Take a moment to look around you. Everything from the coffee mug on your table to the lamp in your room was designed – designed to look luxurious, designed to look quirky and maybe even designed to look, well, designed. But what about being designed to look delicious?

This weekend, I tried my hand at the art of food styling with a cake that hasn’t been baked in our home for almost a decade now – the humble carrot cake. It’s a mix of Alton Brown’s recipe and The Guardian’s frosting with food styling tricks from an episode of MasterChef Australia.

It took about six hours in total and my sister’s nifty frosting skills to finish off, but it was worth every minute of effort that went in to watch four grown adults drool when it was plated up.

The recipe

Toss 350g of grated carrots into a mix of 350g all-purpose flour, 1 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp baking soda, ¼ tsp allspice powder, ¼ tsp cinnamon powder, ¼ tsp nutmeg and ½ tsp salt until the carrots are evenly coated.

Whisk 200g of soft dark brown sugar, 3 eggs, 150g of vegetable oil and an optional 150g of yogurt together. Fold in the floured carrots and 100g of chopped walnuts.

Pour the batter into a cake tin lined with butter and flour. Bake the cake for 45 minutes at 180°c followed by 20 minutes at 160°c or until a pierced skewer/knife comes out clean.

Cool the cake for 4-6 hours, then trim the top and slice the cake into two discs.

Whisk 150g of cream cheese, 50g of soft dark brown sugar, the rind of half a lemon and 1 tbsp of lemon juice together. Cool this frosting for 20 minutes in the refrigerator.

Sandwich a layer of frosting between the two cake discs and finally frost the top.