3 & 1/4 cups (350g) of plain or all-purpose flour
4 tsps ground cinnamon
2 tsps ground nutmeg
2 tsps bicarbonate of soda
4 medium eggs beaten
3/4 cup (150g) of soft brown sugar
2/3 cup (150g) of caster or granulated sugar
1 & 1/3 cups (300ml) of sunflower oil
2 3/4 cups (350g) of grated and chopped carrot (make sure that the flakes are small)
1 & 1/2 cups (200g) chopped walnuts
1 cup (150g) of sultanas soaked in dark rum overnight
2 tsps chopped crystalized ginger
1 & 1/2 cups (150g) desiccated coconut
zest of half an orange
zest of half a lemon
1/3 cup (75g) of softened unsalted butter at room temperature (it should not be melted!)
4 cups (500g) of sifted icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste, or the seeds of 1 vanilla pod
Whole milk to loosen (1-3 tbsps)
1 1/4 cup (300g) of full fat cream cheese
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Lightly grease two 9-inch (non-stick) sandwich tins with a few drops of vegetable or sunflower oil. If you do not have non-stick sandwich tins then add a circle of parchment paper to the bottom of each tin.
2. Sift the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and bicarbonate of soda in a large bowl.
3. Add the beaten eggs, sugars and sunflower oil to the flour and mix gently until you have a smooth batter. Make sure that there are no lumps of flour in the batter.
4. Finally mix in the carrots, walnuts, raisins and their soaking liquor, desiccated coconut, ginger and the orange and lemon zest.
5. Divide the cake batter in half between the two cake tins and pop them into the oven (middle shelf) for 30 minutes. To check whether they are cooked, insert a skewer into the middle of the cake and it should come out clean. Once cooled for 10 minutes, remove the cakes from their tins and place them on a wire rack to cool.