Yummy scrummy carrot cake

Yummy scrummy carrot cake

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(756 ratings)


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Cooking time

Prep: 1 hr - 1 hr, 15 mins Including 40-45 minutes in the oven.

Skill level



Cuts into 15 slices

The lightest and most enticingly moist carrot cake you will ever come across - just find a good hiding place for it!

Nutrition and extra info

Additional info

  • Freezable
  • Dairy-free
Nutrition info

Nutrition per serving

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  • 175g light muscovado sugar
  • 175ml sunflower oil
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 140g grated carrots (about 3 medium)
  • 100g raisins
  • grated zest of 1 large orange
  • 175g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp grated nutmeg (freshly grated will give you the best flavour)

For the frosting

  • 175g icing sugar
  • 1½-2 tbsp orange juice

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  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas 4/fan 160C. Oil and line the base and sides of an 18cm square cake tin with baking parchment. The easiest way to do this is to cut two long strips the width of the tin and put each strip crossways, covering the base and sides of the tin, with a double layer in the base.
  2. Tip the sugar into a large mixing bowl, pour in the oil and add the eggs. Lightly mix with a wooden spoon. Stir in the grated carrots, raisins and orange rind.
  3. Mix the flour, bicarbonate of soda and spices, then sift into the bowl. Lightly mix all the ingredients – when everything is evenly amalgamated stop mixing. The mixture will be fairly soft and almost runny.
  4. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 40- 45 minutes, until it feels firm and springy when you press it in the centre. Cool in the tin for 5 minutes, then turn it out, peel off the paper and cool on a wire rack. (You can freeze the cake at this point.)
  5. Beat together the frosting ingredients in a small bowl until smooth – you want the icing about as runny as single cream. Set the cake on a serving plate and boldly drizzle the icing back and forth in diagonal lines over the top, letting it drip down the sides.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, May 2002

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Brq's picture

Best carrot cake recipe I've tried but as mentioned by others its best to reduce the oil to atleast 150-55ml instead to prevent it from being to oily and greasy also added an extra carrot and it tasted great! Didn't change the sugar so not sure if any other type would taste different.
My only issue was that I used a loaf tin which meant it took longer in the oven as it was wobbly in the middle, so it is best to stick with a tray or regular cake tin :)
Will definitely use this again!

Bernie76's picture
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OMG this cake is amazing! Cooked perfectly and looked perfect! Tasted wonderful. It is so moist and not too sweet did frost it with cream cheese frosting! Did cut the sugar down too 110g and I used Olive oil and also cut it down too 100ml and upped the carrots to 190g! Was truly delicious no wonder it gets great rating! Will be making it again!

annbishop's picture
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I bake a lot and often add my own twist to the recipe but have done this a dozen times now and kept strictly to the recipe :D it is the lightest and most beautifully moist carrot cake ever ........love it and so do most of the village where I live who have all sampled it at one event or another. Thanks Good Food another hit with me

gwilly.d's picture

This is perfect. Great cake and the recipe works brilliantly.
I'm thinking of adapting it to be a carrot and orange drizzle cake just to try a variation.
It is lovely to have a carrot cake which is not overwhelmed by buckets of american-style cream-cheese and/ or butter frosting - this cake definitely doesn't need it.
It is also a nice change to have a cake with such a lovely soft texture and without gritty lumps of walnut (which I despise in a cake) :o)

aboyd's picture
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Made this recipe yesterday... Added a 1/2 tsp of ginger, a handful of walnuts finely chopped and 1/2tsp of baking powder (no bicarbonate soda left)! Only used 100ml of oil too! Delish!

Had every little orange zest so added the juice of one clementine... turned out great!

I think the fresh juice added to the soft texture due to reducing the amount of oil I used :D

Didn't use the icing on top due to family preferences but to be honest - you don't need it.. cake is tasty by itself.

Carys-J's picture

I made a gluten free version of this recipe... I substituted the SR flour for GF self raising flour and also included 1/2 teaspoon of xantham gum with the dry ingredients too. I ended up cooking it for an hour or so on 180 degrees. it was no where near cooked after 45 minutes for me.
The icing was a lush change to the usual cream cheese frosting, it compliments the cake perfectly. Sometimes I think cream cheese frosting can overshadow the cake.

Bengma's picture
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Perfect for the novice baker. I've hardly ever baked before but we had a bake off competition at work and I'm not one to say no to a challenge so I baked this.

