I have to confess I was never a big fan of carrot cake.. until I started using this recipe, which I found in one of my old baking books. The butter icing isn't compulsory but it's amazing; if you can get hold of some maple syrup it really adds a bit of extravagance to the cake. The recipe calls for raisins, which is one of the few foods I strongly dislike, so I omitted them; I've included them in the recipe in case anyone wanting to make this has less strong feelings against them. This was actually a recipe for an average sized cake, but my ongoing obsession with fairy cakes meant I just made them instead! This makes 1 cake/approx 20 cupcakes For the cake: 450 g carrots 170g plain flour 2 tsp baking powder 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda 1 tsp salt 2 tsp ground cinnamon 4 eggs 2 tsp vanilla essence 115g dark brown sugar 55g caster sugar 300ml oil - sunflower or a mixture of sunflower and olive oil 115g chopped walnuts 85g raisins (optional) For the icing: 85g unsalted butter 350g icing sugar 65ml maple syrup 1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. 2. Beat eggs in a large bowl. Add the vanilla, sugar and oils and beat to incorporate. 3. Sift the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, salt and cinnamon into the bowl, and fold into the mixture thoroughly. 4. Grate the carrots and add to the mixture along with the walnuts and raisins (if using; I didn't). 5. Pour into a pre-prepared cake tin or cup cake tin, and bake for 40 - 45 minutes (for cake) or 20 - 25 minutes (for cup cakes). Let stand for 10 minutes and transfer to a wire rack. 6. For the butter icing, sieve half the icing sugar into a bowl, add the butter and cream until soft. Then add the syrup and beat in the remaining (sieved) icing sugar, until blended. 7. Top the cake with the icing sugar, and serve. Delicious!