From his new book Showstopping Cakes, Rahul Mandal shows just why he won The Great British Bake Off in 2018. This deliciously flavorful cake is a fun twist on a classic fall classic.

Serves 16–20


Carrot, Ginger and Pecan Cake

  • 6–7 knobs of stem ginger in syrup, chopped
  • 75 grams (2¾ ounces) dried currants
  • 375 grams (13 ounces) self-rising flour, plus 1 tablespoon for dusting
  • 5 large free-range eggs, at room temperature
  • 300 milliliters (10 ounces) sunflower oil
  • 275g (9¾ ounces) dark muscovado sugar
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cardamom
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • zest of 2 oranges
  • 300 grams (10½ ounces) carrots, grated
  • 100 grams (3½ ounces) pecans, roasted and chopped

Mascarpone Frosting

  • 300 grams (10½ ounces) mascarpone, at room temperature
  • 250 grams (9 ounces) cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 200 grams (7 ounces) caramel sauce
  • Pecan Praline
  • 50 grams (1¾ ounces) caster sugar
  • 10 milliliters (2 teaspoons) water
  • 75 grams (2¾ ounces) pecans


Make the Carrot, Ginger and Pecan Cake

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/350°F/gas mark 4. Grease two deep 20-centimeter (8-inch) loose-bottomed cake tins with butter and line with baking paper.

2. Place the chopped stem ginger and currants in a bowl. Sprinkle over the 1 tablespoon fluor and toss to combine, then set aside.

3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, eggs, sunflower oil, sugar, baking powder, ground spices and orange zest with an electric whisk until everything is well combined.

4. Add the grated carrots and pecans to the mixture, along with the stem ginger and currants, and mix gently.

5. Divide the mixture between the two lined baking tins and bake for 40–45 minutes until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.

6. Remove from the oven and let the cakes cool in their tins for 10 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Make the Frosting

7. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the mascarpone and cream cheese with an electric whisk until smooth and lump-free.

8. Add about 100 grams (3½ ounces) of the caramel sauce to the cream cheese mixture and whisk until you have a soft, spreadable consistency.

9. Spoon the frosting into a piping bag fitted with a star nozzle and set aside.

Make the Pecan Praline

10. Heat the sugar and water in a saucepan over a medium heat. Do not stir.

11. Once the sugar starts to take on an amber color, add the pecans. Mix well. The mixture will be very hot, so be careful.

12. Pour the caramel-coated nuts on to a plate lined with baking paper and leave to cool.

13. Once cooled, chop into chunks.

Assemble and Decorate the Cake

14. Once the cakes are cool, cut each sponge in half horizontally so that you have four sponge layers to work with. Use a little of the frosting to secure one of the sponge layers to a 25–30 centimeter cake board or cake stand and place on a rotating cake turntable.

15. Pipe kisses of frosting on top of the sponge and drizzle over little of the remaining caramel sauce. Sprinkle over some pieces of pecan praline, then place the second sponge layer on top.

16. Repeat until all the sponges are stacked. When you get to the last sponge, pipe two or three rings of frosting kisses around the outside of the top of the sponge, then fill the rest of the space with the remaining chopped praline.

17. Transfer the cake to the fridge and let everything set for a couple of hours before serving.

Excerpted from Showstopping Cakes: Mastering the Art and Science of Baking by Rahul Mandal. Copyright 2022. Published with permission from Kyle Books.


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