I wasn’t sure what incarnation of carrot cake to choose. Should it be a regular cake, layered with cream cheese, or perhaps some little muffins to be devoured at breakfast and lunch? I settled on a twist on traditional cream cheese frosting. You can use many different techniques to put a special ‘stamp’ on your frosting. Smooth frosting works well but this swirling technique is a great skill to master.
Place all the cake ingredients into a bowl and whisk it all together well in a stand mixer or with a hand-held electric whisk. Divide the mixture between the lined tins and
When the cakes have completely cooled, make the maple cream cheese buttercream. Using a palette knife, sandwich the cakes together with a good amount of the buttercream, then spread a very thin layer over the top and sides so that the whole cake is completely covered. Place the crumb-coated cake in the fridge to set for 10–15 minutes.
When the crumb-coating has set, spread the remaining buttercream all over the cake, getting it as smooth as you can with a palette knife.
To create the swirl coating, put the cake on a rotating cake stand and hold a palette knife vertically at the base of the cake, applying a little pressure. Turn the cake stand quickly and keep holding the palette knife at this angle. Gradually move the palette knife up the cake as you turn it on the rotating stand, until you reach the top edge of the cake.
To decorate the top of the cake, start at the outside edge. Holding the knife at a 45° angle, rotate the cake as you gradually move the knife into the centre of the cake. Sprinkle over the orange zest to decorate, if using, and serve.
© Lorraine Pascale, 2017. Images: © Myles New, 2017.