Candlebridge Bakery Martell Brandy Frosted Carrot Cake

Stunningly light, boozy and moist carrot cake with a twinkling of brandy running through it, topped off with the softest frosting ever..hmmm!



1. Sieve the light muscavado sugar into a large bowl and then gently heat the corn oil in your microwave on high for 1 minute. You should be able to place your hand on the outside of your measuring jug comfortably, so that you know the oil should not be bubbling hot. Add the heated oil to the light muscavado sugar and stir it well until the sugar dissolves.

2. Now add the Natural Vanilla & Orange Essence and Martell VS Brandy and stir it well.

3. Using a measuring jug whisk up the eggs and take note of how many mls you have as you will only need half of the beaten egg mix for the moment.

4. Now add half of the whisked egg mix to the sugar mix and stir it well. Leave to one side while you prepare your dry ingredients.

4. Sieve the self-raising flour, bicarbonate of soda, ground ginger, ground mixed spice & ground nutmeg and stir it well.

5. Gently begin to fold in half of the dry ingredients into the sugar mix by sieving it in two tablespoons at a time. This extra sieving creates a wonderful light feel to this finished cake!

6. Now add the remainder of the beaten egg and stir it well.

7. Now, fold in the remainder of the dry ingredients and stir well.

8. Now, it's time to add the grated carrots, three ounces of chopped walnuts and sultanas and stir it well.

9. Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tin, place on the middle shelf of the oven and bake for 30 minutes. Now is the time to place a folded sheet of greaseproof paper on the cake to prevent burning and set your time for another 15 minutes (weigh the greaseproof paper down with two stainless steel forks or spoons..CAREFUL THEY'RE HOT!)

10. Perform the Skewer test and aim for your cake top to be firm but springy!

11. Leave in the oven for another 15 minutes and test again with a skewer. You want the prongs to come out clean!

12. Now, fold a large sheet of greaseproof paper and place over the top of your cake and with some skill and patience, turn it out on to the wire rack.

13. Using a pair of prongs start to prick the base of the cake and fil a few capful of Martells VS Brandy and dribble it across the cake, allowing it to soak through nicely!.

14. Leave it for 30 minutes beofre turning the cake over to its upright position and begin pricking the cake, allowing the prongs to go no deeper than about an inch into the cake. Take another few capfuls of the Martells VS Brandy and dribble across the cake, watching as the brandy seeps into the freshly baked carrot cake. Wait until the cake is totally cold before icing it!


a) First of all melt some butter in the microwave.

b) Add the orange and lemon essence and stir.

c} Now add the icing sugar and mix till it's soft and very creamy.

d) Now, have a little taste and then spoon it over the top of the cake and spread it evenly over it. Be Liberal with the frosting.. it tastes absolutely gorgeous!

e) Let it rest for 3 minutes and then use a fork to create a wavy texture and let it settle for a little while you prepare the nutty topping.


a) Using a hot pan, melt the butter on the pan and add your chopped walnuts and pine nuts and fry till they are golden and then place them on some kitchen paper and pat them gently.
b) When the nuts and are cool, use them to decorate your cake

**Original recipe from the Candlebridge Bakery by L. Shannon - January Collection 2010 **

*DISCLAIMER: The Candlebridge Bakery accepts no responsibility if people become addicted to this cake!!


Creamy Frosting And Nutty Topping

Pine Nuts 1oz
Chopped Walnuts (2oz For Topping!) (*optional) 5oz
Butter 2½ oz
Natural Lemon Essence 1 Tablespoon
Natural Orange Essence 2 Tablespoon
Icing Sugar (175g) 6 ¼ oz

Dry Ingredients

Bicarbonate Of Soda 1 Teaspoon
Ground Nutmeg 1 Teaspoon
Ground Ginger 1 ½ Tablespoon
Self Raising Flour (175g) 6 ¼ oz
Light Muscovado Sugar (175g) 6 ¼ oz

Fruit & Vegetables!

