Boozy Carrot cake

Oh, I’m skipping dinner and going straight to the carrot cake – Ozzy Osbourne


I totally love carrot cake, not as extreme as Ozzy Osbourne’s obsession with carrot cake (forcing his personal trainer to watch cooking shows with him on how to bake carrot cake, and having cupboards filled to the brim with carrot cake). I bake carrot cake, and I try a different recipe each time so that I can eventually create the ultimate rock star of carrot cakes. This carrot cake is the type that looks down on other carrot cakes and says, “So you think you’re a carrot cake hey?”

So what makes this carrot cake different to all the others you have had is the Van der Hum icing. A naartjie/mandarin flavoured liqueur, and a vanilla caramel topping.

So this earthy, fruity, nutty, boozy cake ticks all the boxes.



190g butter, soft

1 ½ tsp vanilla essence

1 ¼ cup white sugar

3 tbsp golden syrup

3 eggs

3 cups grated carrot

1 cup cake mix (raisins, sultanas, currant, orange peel)

1 cup walnuts, finely chopped

2 ¼ cups cake flour

1 tsp baking powder

½ tsp bicarbonate of soda

1 tsp nutmeg

1 tsp cinnamon


1 cup icing sugar

1 egg yolk

125g soft butter

2 tbsp Van der Hum


1/3 cup white sugar

1 tbsp butter

1 tbsp vanilla liqueur

1 tbsp water


3 tbsp chopped almonds

3 slices dehydrated naartjie/mandarin



  1. Cream the butter, vanilla and sugar until light in colour and fluffy.
  2. Beat in the syrup; add the eggs one at a time.
  3. Stir in the carrot, cake mix and walnuts.
  4. Add the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda.
  5. Divide between three round cake tins that are 20cm in diameter.Bake at 170˚C for 15-20 minutes or until cooked through and golden.Cool on a wire rack.
  6. Mean while make the icing by combining the soft butter, icing sugar, Van der Hum and egg yolk. Combine until smooth and a nice spreadable consistency.
  7. Spread over the top of all three cake layers. Place one on top of another, and finally the last one on top. Ensure that they are centered, so you do not have a leaning tower of carrot cake.
  8. Using a straight edged spatula spread the icing around the edges in long swiping motions around the cake. The icing must be spread all around, not too thick and not too thin, but if you see a bit of the cake through the icing it is fine, it is called Naked icing. Rustic is cool.
  9. Once the cake is completely iced and smooth, set aside for the icing to slightly set, but not in the fridge.
  10. To make the caramel, place the sugar in a flat based pan. Keep an eye on it as it burns quickly. Once the sugar starts melting shake the pan to evenly spread the sugar. When it becomes golden brown, turn down the heat and add the butter, then the vanilla liqueur and then the water.
  11. It will form a thick caramel and pour over the cake while still hot. Sprinkle with chopped almonds and garnish with dehydrated naartjie slices.

Makes: 1 three layer cake

Tip: you can use any nuts, and if struggling to find cake mix just raisins or sultanas can be used. The booze can be left out or replaced with a brandy based liqueur.

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