Lorraine Pascale's big fat carrot cake

(127 ratings)
Lorraine Pascale's big fat carrot cake
Lorraine Pascale's big fat carrot cake
  • Makes: 1

  • Prep time:

  • Cooking time:

  • Total time:

  • Skill level: Bit of effort

  • Costs: Mid-price

Carrot cake is easy and simple bake to have up your sleeve if you fancy a sweet treat. Lorraine Pascale describes her carrot cake recipe as a 'no-holds-barred cake with three moist spiced layers of pure excess'. We're sold! This easy carrot cake is perfect for a celebration as it looks the part and will also feed a crowd. This simple carrot cake recipe will show you how to make carrot cake in the most easy and basic way. The carrot cake itself is surprisingly easy to make, with plenty of grated carrot and warm spices - plus it's nut free if you simply leave out the nuts as an optional decoration. The sponges in this recipe for carrot cake are layered up with a gorgeous cream cheese frosting that will really set this carrot cake apart as something special. Adding lemon zest to the mixture really peps it up. Decorate with toasted nuts, or top with edible flowers for a pretty finish that will wow. The entire family will absolutely love this delicious and moist carrot cake.


  • 525ml (18 fl oz) vegetable oil
  • 9 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 525g (1lb 3oz) soft dark brown sugar
  • 420g (15oz) carrots, peeled and grated
  • Grated zest of 3 large oranges
  • 525g (1lb 3oz) self-raising flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tbsp mixed spice
  • Seeds of 1 vanilla pod or 2 drops vanilla extract
For the cream cheese frosting:
  • 200g (7oz) icing sugar
  • 40g (1 oz) butter, cubed
  • Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
  • Seeds of vanilla pod or 1 drop vanilla extract
  • 115g (4 oz) low-fat cream cheese, chilled
  • Handful of pecans or walnuts, toasted to decorate
You will also need:

Three x 23cm (9in) round tins

Top tip: Lorraine says: 'If you dont fancy making this sky-high cake, which takes a whopping nine eggs, then knock off a third of the ingredients and make a more humble two-layer cake instead.'


  1. Preheat the oven to 180C (325F, gas mark 4). Prepare the tins by oiling the insides and lining the bases with baking paper.
  2. Put the oil, eggs, sugar, carrots and orange zest in a large bowl and mix with a wooden spoon. If youre making all three tiers, you may have to do this in batches. Mix the flour, salt, bicarbonate of soda and mixed spice together, then sift into the bowl. Add the vanilla and lightly mix everything together until the mixture is uniform but still soft and runny.
  3. Ladle into the prepared tins and bake in the oven for 4045 minutes. Ovens vary so have a peek after 30 mins to see how the cakes are getting on. The cakes are ready when the sponge springs back up if pushed lightly. A skewer inserted into the middle should come out clean.
  4. Leave to cool for 5 mins or so, then turn out onto a wire rack and peel off the paper.
  5. For the cream cheese frosting, mix the icing sugar, butter, lemon zest and vanilla together in a bowl, then whisk well to combine. Stir in the cream cheese. If the mixture looks too runny, put it in the fridge for 1012 mins to harden up. When the cakes are cool, take two of them and use a large, sharp knife to slice off the domed tops, leaving them completely flat. Dont slice the top off the third cake.
  6. Put a dollop of frosting in the middle of a serving plate or stand to stop the cake from sliding. Take one of the flattened cakes and place it on top. Then pop a big spoonful of frosting onto it and spread all over, leaving a 2.5cm (1in) gap around the edge so that the frosting does not squelch over too much when you add the next layer. Put the next flattened cake on top and repeat with more frosting. Put the unsliced tier on the top, cover generously with frosting and decorate with toasted nuts, if desired.
Taken from Baking Made Easy by Lorraine Pascale (Harper Collins, 18.99)

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  • 4
(127 ratings)

Your comments

Sarah jane

What temp would be recommended fan oven?

Sarah Ward

Have made this a couple of times and it's delicious. Easy to follow recipe - I am having my grandson over for a 'cooking day' and am going to get him to make this.

Helen Hayes

Made this with gluten-free flour without any other adjustments and it came out lovely and moist. Would go a bit easier on the mixed spice next time and double the amount of frosting but that's probably down to personal taste.

Valerie Morgan

wow....made this cake today,turned out just like picture,i am so impressed,looks fab !


Made this for the time, tis enormous but quickly devoured at the office - keen to make another :)


I'd love to make this. Carrot cake has always been one of my favourites and this looks so irresistibly plump and delicious. It has the added bonus of counting as one of my five a day :) The only problem is that it would be impossible to cut just a small slice.


I made this in January this year as a treat, and just because I fancied a go at making carrot cake :) It turned out huge! I should've been prepared for it to be so big, with there being 3 layers, but it looked massive on the serving plate. I added sultanas to make it a little more fruity and everyone who had a piece (my sister took half!) said it was delicious. I didn't use walnuts as I'm not a fan. I love cream cheese frosting, and I could've eaten this frosting just on it's own :-p I'd definitely make it again! Yummy!

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