boiling water

For the lemon cream cheese icing:

  • 150g soft butter
  • 230g cream cheese at room temperature
  • 500ml icing sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • The zest of one lemon
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

1 Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease and line two standard loaf tins with baking paper. Place the eggs and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer and whisk for about one minute or until light and fluffy. You can also use an electric beater. Add the vanilla essence and oil.

2 In a medium-sized bowl, add the cake flour, desiccated coconut, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, salt, cinnamon and ginger. Stir to mix together.

3 Add the grated carrots, mashed bananas, walnuts and dates (discard the water) and mix together. Pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture and stir.

4 Pour the mixture into the prepared tins, and bake for about 55 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Set aside to cool completely. Remove the cake from the tin and place on a wire rack.

5 To make the cream-cheese icing, place the butter, cream cheese and icing sugar in a food processor and blend for about 30 seconds or until smooth and pale. Add the vanilla essence and fold in the lemon zest and juice. Stir with a wooden spoon until the ingredients are mixed thoroughly. Spread the icing on the cake, then top with more chopped walnuts
and serve.

Nomvuselelo Mncube is the cooking assistant for Food & Home Entertaining.