This is the most moist carrot cake you’ll ever eat. It uses oil rather than butter which gives it a rich crumb and means the un-iced cake will keep in a tin for up to 6 days. But don’t skip the icing when you are ready to eat it: the gorgeous buttercream is enriched with mascarpone to give a slight tang that compliments the sweet cake beautifully.
I like this best as a sandwich cake, but you can also make it as 12 cupcakes or mini loaves- just follow the recipe as below and make half the amount of icing.
Start by preparing your cake tins. Don’t line them with greaseproof paper as it can crisp the base of the cake too much: simply butter and flour the tins thoroughly.
With an electric hand whisk, beat the oil and the two sugars together well until syrupy. This will take 3–4 minutes. Add the egg yolks one at a time, and beat them into the oil and sugar until the mixture looks even glossier. With the whisk still running, add the flour and spices, then the carrots, crushed pineapple and its juice. Stop as soon as everything is combined. Wash the beaters of the whisk well.
In a clean, grease-free bowl, whisk the egg whites with the clean beaters until they form soft peaks. Fold them into the cake batter with a metal spoon, and then gently fold in the desiccated coconut.
Pour the batter into your greased and floured cake tins and
While the cake is cooling, make the icing. Sift the icing sugar onto the butter and begin beating it with the electric whisk. As soon as it starts to combine, beat in the cardamom seeds and the orange zest or oil. Add the mascarpone one spoonful at a time. The amount you use depends how creamy you like your icing. Stop beating as soon as the mascarpone is mixed in to prevent the icing separating from over mixing.
Using a palette knife, generously smooth half of the icing onto the top of one of the cakes. Dip the knife into boiling water if the icing starts to drag. Repeat this with the second cake and then carefully place it on top of the first cake so you have a sandwich with the icing on top. Sprinkle with chopped pistachios if you like and serve.
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