Recipe: The most epic dairy-free carrot cake recipe ever!

This recipe was given to me by a fellow non-milk drinker (I don't have anything against milk, it just doesn't agree with me!) and is so good you can feed it to your milky friends guilt-free!  I added walnuts and extra fruit to the recipe for extra epicness.  There's also the optional extra of the lactose-free cream cheese frosting which works really well!

You will need:

200 g (7 oz) soft dark brown sugar

150 g (5 oz) self-raising flour

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

160 ml (6 fl oz) vegetable oil (I used rapeseed oil for the simple reason that they didn't have a small bottle of vegetable oil in the shop - worked just as well!

2 eggs

250 g (9 oz) carrots, grated

75 g (3 oz) sultanas (I used 100g of pre-soaked mixed dried fruit - made the cake amazingly moist!)

100 g (3 1/2 oz) stem ginger, chopped (I couldn't find stem ginger so I used about 3cm grated ginger root - gave the cake a hint of ginger taste)

450 g (1 lb) loaf tin lined - use two pieces of greaseproof paper to line your tin (the foil backed stuff is best) one going one way, the other crossways - and make sure your tin will sit on the edges - otherwise the heat will curl it up and it may end up stuck in your cake (that's what happened to mine!)

As an extra ingredient I also added 100g walnut pieces, and sprinkled in an extra teaspoon of bicarb to account for the added weight

Preheat oven to 150 deg C, 300 deg F, Gas mark 2

Place sugar, flour, bicarbonate of soda, vegetable oil and eggs in a large bowl, and beat well

The batter should look like this once beaten:

Add grated carrot, sultanas (mixed fruit) and ginger (plus walnuts), mix well to form a runny batter.

Don't forget that extra spoon of bicarb if you've added extra ingredients!

Pour into 1lb loaf tin and bake until firm - about an hour (check firmness by pressing gently on the middle with your fingers at about the 45 minute point, you should then be able to guage whether it needs the full hour - mine did, but not all ovens are the same!)

Your batter will look like this (mmm appetizing!):

It will come out like this:

Turn the cake out onto a rack and peel off the greaseproof paper while it's still hot - otherwise it might stick! Then, refrain from stealing a piece and leave it to cool!

Optional extra: Lactose free cream cheese frosting

I'm sorry I don't have exact measurements for this because I kinda made it up!  I used that lactose free cream cheese stuff, which is made from real milk but with the lactose taken out - I'm not sure how I feel about this but I couldn't find any soy/tofu cream cheese so I decided to go for it.

Put one tub of cream cheese (lactose free, soy, tofu, or actual cream cheese, you choose) in a bowl. Add a big dollop of margerine, or butter (whatever you use for your sandwiches, just make sure it tastes nice - I used bertolli) to the bowl. By a big dollop, I mean like as much as you can lift out easily with the knife before it falls off.  Cream these two together with a whisk (electric or hand). Then add about half as much icing sugar as cream cheese and whisk. Taste it - is it sweet enough? No? Add more and repeat until you like the taste. Don't go overboard though! It should be a bit runny - pour over your cooled cake and spread it around and down the sides - there will be a bit of wastage so make sure there's a plate to catch it under your cake rack! Once the whole cake is nicely covered with an even layer, transfer it to a plate and pop it in the fridge to set.  You should end up with this:

Yummy huh? Then all you need to do is invite some friends round to eat it! (Come on... You can't eat it ALL yourself can you? Can you?)

I hope you enjoyed this!  I think it's yummy, so wanted to share it with the world!