Carrot Cake with Pumpkin Seeds, Apricots and Honey-yogurt Icing

A standout recipe from the Natural Baking cookbook, this carrot cake with apricots, pumpkin seeds and a delicious honey-yogurt icing is the ultimate afternoon treat with a wholesome twist. Decorated with delicate edible flowers, this fool-proof bake both looks and tastes spectacular.

From the book

Natural Baking: Healthier Recipes For A Guilt-Free Treat by &
Natural Baking: Healthier Recipes For A Guilt-Free Treat
Beautiful bakes using whole natural ingredients
70 reliable recipes showcasing fresh seasonal fruits
Lighter cakes and treats that are still indulgent
Makes 1 cake (diameter 20cm/8in)
Prep time: 25 min
Cook time: 35 min
Total time: 1 h

Ingredients

For the cake mixture:
2 eggs
120ml (4fl oz) maple syrup
75ml (2½fl oz) mild vegetable oil, plus extra for greasing
¼ tsp black cardamom seeds
4 cloves
150g (5½oz) wholemeal spelt flour, plus extra for dusting
1 tsp ground cinnamon
A pinch grated nutmeg
2 tsp baking powder
A pinch salt
300g (10oz) carrots, peeled and finely grated
60g (2oz) dried apricots, chopped
Grated zest of ½ organic orange
40g (1¼oz) pumpkin seeds
For the icing:
150g (5½oz) full-fat cream cheese
150g (5½oz) yogurt of your choice
25g (scant 1oz) acacia honey
2–3 drops vanilla extract
1 tbsp lemon juice
For the decoration:
Edible flowers and pumpkin seeds (optional)

Essential kit

You will need: a springform tin (diameter 20cm/8in).

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/Gas 4). Beat the eggs and maple syrup in a bowl for several minutes with an electric whisk, gradually adding the oil. Finely grind the cardamom and cloves using a pestle and mortar. Combine the flour, spices, baking powder, and salt in a second bowl, add to the egg and oil mixture, and mix briefly. Fold the grated carrot, apricots, two-thirds of the orange zest, and the pumpkin seeds into the mixture.

Grease a springform tin (diameter 20cm/8in) with oil and dust with flour. Transfer the cake mix into the tin, smooth the surface, and bake in the centre of the oven for 35–40 minutes, until risen and golden brown. When an inserted wooden skewer comes out clean, the cake is ready. Carefully turn the warm cake out onto a wire rack and leave to cool completely.

For the icing, mix all the ingredients with most of the remaining orange zest and stir until smooth. Spread the mixture evenly over the cake. Sprinkle with the remaining orange zest and, if desired, decorate with edible flowers and some pumpkin seeds.

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