This chocolate passion cake traybake consists of a light moist chocolate carrot cake, topped with a chocolate cream cheese frosting. Easy enough to make for an everyday treat, delicious enough for a special occasion.
It has been adapted from a recipe which I first made many years ago for my first feature written for Woman’s Realm magazine. That was back in the late 80’s for an Easter baking feature. As I had forgotten why it was called passion cake I did a bit of research and as far as I can tell there is little difference between passion cake and carrot cake. Somehow I can’t help thinking passion cake sounds nicer.
Passion cake, carrot cake call it what you will, I added cocoa powder to the recipe to make a chocolate flavoured version.
The original recipe was made in a deep 20cm (8in) round cake tin. It was split into two layers and filled and topped with a chocolate cream cheese frosting to make a pretty cake for a special occasion, be it Easter as I originally intended, or any other time of the year.
However for this bake, I wanted to keep it simple and choose instead to make it as a traybake. I’m a big fan of traybakes or sheet pan bakes as they are also known. They are practical, especially when want to make a cake quickly for a lot of people or need to transport them easily, which makes them ideal for cake sales.
They also make great easy, cut and come again family cakes and they tend to be simply decorated as with this one which just has frosting swirled on top then topped with a few walnuts.
For a different look, you could spread level and mark into ridges with a fork. You could also use other chocolate decorations or just have frosting only.
How to make the chocolate passion cake
This cake is made by the whisking method. All the lift of the cake is produced by whisking air into the egg mixture (no raising agent required). First the eggs are whisked together with the sugar over a pan of hot water until very thick and mousse like. It is important to whisk the egg fully before moving on.
Cook’s tip – Whisk the mixture until it is thick enough to leave a trail when you lift the beaters up. If you can write your initials in the trail so that the first letter is only just disappearing as you finish the second the mixture is ready.
Then you fold in the chopped nuts, carrots, flour and cocoa. Finally, a little melted butter is drizzled over the mixture and folded in.
Then it is straight into the oven to bake. Remember to preheat the oven ready for the cake and to prepare the carrots and nuts first. If the cake stands about too long after you have whisked the eggs and sugar the weight of the other ingredients will slowly begin to knock the air out of the egg mixture.
How long will the Passion cake last?
The addition of carrots makes this cake very moist and it will keep for up to a week in an airtight container if stored in a cool place.
The cake also freezes well for up to 2 months both before and after frosting.
To freeze the sponge only, wrap in clingfilm or place it in an airtight container and freeze. Defrost thoroughly before decorating.
To freeze the finished cake, freeze in a suitable airtight container. Or open freeze the cake uncovered for a couple of hours. Then wrap the cake in clingfilm and return it to the freezer. Unwrap before defrosting the cake for about 3 hours at room temperature or overnight in the refrigerator.
- Leave the walnuts out or replace with chopped pecans.
- Replace the walnuts with sultanas or raisins.
- Top with a plain cream cheese frosting or try with my white chocolate buttercream
More Easy Cakes
How to make chocolate passion traybake step by step
Chocolate Passion Cake
For the cake
- 225 g (8oz) carrot finely grated
- 75 g (3oz) walnuts chopped
- 25 g (1oz) butter, melted and cooled
- 5 large eggs
- 150 g (5oz) golden caster sugar
- 175 g (6oz) plain flour
- 4 tbsp cocoa powder
- 350 g (12oz) cream cheese
- 175 g (6oz) caster sugar
- 175 g (6oz) milk chocolate melted
- Walnut halves or pieces to decorate
- rectangle cake tin or roasting tin approx 23 x27cm (9 x 11 in)
- baking prachment
- Preheat the oven to 190℃ (170℃ fan)/375°F/gas mark 5. Lightly grease and line a 23 x27cm (9 x 11 in) shallow cake tin or roasting tin. Finely grate 225g (8oz) carrots and chop 75g (3oz) walnuts. Melt 25g (1oz) butter and set aside.
- Place 5 eggs and 150g (5oz) caster sugar in a large mixing bowl and place over a pan of gently simmering water. Whisk until very thick and mousse like. Remove from the heat.
- Sift 175g (6oz) flour and 4 tbsp cocoa powder together and fold into the egg mixture. Then gently fold in the grated carrot and chopped walnuts.
- Finally drizzle over the melted butter and fold in. Pour the cake mixture into the prepared tin and bake in the centre of the oven for 45-50 minutes or until well risen and springy to the touch.
- Allow to cool in the tin for a few minutes then lift onto a wire rack and allow to cool.
- Make the frosting, beat 350g (12oz) cream cheese to soften. Gradually beat in 175g (6oz) of sifted icing sugar. Beat 175g (6oz) melted chocolate into the cream cheese mixture to produce a smooth glossy frosting.
- Spread the chocolate frosting over the top of the cake and swirl with a palette knife. Mark into squares and place a walnut piece on top of each square.
- If your tin is a little bigger than stated check to see if the cake is cooked a few minutes earlier than suggested. If it is a little smaller it may take slightly longer to cook.
- Check out the full recipeand tips for making the Chocolate cream cheese frosting here
- Store in an airtight container in a cool place for up to 1 week.
- Freeze for up to 2 months
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