So...after an unsuccessful Carrot Cake entry at the Pine Rivers Show, I knew I needed to step it up a notch for my entry in the Ekka - the big league! I tried two different recipes for the first competition, but wasn't 100% happy with either. So my dear mother passed on a recipe from a book called "The Blue Ribbon Cookbook" - Recipes, stories and tips from prizewinning country show cooks.
I whipped up the cake and LOVED the result. My only disappointment was that I was rushed by a crying toddler just as it was time to line the tin and pour the mixture in, resulting in a couple of baking paper creases in my cake. I thought about re-making the cake, but decided to enter it as is and if the cake itself was good enough, I'd win a prize.
So I put in the entry and began the long wait. Meanwhile, hubby sampled the spare cake I'd made and declared it "the best Carrot Cake he'd EVER tasted!" Quite a big call, but I did have to agree, it was pretty good!
So the news came through, and I won third prize for the Carrot Cake at the Royal Queensland Show. I am over the moon, considering it's my first ever entry in the big show! Next year there will be no creases in my baking paper and I'm hopeful of going even better!
So here it is, the prize-winning recipe for delicious Carrot Cake...this recipe makes enough for one standard round cake, or two log tins.
2 cups brown sugar
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
3 cups grated carrot
2 cups plain flour
2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
60g cream cheese
125g icing sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Grease and line two log tins or an 20cm round cake pan.
In a large bowl, mix the sugar and oil together thoroughly with a large metal spoon. Add the carrot and eggs, continuing to mix well. Sift the flour, soda, cinnamon and nutmeg into the carrot mixture. Add the vanilla and nuts.
Pour the mixture into the tins and bake for 1 hour (if using the log tins) or 2 hours (if using the round pan). The cake should be golden brown and firm to the touch. Allow to stand for a few minutes before turning out of the tins to cool.
Beat together the cream cheese, icing sugar, butter and vanilla and spread evenly over the cake.