Recipe

Halva, honey & carrot cake

A truly flavour-packed carrot cake.

  • 1 hr 50 mins cooking
  • Serves 12
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Halva is a crumbly Middle Eastern confectionery made from ground sesame seeds and sugar. We've teamed it up with other traditional Middle-Eastern cake ingredients – honey, nuts, spices and carrots – for a flavour-packed cake. Serve the cake with some poached fruit and yoghurt, if you like.

Ingredients

Halva, honey & carrot cake
  • 2 cups (300g) self-raising flour
  • ½ cup (75g) plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 medium carrots (360g), grated coarsely
  • ¾ cup (180ml) light olive or vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ cup (110g) firmly packed brown sugar
  • ½ cup (175g) honey
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 100 grams (3 ounces) vanilla sesame halva, crumbled
  • ¼ cup (25g) walnuts, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons pistachios, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds

Method

Halva, honey & carrot cake
  • 1
    Preheat oven to 170°C/340°F. Grease a 22cm (9-inch) springform pan; line base and side with three layers of baking paper, extending the paper 5cm (2 inches) over the side.
  • 2
    Sift flours, soda and cinnamon into a large bowl. Stir in carrot. Whisk oil, eggs, sugar, honey and vanilla in a medium jug or bowl until combined. Add to flour mixture; mix until just combined. Pour mixture into pan.
  • 3
    Combine halva, walnuts, pistachios and seeds in a medium bowl. Sprinkle evenly over cake mixture.
  • 4
    Bake cake for 1 hour 40 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean; cover cake loosely with foil if it starts to over-brown. Leave cake in pan for 10 minutes before transferring, top-side up, to a wire rack to cool.

Notes

Tip The halva will melt in the oven, then firm up again on cooling to set the nuts and seeds into a delicious caramelised topping. Halva is available from some delicatessens and Middle Eastern food stores.Serving suggestion Serve with thick vanilla bean yoghurt, dusted with sifted icing sugar, if you like.

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