Carrot and pumpkin chocolate cake

Recipe may contain gluten.

The addition of pumpkin and carrot make for a moist, naturally-sweetened and healthier alternative to Devil’s food cake, without missing out on the flavour.

18 Ingredients

  • 150g (1 cup) self-raising flour

  • 75g (1/2 cup) plain flour

  • 160g (1 cup, lightly packed) brown sugar

  • 50g (1/2 cup) cocoa powder

  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

  • 125g butter, melted, cooled

  • 60ml (1 ⁄4 cup) vegetable oil

  • 3 eggs

  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

  • 150g (1 cup) finely grated butternut pumpkin, seeds reserved

  • 150g (1 cup) finely grated carrot, peel reserved
  • Praline

  • 2-3 tbs reserved pumpkin seeds

  • 100g (1/2 cup) caster sugar

  • Reserved carrot peel
  • Chocolate icing

  • 125g butter, chopped, at room temperature

  • 230g (11/2 cups) icing sugar mixture

  • 35g (1/3 cup) cocoa powder

  • 2 tbs milk

7 Method Steps

  • Step 1

    Preheat oven to 170°C/150°C fan forced. Grease a 20cm round cake pan. Line the base with baking paper.

  • Step 2

    Sift the flours

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    (150g (1 cup) self-raising flour|75g (1/2 cup) plain flour), sugar (160g (1 cup, lightly packed) brown sugar), cocoa powder (50g (1/2 cup) cocoa powder) and bicarb (1 tsp bicarbonate of soda) into a large bowl and make a well in the centre. In a separate bowl, whisk the butter (125g butter, melted, cooled), oil (60ml (1 ⁄4 cup) vegetable oil), eggs (3 eggs) and vanilla (2 tsp vanilla extract) together. Add to the well. Use a silicone spatula to fold together until just combined. Add the grated pumpkin (150g (1 cup) finely grated butternut pumpkin, seeds reserved) and carrot (150g (1 cup) finely grated carrot, peel reserved). Fold until evenly combined. Pour into the prepared pan.

  • Step 3

    Bake for 55-60 minutes or until the cake is firm to a gentle touch. Set aside in the pan for 10 minutes to cool slightly before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

  • Step 4

    While the cake cools, make the topping. Preheat the oven to 170°C/150°C. Wash the pumpkin seeds (2-3 tbs reserved pumpkin seeds) to remove the pulp and fibre. Dry thoroughly. Line a baking tray with foil. Spray lightly with oil, then arrange over the tray. Spray seeds lightly with oil. Bake, tossing halfway through, for 10-12 minutes or until dry and lightly golden. Set aside on the tray to cool. Push seeds close together.

  • Step 5

    Combine the sugar (100g (1/2 cup) caster sugar) and 60ml (¼ cup) water in a saucepan. Stir over medium-low heat until sugar has dissolved. Add carrot peel (Reserved carrot peel). Simmer for 10 minutes or until the carrot peel is translucent. Remove from heat. Use tongs to transfer the carrot to a wire rack to cool. Return syrup to the heat and cook for a further 3-5 minutes or until golden. Pour over the pumpkin seeds. Set aside until set.

  • Step 6

    To make the icing, use electric beaters to beat the butter (125g butter, chopped, at room temperature) in a bowl until pale and creamy. Sift the icing sugar (230g (11/2 cups) icing sugar mixture) and cocoa powder (35g (1/3 cup) cocoa powder) into a separate bowl. Add a few spoonfuls of the icing sugar mixture at a time to the butter, beating constantly, until all the icing sugar mixture has been incorporated. Beat in the milk (2 tbs milk) until smooth.

  • Step 7

    Use a large serrated knife to cut the cake in half horizontally. Place the base on a serving plate. Spread one-third of the icing over the base to cover. Replace the top of the cake and spread with the remaining icing. Coarsely chop the seed praline. Just before serving, top with the candied carrot and sprinkle with the praline.
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Recipe Notes


  • To really ‘hide’ the vegies, use the fine holes on your box grater for grating the carrot and pumpkin.
  • When scooping the pumpkin seeds from the pumpkin, use a small metal spoon and try to avoid most of the pulp and fibre.
Image by Brett Stevens

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