Thursday, 2 June 2011

Kate's Cakes and Bakes: Top Bakes: Best Ever Carrot Cake Recipe

This is the first in an occasional mini-series entitled 'KatesCakesandBakes: Top Bakes'.

These recipes have come through a gruelling selection process over many months (think Simon Cowell meets Judge Judy meets Miss Trunchbull).

And to even be considered for audition for this occasional mini-series they will have had to:
  • be foolproof and failsafe
  • be reliable and reputable
  • be delectable and divine
  • be simple and striaghtforward
  • paid a small monetary bribe
Some tough, tough terms of inclusion you'll find. 

My first offering?
The carrot cake. Now I appreciate in previous posts I may have been rather disparaging of cakes containing vegetables. But the carrot cake is in a league of its own.
This one I've been baking since forever. Or at least June of last year when I first read about it in Good Food magazine.
The recipe goes a little like this, (I've changed a tiny bit from the original):

zest and juice 1 orange
50g sultanas
150ml sunflower oil , plus extra for greasing
2 eggs
140g soft light brown sugar
170g self-raising flour
2 tsp each ground cinnamon and ground mixed spice
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
150g carrots, grated
50g walnuts (optional)

100g full fat cream cheese
25g butter, softened
45g icing sugar, sifted

1. If you have time, put the orange zest and juice in a bowl with the sultanas and rest overnight
2. Otherwise simply stir the zest, juice and sultanas together and microwave for 1 minute
3. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4 and grease and line the base and sides of a 2lb loaf tin
4. Whisk together the oil and eggs
5. Mix together the sugar, flours, mixed spice, cinnamon and bicarbonate in a large bowl
6. Add the sultanas with any juice and zest left in the bowl, grated carrot, walnuts and whisked egg mixture and thoroughly mix with a wooden spoon
7. Tip into the loaf tin and bake on the middle shelf for 1 hr, or until a skewer comes out clean
8. Cool the cake in the tin
9. Meanwhile make the icing. With an electric whisk, beat together the soft cheese, butter, icing sugar and cinnamon until smooth
10. Spread over the top of the cooled cake with a spoon and decorate with walnut halves

Baker's notes...
  • The original recipe had double the quantity I've specified here for the icing ingredients. Even my sweet tooth couldn't quite handle that much icing
  • I've made it without the walnuts a couple of times and it is still super tasty
  • It will last for 2 days or so in an airtight container or fridge
  • The cake freezes well, providing you freeze it before icing
  • If the icing doesn't float your boat, try serving the cake with a bit of Greek yogurt


  1. this is a lovely recipe... amazing how many there are for this cake... yours looks so pretty too with the icing and the walnuts... fabulous stuff!

  2. Carrot cake is up there in my list of favourite cakes! Your cake looks yummy.


  3. I love this carrot ccake, look delicious! gloria

  4. Carrot cake is one of my favorites...yours looks scrumptious and pretty! You have a lovely blog by the way! :)


  5. Id love to be able to make carrot cake, looks great! I'm trying to teach myself how to bake at the moment, would love any advice you could give me!


Thank you very much for your comment- I appreciate every single one of them!