Day 10 of my 30 recipes in 30 days challenge
When I first left school and attended university in Brisbane I worked part-time at a little eatery in Rosalie. This was years ago, before Rosalie became Rosalie as we know it today. Back then, it was just a friendly little inner-city suburb that had a couple of cool, casual places to eat. I think the eatery I worked at was called Someplace to Eat, or something like that. Basically, all the food was on display in heated counter displays and people ordered what took their fancy and we then slapped these incredibly generous portions into takeaway containers. A few brave souls would risk the wrath of our chef by asking for a plate and stipulating that they wanted to dine in.
It was super casual, but the food was amazing. Also, as a perpetually broke student, I was happy to survive on the leftovers I could take home, which was heaven. One of my favourite desserts that we served was a cake called a ‘Queensland Tropical Fruit Cake’. It was like a carrot cake on crack cocaine and I cringe when I remember the size of the portions of that cake I used to give my regular customers. I wanted to try to replicate the Queensland Tropical Fruit Cake and so I attempted it today. I was delighted with the results and I have named this cake ‘The Sunshine Cake’. It is a keeper.
Most of my ingredients for this amazingly yummy cake including spices, cashew nuts, walnuts, macadamia nuts, and sultanas were bought from my local health food store, Tenterfield Health. Make sure you pop in and check out their range when in town.
Sunshine Cake with Lemon Icing
Prep time took about 20 min + the soaking time for the cashews.
Baking time was 40 minutes.
Made: A double layered 9-inch round cake
For the cake:
- 300-gram carrots
- 120-gram chopped walnuts
- 80 gram of macadamia pieces
- 1 x 440-gram tin of crushed pineapple
- Zest of 1 orange
- 50-gram sultanas
- 600-gram self-raising flour
- 3 tsp baking powder
- 360-gram soft light brown sugar
- 1 tsp grated nutmeg
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- Pinch of salt
- 600 ml almond milk
- 225 ml olive oil
For the icing:
- ¼ cup raw cashews
- 3 tablespoon of water
- 180 ml of lemon juice
- 1 kilo of icing sugar
For the cake:
- Preheat the oven to 160°C (fan). Grease two 9-inch cake tins and line the bottoms and sides with baking paper.
- Grate the carrots and add to a bowl. Finely chop the walnuts and add to the carrots along with. Grate the zest of the orange into the bowl and add the sultanas.
- In your mix master bowl, add the flour, baking powder, sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon and salt.
- Mix the almond milk and olive oil in a jug, then tip them into the mix master bowl with the dry ingredients. Finally, add the carrot and pineapple mixture and beat until fully combined. Try not to overmix.
- Divide the cake mixture between the two tins.
- Bake for 40 minutes until a skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin for 30 minutes, then turn out onto a cooling rack and leave until fully cool.
For the icing:
Note – re the icing, if you don’t like a generous amount of icing, this will be too much. So either reduce the amounts as listed, or keep leftovers in the fridge for next time.
- Soak the cashews in water for at least 2 hours – overnight is great!
- Blitz the cashews and water in a high-speed blender until smooth.
- Combine the cashew cream, lemon juice and icing sugar and beat on high for several minutes. If you want a thicker consistency just add additional icing sugar ¼ cup at a time.
When the cake is completely cold – it is often better the next day, sandwich the two layers together with the icing and finish the top off with icing and garnish with shaved pistachios and orange zest. Keep the cake in an air-tight container and it is much better at room temperature, rather than keeping it in the fridge.