Prep 25 mins
Cook 1 hr 5 mins
You can use more orange juice instead of the orange liqueur if you prefer. The soaking time of the apricots is not included in the recipe timing.
- 1 medium orange
- 3⁄4 cup finely chopped dried apricot
- 1 1⁄2 cups plain flour
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1⁄8 teaspoon allspice
- 1⁄8 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup grated carrot
- 3⁄4 cup chopped pecans
- 3 large eggs
- 1⁄2 cup sunflower oil (or canola)
- 2 tablespoons Grand Marnier
- 7 ounces cream cheese
- 1⁄3 cup confectioners' sugar
- 5 -6 pecan halves, to decorate (optional)
- Zest the orange, cover and set aside for the frosting.
- Juice the orange, add the chopped apricots and mix with the orange juice, leave to soak for at least 3 hours.
- When ready to make the cake, preheat the oven to 300F and line the base of a 2lb loaf tin with parchment paper.
- Sift the flour together with the cinnamon, ginger, allspice, cloves and the baking soda into a mixing bowl.
- Add the brown sugar, chopped pecans, carrots and the apricots with the juice, (reserve 2 tablespoons of the orange juice), mix well.
- Beat together the eggs with the oil, add to the mix and mix again.
- Spoon into the prepared loaf tin and bake for 50-60 minutes.
- Test with a wooden skewer whether the cake is done, (it should come out clean and dry), otherwise cook a bit longer.
- Turn the cake out of the tin and let it cool until slightly warm.
- Mix the two tablespoons of Grand Marnier and the two tablespoons of the reserved orange juice, return the cake to the tin, poke holes in the top and drizzle the liquid over to soak up the juices.
- Beat together the cream cheese, confectioners sugar and the orange zest, taste if you find it sweet enough, if not, add more sugar.
- Take the cake out of the tin, remove parchment paper and spread the frosting on the top.
- Decorate with the halved pecans.
I found this cake to be too mushy, I had to leave it in my oven for half an hour longer to dry out. Not enough spices to call it "spiced" and the apricots were bitter (not a fan of apricots).<br/>Even my sister was disappointed in this carrot cake.
This cake is delicious and I especially like that it isn't loaded with raisins like some other carrot cake recipes. The apricots really add to it. Soaking the cake with liqueur after baking really adds to it, too. Two thumbs up!
This is a very nice carrot cake! Moist, dense and full of apricot orange flavor. I think the frosting could be improved. I had to add twice the sugar and it still is very plain. This is one of those cakes that is much better the next day. I baked mine in a regular loaf pan as I wasn't sure what a 2lb loaf pan was. It baked for 70 minutes. I had no trouble getting it out of the pan. I speeded the apricot soak process by microwaving it for 2 minutes. I used Cointreau instead of Grand Marnier because it was what I had. With a better frosting this cake could be outstanding!