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Carrot cake

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Learn how to make classic carrot cake with our easy recipe. The dense sponge of a carrot cake is easy to produce in the comfort of your own home, you just need to know how it's done. Our easy recipe, which comes with a step-by-step video, has been triple-tested by Woman's Weekly. Topped with a simple cream cheese frosting, this carrot cake is the perfect base for a birthday cake or even split into 12 for cupcakes

(252 ratings)
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  • Serves: 8

  • Prep time: 10 mins

  • Cooking time: 1 hr

    (plus 10 mins cooling time)
  • Total time: 1 hr 10 mins

  • Costs: Mid-price

  • Skill level: Bit of effort

  • Child friendly
  • Freezable
  • Editor's pick
  • Make in advance

That's goodtoknow

cartoon image of chef

You can wrap the undecorated carrot cake in a freezer bag and freeze for up to three months. Defrost before icing.

Ingredients

For the carrot cake:

  • 175g (6oz) wholemeal self-raising flour
  • 1 level tsp baking powder
  • 2 level tsp ground mixed spice
  • Pinch of salt
  • 150ml (¼ pint) sunflower oil
  • 175g (6oz) soft light brown sugar
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 100g (3½ oz) raisins
  • 250g (8oz) carrots, peeled and grated

For the cream cheese frosting:

  • 200g (7oz) cream cheese
  • Few drops vanilla extract
  • 3-4 level tbsp icing sugar
  • Orange and green food colouring

Method

  1. To make the carrot cake: Tip the flour into a bowl and stir in the baking powder, spice and salt. Then stir in all the remaining ingredients until well mixed. Pour the mixture into a 1kg (2lb) loaf tin, buttered and lined with a strip of baking parchment.
  2. Bake in centre of oven at 180°C, 350°F or gas mark 4 for about 1 hr, until just firm to the touch in the centre. A skewer should come out clean after being inserted into the middle.
  3. Remove from the oven. Allow to cool in the tin for 10 mins, then turn out on to a wire rack and leave to cool completely.
  4. To make the cream cheese topping: Beat together the cream cheese and vanilla extract. Add icing sugar to taste.
  5. Colour a small amount of icing orange and a small amount green, and use to fill a disposable piping bag each. Spread the remaining uncoloured icing over the top of the cake.
  6. Cut the end off the bag with the orange icing to give a small hole, and pipe tapered zigzags, to resemble carrots. Cut the end off the green icing bag into a 'V' shape and pipe leaves.
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Nutritional information per portion

  • Low
  • Med
  • High
  • Calories 481(kcal)
  • Fat 29.0g
  • Saturates 10.0g
  • Sugars 38.0g
  • Salt 0.6g

This nutritional information is only a guide and is based on 2,000 calories per day. For more information on eating a healthy diet, please visit the Food Standards Agency website.

Guideline Daily Amount for 2,000 calories per day are: 70g fat, 20g saturated fat, 90g sugar, 6g salt.

Your rating

Average rating

  • 4
(252 ratings)

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Your comments

Ruth Lindsay Whitney

I love this recipe. It's the first time I've made carrot cake and it turned out perfectly. Thank you :)

paichi

I too wish I'd checked the written ingredients with the video as video mentions 200 gms flour and written is 175 gms. Cake in oven as I speak so will hope for the best!

Skattybatty

Made this cake at the weekend. I followed the recipe exactly like it says, and the cake turned out lovely although abit too moist I will be making this cake again, for friends and family, but I dont think I will put quite as much sunflower oil in next time. Thank you for sharing this recipe .

mc dicko

grow up!

mc dicko

back of the net this carrot cake, i love it!!! xx :)

Healthcare

I have made this cake lots of times and it never fails. Everyone raves about it and thinks i must be some kind of nigella in the kitchen to make something that is good every single time! It is very easy to make and even the pain of having to grate all that carrot is well worth the effort. I work in a factory which has an excellent canteen and the two chefs who work here are very critical of other peoples work and they both have tried and loved this cake - praise indeed. My only comment would be that the icing ins't exactly easy to drizzle and i usually just end up spreading it all over the cake and finishing with a sprinkle of lemon zest but it's still great

Janet

I added a few Pecan nuts to the recipe and was very pleased with the result.

Tracey Stone

Hmmm, the recipe says 1 teaspoon of mixed spice, yet the video says 2 - i wish i'd watched the video BEFORE making the cake!

Vera

I for one didnt like it, followed the recipe and it eneded up too oily.

Emma

An amazing cake..this recipie is brilliant and doesn't break the bank. I've cooked it for everyone who comes to visit and they love it!!!! So easy and quick!! Make it! (I put Mascapone on the top) Yum!

samantha

This is the FIRST TIME I made a carrot cake and it TASTES GREAT!!!! I followed the recipe, It was realy easy. And the cake is beauitful, I even designed the carrot icing on top. THANK YOU

A. da Costa

Instead of cream cheese use fromage frais with 1or 2% fat...You can also get creme fraiche with half fat @ any super market...tesco, asda, sainsbury's et al. Enjoy. A. Da Costa

angela

can any one suggest another cream topping without using cream cheese

Windy

If you melt Sugar in a frying pan then put small carrots in it untill they are warm put them beside a slice of carrot cake and it tastes fantastic.

nan kinning

I add a good handful of chunky walnut peices to this recipe and it is delicious with the extra bite.

Magda

I love to add a bit of lemon and cinnamon to the topping on my carrot cakes - delicious.

Pat

this cake is still good without the topping. A syrup glaze is a change from cheese. to make the syrup: Juice of one small orange 1 tablespoon of lemon juice 3 oz soft dark brown sugar (75g) A soon as you put the cake in the oven start to make the glaze Take the cake from the oven and immediately stab the cake thoroughly all over with a thickish skewer then pour the syrup over the cake, it will flood the surface - doesn't matter leave it to cool in the tin and eventually all the syrup will be absorbed. WHEN LINING MAKE SURE THE PAPER COMES WELL ABOVE THE THE EDGE OF THE TIN OTHERWISE YOU WILL HAVE A FLOOD!!

percy shroff

Hi my name is Percy. I am studying in Chichester College and like to learn bakery and pastry course this type of receipe really helped me in my future study thanking you very much.I

Tina

ive never made a carot cake before and was scared b4 i did it but it was real easy

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