Traditional Carrot Cake Recipe

I have yet to meet someone who doesn’t like carrot cake, it is such a classic dessert and it is one of those that everyone does it a little different. You can have the frosting on the top, have it as a thick layered cake with frosting in the middle, with walnuts, without…it lends itself to many variations.

For a long time I have used this recipe as my ‘go-to’ carrot cake recipe, it is based on another recipe from the BBC Good Food website called ‘Ultimate Carrot Cake Makeover‘, although I like to make things easy for myself and simplify. This recipe is quite easy to make and super delicious. However I also make a vegan carrot cake, based on this recipe which I prefer and highly recommend, and in a recent taste test between the two, my friends could not tell much of a difference between the two or which one was vegan.

Traditional Carrot Cake Recipe
Yield: 12 Servings
Difficulty: Easy
Cooking time:
Metric
US/Cups

Ingredients

For the cake

  • 1 large orange, peel
  • ½ large orange, juice
  • 125 g raisins
  • 400 g carrots
  • 115 g plain flour
  • 115 g self raising flour
  • 1¼ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 eggs (large)
  • 125 ml sunflower oil
  • 150 g dark brown sugar

For the frosting

  • 300 g full fat cream cheese
  • 4 tbsp icing sugar
  • ¼ tsp orange peel
  • 1½ tsp lemon juice

For the cake

  • 1 large orange, peel
  • ½ large orange, juice
  • 4½ oz raisins
  • 14 oz carrots
  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 1 cup self raising flour
  • 1¼ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 eggs (large)
  • ½ cup of sunflower oil
  • ¾ cup dark brown sugar

For the frosting

  • 10½ oz full fat cream cheese
  • 4 tbsp icing sugar
  • ¼ tsp orange peel
  • 1½ tsp lemon juice

Instructions

For the cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 160C (320F) fan
  2. Place the raisins in a small bowl and cover the juice of half an orange. Add the peel of the whole orange and set aside while you prepare the rest of the cake.
  3. Peel and grate the carrots. This is the most labour intensive part, so if you are lazy (like me) you can always use the grater part of you food processor if you have one. Set to one side for now.
  4. In a large bowl add the eggs and sugar and beat until it is thick and slightly foamy. Slowly add the oil and combine until mixed well.
  5. Add the carrots to the mixture and combine.
  6. In another bowl add the flours, baking powder, baking sofa and cinnamon and mix well with a fork.
  7. You can sieve this into the carrot mixture and fold it in until the batter has formed and it is mixed well and there are no lumps. You can choose to not sieve (I sometimes don’t) but you have to ensure then that there are no lumps from the flour.
  8. Line a 20 cm (8 inch) square tin with oil, and place a sheet of grease proof paper on the bottom.
  9. Pour in the mixture and bake for 45-50 minutes until you pierce it with a knife and it comes out clean.
  10. Place on a wire rack and allow to cool down completely before frosting. In fact this cake tasted better if the cake is done a day or two in advance and left in the refrigerator before frosting and serving.

For the frosting

  1. Add the cream cheese to a bowl with 1½ tsp lemon juice and 0.5 tsp of orange peel
  2. Sift 4 tbsp of icing sugar and mix well until it is all combined
  3. Spread along the top of the cake and garnish with walnuts and dried cranberries (optional)

    Carrot cake with cream cheese frosting
    Carrot cake with cream cheese frosting

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