California Carrot Cake 
with Rum Raisins
 and Pineapple

Ingredients for the cake

175g Dark soft brown sugar
2 Large eggs
150ml Vegetable oil
200g Self-raising flour
3tsp Cinnamon/speculaas spice mix
1tsp Bicarbonate of soda
200g Carrots (grated)
200ml Dark rum/Bourbon
150g California raisins

Ingredients for the icing

250g Unsalted butter, softened
2tsp Dark rum/Bourbon
250g Full fat cream cheese
500g Icing sugar


To decorate

  • Dried pineapple chunks
  • Toasted flaked almonds (optional)
  • Pineapple flowers (optional)
  • California raisins (optional)

How it’s Done

Preheat oven to 170°C/Gas 3

1 In advance, soak the California raisins in
the rum, preferably overnight, or at least
a few hours.
2 Preheat oven to 170°C/Gas 3.
3 Whisk the sugar, eggs and oil in a
large bowl (about 2-3 minutes).
4 Sift in the flour, spice and bicarbonate of soda – fold in gently.
5 Add the carrots, ground almonds and pineapple.
6 Drain the California raisins (keep the rum!) – add the
California raisins to the mixture with 1 tbsp of the rum.
7 Divide the batter between your tins and bake for 30 minutes, until springy in the centre.
8 Cool in the tins.
9 Cream the butter in a stand mixer for a good 5 minutes.
Add the rum and mix again.
10 Add half of the cream cheese, mix, add half the icing sugar, mix. Repeat.
11 Continue mixing for a few minutes to fully combine.
12 Once sponges are cooled, place one on a plate or cake stand. Spread half the icing over it (optional: scatter some dried pineapple over the icing). Position the other sponge on top and spread with the remaining icing.

To decorate, simply scatter the dried pineapple chunks all over; you could add a handful of toasted flaked almonds, too, if desired, with a few California raisins dotted around.


* For something more flamboyant, you could decorate with
some pineapple flowers:   Preheat oven to 225°C/Gas ¼.   Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.  Peel a pineapple. Using a small melon baller or a sharp knife, remove and discard the ‘eyes.’ Slice pineapple very thinly and place slices on baking sheets.

Cook until tops look dried,
about 30 minutes. Flip slices; cook until completely dried, 25 to 30 minutes more. Transfer to an empty muffin tray to dry in flower shapes or cool on a wire rack.