Carrot Cake

I don’t remember when I first tasted carrot cake, but I have known for a while that it is my favourite type of cake. It still surprises me that I like carrot cake so much. Carrots are not an especially preferred vegetable, although I do eat them in a variety of ways.

When I was eight years old I was sent to boarding school, a bit of a traumatic experience for any young child. One of the better memories of this four year experience was that each and every child in the school was given a small allotment plot in which we could grow whatever we wished. Amongst other things I grew carrots. Even if you are not keen on eating carrots, they are beautiful plants to watch grow. They have such lovely feathery foliage, magical for children, and even more magical when you pull them up to find a crop of carrots underneath, a crop that you can actually eat. Although I’m not a big fan of boarding schools for young children, looking back, I think it was very enlightened of the school to encourage children to tend gardens and grow their own crops.

But back to carrot cake. At eight years old I didn’t know there was such a thing as carrot cake. I was brought up on Victoria sponges and the like. Carrot cake only came into my life when I took up cycling about eight years ago. A frequent, local, flat, 20 mile ride involves a half way stop at a café which, up to today, I thought sold the best carrot cake ever, particularly delicious with cappuccino ten miles into a bike ride.

I have many a time told the café owners this, but after today will not be able to do so again, because today some friends came for lunch and brought with them really the best carrot cake ever. Evidently the recipe was a BBC Good Food one. My friend told me, ‘I’ll tell you that this is the recipe, even though I know you will never bake one.


From now on I will associate carrot cake with a really enjoyable lunch with good friends, but also with the query in my head about whether my friend knows me better than I know myself. Yes, it’s true that I haven’t baked a cake since our children grew up and ‘fled the nest’. I decided I had had enough of baking, but also just two of us simply cannot eat a whole cake these days, even over a few days. But will I really never bake another cake? And what is it that my friend knows about me that I don’t know about myself? It’s always intriguing to consider how others perceive you.

Who would have thought that carrot cake could lead to these memories. I have to put this down to the fact that the cake in itself was an especially memorable experience, invoked by the senses, which triggered off more memories, which in turn were invoked by the senses. I think even Descartes would have had to trust his senses that this was an absolutely delicious cake.

4 thoughts on “Carrot Cake

  1. francesbell February 17, 2019 / 7:04 pm

    Thank you Jenny. My mouth was watering when I read the recipe and I think I might give it a go for when I next do “eats” for my U3A craft group.
    Just a thought – I think you can freeze it in slices, separated by a concertina of freezer paper, available in this country at all good craft shops. Then you and John could take a few slices out every few weeks.
    I use freezer paper for applique and patchwork but that’s another story. It looks like this

  2. jennymackness February 17, 2019 / 7:16 pm

    Thank you Frances. Of course – that’s the answer. I can’t think why I didn’t realise I could freeze the cake. I wish now that I hadn’t sent some of it back with our friends thinking that we wouldn’t be able to eat it all and that they would enjoy it. Next time, I’ll know 🙂 It really is a delicious recipe.

  3. Lisa M Lane February 20, 2019 / 4:27 am

    I am still trying to relate to a cake that’s made with a root vegetable. It’s an effort of many years’ duration. Perhaps it’s because our bizarre non-soil makes carrots grow into such odd shapes that they look more like the Venus of Willendorf than something edible.

    In my mind I often see you making dinner, which you do with such ease it makes me envious (not envious enough to learn to cook, of course, but envious nonetheless). It wouldn’t occur to me that you’d never make another cake. Seems to me if you wanted a cake, you’d just make one.

    At any rate, I have a wonderful egg-free chocolate cake recipe I must make for you next time I’m there. Of course, we’d have to convert imperial to metric…

  4. jennymackness February 20, 2019 / 11:13 am

    I love the Venus of Willendorf image of a carrot – and egg-free chocolate cake sounds great. I can do imperial to metric, especially if chocolate cake is the outcome 🙂

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