Heat the oven to 180C/fan160C/gas 4. Oil and line the base and sides of an 18cm square cake tin with baking parchment.
Tip the sugar, oil and eggs into a large mixing bowl. Lightly mix with a wooden spoon. Stir in the grated carrots, raisins and orange rind.
Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda and spices into the bowl. Mix everything together, the mixture will be soft and almost runny.
Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 40-45 minutes or until it feels firm and springy when you press it in the centre. Cool in the tin for 5 minutes, then turn it out, peel off the paper and cool on a wire rack. (You can freeze the cake at this point if you want to serve it at a later date.)
Beat the frosting ingredients in a small bowl until smooth – you want the icing about as runny as single cream. Put the cake on a serving plate and boldly drizzle the icing back and forth in diagonal lines over the top, letting it drip down the sides.
Last week The Apprentice featured wedding cakes retailing at around £600. Sounds a lot, doesn' it? But when you discover the amount of work and time that goes into one of those cakes, you realise it's worth every penny.
Pink rose wedding cakeI've always had mixed feelings about cake decorating. I'm not generally a fan of novelty cakes (you either love 'em or hate 'em). However, before my recent marriage I took a renewed interest in the art, thinking I might rustle up my own wedding cake.
We covered marzipan including very cute teddies (ok so I'm warming to novelty), pastillage, and sugar flowers. Two very full days were used to master the art of royal icing, which required a lot of patience and precision. Sugar paste proved easier and we had impressive results all round. The sheer volume that tutor Paddi Clark got though left us speechless, literally, from exhaustion.
The cookery team at Good Food loves a bit of cake decorating. June's Orange berry wedding cake is a stunner, as is Jane's pretty pink rose petal wedding cake and trendy Romantic rose cupcakes.
Are you a fan of cake decorating, do you have any tips, recommendations or successes to share? (I have a vested interest, I'm doing my friend's wedding cake next month, all suggestions gratefully received - or she may not be a friend for much longer!)