Sultanas (100g) 3 ½ oz
Grated Carrots (140g) 6oz


Bottle Of Martell VS Brandy

Oil Ingredients

Natural Vanilla Essence 1 Teaspoon
Natural Orange Essence 1 Tablespoon
Martell VS Brandy 2 Tablespoons
Large Farmhouse Eggs Beaten 3
Corn Or Sunflower Oil 175mls

The Magical Ingredient

Ground Mixed Spice 1 ½ Tablespoon

Hints 'n' Tips

** My Star Tips **

1. Marinate your carrots, walnuts & sultanas in 6 tablespoons of Martell Brandy for extra booziness & add ALL to cake!

2. Remember to create the lightness in my recipes, it's important to sieve, sieve, sieve!!

3. Always sieve the muscavado sugar before you add the gently warmed oil, as sometimes that particular sugar can be a little lumpy, and sieving helps smooths things out!

4. For a Nut Brittle topping, you can add a tablespoon of castor sugar when frying the walnuts and pine nuts and leave them covered with some greaseproof paper.

5. You can always add about 3oz of chopped walnuts to this recipe when you're adding the carrots and sultanas if you like a little extra bite!

** NUT ALLERGY INFORMATION: If you have a nut allergy, then it won't make any difference to the taste or quality of this recipe, it just won't be nutty!! You will still enjoy th e smooth frosting over a deliciously moist & flavoursome cake. The walnuts are optional **

6. Remember this recipe forms the basis of producing some of the most lovliest moist muffins and just think of the fun you can have with frostings and decorating them with hundreds and thousands!! Imagination and muffin cases required if you take up this challenge!

7. The best tip for making a very very creamy luxurious seductive fabulous ... oh stop... concentrate... The best tip for making a creamy frosting is to MELT THE BUTTER and then add it to the sugar... it's quicker and it has a shinier effect... it also MELTS IN THE MOUTH...

8. If you find 2.5 oz butter isn't quite enough for your icing, then melt a little more (no more than an ounce) too much butter and your icing will become greasy.

9. The lovely thing about this cake is that the has the capacity to mature over a few days! I say a "few days" as it's so nice, it won't last any longer once you try it!

10. A lovely alternative to a nutty topping is a chocolate and orange topping. Simply grate some of your favourite chocolate and decorate your cake and add some grated zest of orange & slices of mandarin for a little extra fruitiness and colour! You can also shake over a little nutmeg if you like. The options are endless!!

11. If you are serving this cake as a dessert, then I would suggest serving it with my special cream cheese frosting.

Candlebridge Cream Cheese Frosting
1 small tub of Philadelphia cream cheese
6oz sieved icing sugar
3oz of melted butter
1 tablespoon natural orange essence *
1 tablespoon natural lemon essence *


a)Sieve the icing sugar into a large bowl.
b)Add the cream cheese
c)Melt the butter, add the orange and lemon essence
d)Now mix all your ingredients together until it's smooth and creamy with a slight runny texture
e)Spoon on to your carrot & brandy cake and if it starts to fall down the sides of your cake, just let it fall.
f)Top with walnuts, nutmeg, grated zest of orange & good quality chocolate.

** I recommend Martell VS Brandy for a strong brandy taste, but if you prefer something milder, then I would suggest Hennessy Brandy.


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Really set yourself some "ME" time to enjoy making this beautiful light moist carrot cake. It's absolutely gorgeous! The trick to this cake is gently heating the oil and mixing it really well with the muscavado sugar. The brandy and orange flavours just add that extra little fabulous that no other carrot cake has!! Very special recipe from The Candlebridge Bakery, Ireland.
Nearly ten days have passed and I have to got to say... I am addicted to this cake! I made again today and it's just as lovely as the first time. The aroma of mixed spices and vanilla are wafting around my kitchen!
Just given my husband a Masterclass in baking - and he's just made this all by himself! He weighed, sieved, stirred and did everything right. It's in the oven now and so far so good! So, if he can do it, anyone can! A very easy relaxing recipe to do - just take your time and enjoy it..
Try marinating your carrots, walnuts and sultanas in 6 tablespoons of Martell Brandy. Cake matures beautifully
So easy to make.
Thank you Wi11iam5 ~ Glad you enjoyed it!
Thank you for trying my recipe Wi11iam5! Happy New Year :)
This is a beautiful cake..definately better when eaten 3 days later! I leave out the ginger as I find it a little overpowering.
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