The Mary and Me Undertaking: Carrot Cake

Day 3: 1 Feb 2018

Recipe 2: Carrot Cake

Book: Mary Berry’s Baking Bible, pg 58

There are two things that are really different about Mary’s carrot cake recipe compared to the one I usually use, one – it calls for the use of banana and two – it is in English. So no need for me to Google the what the Afrikaans name is for walnut and pecan nut – I get those two confused every single time.

Somehow I always seem to be substituting ingredients in recipes. In this recipe Mary calls for light brown demerara sugar, Tesco doesn’t have light brown demerara sugar, or any shade of demerara sugar actually. So I buy soft light brown cane sugar and hope for the best.

The recipe is as easy as they come, chuck all your ingredients in a bowl, mix them up (also known as the all in one method) and then put it in the prepared tin for baking. The icing recipe follows the same method.

There were 2 very distinct differences between MB’s recipe and my usual one (which I got from my mom-in-law). MB’s carrot cake has banana in it and no spices, my recipe has no banana in it but it does have cinnamon and salt. I was sceptical about this cake.

The cake came out the oven just before 11 pm so I left it to cool overnight, iced it in the morning, took a few pics, cut a slice for Riaan and popped the rest of the cake in a cake tin to take to the office. Sidenote: one of the perks of being an adult – no one can tell you what you can or can’t eat for breakfast.
The Mary and Me Undertaing Carrot CakeAnd then, the worst thing happened. Walking from the station to the office, my gym bag slipped off my shoulder and yanked my arm, sending the cake tin flying, it bounced, popped open and my poor cake faceplanted on a north London pavement.

My reaction: Tin flying – OH NO, Cake face plants – Ah shit, come on! I consider the 5-second rule, (not happening, this is a LONDON PAVEMENT) and then I just stand there and start to laugh out loud at my cake, on the floor. I pick up my now dented cake tin, pull out my phone and take a photo of my pavement cake because what else can you possibly do at a time like this.
The Mary and Me Undertaking Carrot CakeRiaan is the only person that got to taste the cake. I only ate a big crumb – definitely not big enough to base an opinion on. Riaan’s opinion: his mom’s cake is better (of course), but with good reason, the banana wasn’t expected in a carrot cake and it was lacking flavour.

Difficulty: Easy

The verdict

The cake batter was easy to bring together and baked for about 50 minutes. The cake wasn’t too sweet but it wasn’t a hit with Riaan, I’m sure the rats and birds of North London enjoyed it though. I did thoroughly enjoy licking the icing spoon after icing the cake.

Will I make it again? And what will I do differently next time?

Probably not, I’ll be sticking with the family recipe, I might keep this icing recipe though, it was pretty delicious.

In case you missed them, you can read about my undertaking here and about my first bake here.


  1. katie

    nooooo the poor cake! i gotta admit that picture did make me laugh though, life can be a little bitch sometimes but if you cant learn to laugh at it youll never get anywhere!

    katie. xx

    • SimmyVos

      Haha Katie glad you enjoyed it! I think the people passing me on the pavement must have thought I was crazy standing there laughing at my cake. And that is so true, you gotta be able to laugh at yourself!

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