Carrot cake + behind the scenes photographing with a baby16

Posted on January 4, 2012 by ChristieSweet Treats, Vegetarian

People always ask me “How do you work from home with a baby around?”.

My answer is always the same: “With much difficulty!”.

Today’s post will show you just how quickly an innocent carrot cake can become the target of chubby fingers and a lemon-sucking free-for-all. Don’t believe me? Scroll down for the proof.

Yes, she’s on her tippy toes.

You’d be forgiven for thinking she is going straight for a big finger-licking dollop of icing…

Nope. She only has eyes for lemons.

I thought once she tasted the lemon she would spit it out, however she sucked on it for a good five minutes. It wasn’t even a particularly juicy or sweet one. Go figure!

Anyway, back to the cake. I had hubby’s aunty and cousin visiting for afternoon tea and decided I wanted to make a carrot cake. I went straight to my friend’s blog: Not Quite Nigella, and low and behold there on the front page was a parsnip cake. Wow, now that’s some sort of psychic friendship thing, if I ever saw one!

I substituted carrots and made a few other small adjustments and out came this absolutely delicious cake. Perfect for afternoon tea with a cup of Earl Grey. Plus, Aunty Sally declared it 11 out of 10. Success!

Tell me, do you ever have psychic coincidences with your friends?

Christie x

Carrot cake with lemon cream cheese icing

adapted from Not Quite Nigella and Favourite Cakes by Julie Le Clerc

2 large eggs
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sunflower oil
1/4 cup olive oil
2 1/2 cups grated carrot, firmly packed
1/2 cup craisins
1/2 cup brazil nuts, roughly chopped
1 cup plain all purpose flour
pinch of salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon bi-carb soda (baking soda)

250g cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup icing sugar
1 lemon, juiced and zested

1. Preheat the oven to 180C/250F. Line the base and sides of a 20cm x 20cm square cake tin (I used a 20cm round tin successfully) and set aside.

2. Beat together the eggs, sugar and both oils in a large bowl. Stir in the carrot, craisins and brazil nuts. Then add the flour, salt, cinnamon, baking powder and bi carb soda and mix well.

3. Pour into the baking tin and smooth the surface. Bake for 40 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Cool completely in the tin and then remove.

4. Make the icing by beating together the cream cheese, icing sugar, lemon juice and zest. This is easiest using a stand mixer or handheld electric stick mixer. Spread over the cake and decorate with more brazil nuts, if you like.

  • I totally get this problem! From preparing to cooking to photography, my little girl needs to know what is going on. Her most recent find food-wise is kalamata olives – I didn’t expect that.
    The cake looks yum

  • Thats too cute hahahaha!!!! My dad eats lemons like that. I was never a fan of anything massively sour. What a little foodie :) LOVE the chunky nuts in the cake

  • Love the wide eyed expression. I always find it funny that kids will reject good simple food and rip into the lemons or the olives with gusto. Hope you have a great 2012 Christie.

  • A good sign that your little one will be willing to try different flavours and textures I think :)

    I will always have a soft spot for carrot cake in my heart, and this one looks entirely delicious and full of goodies.

  • I actually prefer the cake shots with bubs’ cheeky little fingers in them. The epitome of “charming”. :)

  • She has great taste! I love lemons too although I don’t remember eating them like this :) Glad that you liked the recipe!

  • naww what a cutie! hehe i love the photo of her arm reaching over to grab the lemon!

  • Steve

    She is just so beautiful…

  • Always with my mother and sisters :) Nice to see Poppy has more than just a typical toddlers sweet tooth.
    Earl grey tea is the perfect compliment to any afternoon tea!

  • Oh Christie, how your post made me smile. I do most of my cooking and photography with my two little girls under my feet so it was wonderfully familiar. I thought it was just me! The cooking I can just about manage but the photos are always a big challenge. My 2 year old LOVES her food and can now nag me for a taste as well as swipe! Keeping my concentration is not easy. Your daughter is beautiful and that cake….mmmm….

    • Emer, I am so glad to hear that! I can’t wait for the day that Poppy is old enough to actually help out in the kitchen – fun times! Looking forward to checking out your blog. Christie

  • What gorgeous photos your little one is just precious. Love this recipe with the chunky nuts in there.

  • Ladygoat

    Too cute! Baking with babies is indeed a challenge, but so worth it!

  • She is gorgeous. I too used to eat lemons when I was a tot and my mother made salad palatable to me by calling it ‘lemon lettuce’. I wouldn’t touch it if it wasn’t drowning in lemon juice.
    Can we have Poppy in every photo shoot? Please?

    • @The Hungry Navigatrix – Feedback taken on board… see story about Margaret Fulton :)

  • Oh, I know!!! What is it with toddlers & lemons??? I don’t know what I am going to do when the midday sleeps eventually pass & I don’t have any time at all to myself. Though, every time I seem to have the camera out Will’s little head pops up to see if he can “help”. Bless.

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