This cake is the winner: grated apple and carrots, caramel syrup and brown sugar and a delicate ripple of mixed spice make it deliciously aromatic and moist – the lemon icing on is just the proverbial cherry on top.
Despite its steps, it is incredibly easy to make and keeps really well (opt for an airtight tin or if pushed, a big freezer bag clipped over a plate) making it a real cut-and-come-again type bake, ideal for a friends and family do or a weekend when you know lots of people will be coming by.
Preheat the oven to 180c and lightly grease and line the cake tin.
Place the margarine, syrup and brown sugar (or coconut sugar) into a saucepan and heat gently over a low heat, stirring every now and then, until the sugar has completely dissolved. Take off the heat and pour into a large mixing bowl and leave to cool for 10 minutes.
Trim the ends from the carrots and core the apple, finely grate both – I don’t worry about peeling either the apple or carrots (though I do give them a good scrub first) but please, feel free to peel both if you want to.
Spoon the apple puree into the syrup mixture and stir together, sift over the flour, baking powder and mixed spice and fold together. Next, add the grated apple, carrot and the ground flaxseed and fold together until completely combined and fragrant. Pour the cake mixture into the prepared tin and then bake in the oven for 1 hour – 1 hour 10 minutes or until risen and golden and firm to the touch.
Leave the cake to cool in its tin for 5 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Place the icing sugar into a mixing bowl and add the lemon juice, bit by bit, until the desired consistency. Spread over the cake and scatter over the lemon and orange zest.
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