As I stood proudly by my cake I got comments like "Your cake is amazing", "This is delicious", "Ben, are you actually going to do any work today?", "This tastes so good" and "Seriously, get back to work, now!".

Now that I'm unemployed I have a lot of time on my hands so I'm thinking I'll enter the Great British Bake Off, I'm pretty sure I'm ready now.

nik-o-lai's picture
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I actually had a really disappointing result with my attempt. Followed previous commenter's advice to reduce the oil. I cooked it for 45 minutes until it looked done and my skewer came out clean but the cake was just horribly soggy and oily to eat. It didn't rise, either. I'm sure the taste would have been nice if the cake texture wasn't so disgusting.

JHKLLZHARH's picture

Great cake the only change I made was using 100grams of soft light brown sugar and 75 grams of dark brown sugar other than that I followed this to the letter and was fantastic. It didn't last long though as everyone loved it even my mother in law who doesn't eat carrots

aparnaa842's picture
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I've made this cake about 3 times now, experimenting each time. The best result:
Baking in a round silicone tin for 30 minutes at 160 fan. I used the full amount of self raising flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder (no baking soda in the house), cut sugar to 140g, cut oil to 110ml, didn't use any sultanas, used about 190g of grated carrot, zest of 2 oranges and the recommended amount of cinnamon & nutmeg. I used an egg replacement mix for the 3 eggs. For the icing, I used the cream cheese frosting recipe from another of the bbc good food carrot cake-y recipes. It all turned out absolutely beautifully - I took the cake to work the next day and my colleagues couldn't get enough. The cake was light and crumbly and the frosting was amazing. Delish!

Carol C's picture

Made this today had to use soft dark brown sugar and powdered nutmeg but they still turned out fab. Put a cream cheese frosting rather than just drizzle with icing sugar and they looked extra special. So easy to make so thanks for wonderful recope!

Jay14's picture

I made these as cupcakes over the weekend and they're completely gone! My husband doesn't have too much of a sweet tooth and he loved these! his exact words were, "I hope you saved this recipe" :).
I only had brown sugar on hand, no orange or fresh nutmeg. And these still turned out fantastic. Following the tip from other reviewers, i only used a little under 150 ml oil but for next time i think I might bring down to maybe just over 100ml because i felt these were a bit too moist/oily. I used about 1 cup packed brown sugar (but since i didn't use icing, i felt i should have put about 1/3 cup more). I also used 4 carrots. I skipped the icing as this was fine just as is. Oh, and this batch made exactly 12 cupcakes which baked for 20 mins (Gas 160). Yum! Can't wait to try this again with walnuts and maybe dates instead of raisins :).

Annie17's picture

Actually, don't bother with the icing, it doesn't add much and I prefer it without! I might try the cream icing that others have suggested next time.

Annie17's picture

Oh. My. Goodness! What a great recipe! Thank you Good Food!
Like others I used 150ml oil (vegetable) and more carrots (180g). I also added 25g chopped walnuts and made them as muffins instead (makes 12 and took 20 minutes at gas180). I haven't iced them yet, but will try the icing in this recipe.

jo3008's picture
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I've made this cake a few times now, and is easily the best carrot cake recipe I have come across. The cake is wonderfully light and moist, and it doesn't last long when left out with the family around! I agree with the comment left by kateangel, in that I find 30 mins cooking time is about right. Again, that will probably vary from oven to oven though. The only thing I changed was the icing - I prefer more of a cupcake-type frosting which I just borrowed from the 'carrot cake cupcake' recipe on this site, and adapted slightly by adding a touch of orange juice. But that is purely a personal preference than anything else.

kateangel's picture

This cake is truly beautiful in flavour. Only niggle is that it is really done in 30 mins, not 40. It's possible its my oven, but they were a little singed around the edges and less moist than I would like! The orange and cinnamon work so perfectly. I ALWAYS do a thick creamy icing, and its totally worth it ^_^

shellstinyworld's picture

This is a lovely cake. I have made it several times and everybody likes it. I always make it in a rectangular loaf tin - I'm not sure it really matters what you make it in.

CJW's picture
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Made for the first time today- so good! Really baffled by comments stating that it's bland and tasteless as I found it to be really flavoursome. Reduced oil and increased carrot content as advised by many reviewers, but other than that left recipe alone. Orange zest adds a real lift, so try not to omit that. Succumbed to temptation and made the cream cheese frosting as per cupcake recipe on this site (with addition of good squeeze of orange juice). Very very good.

wendek's picture

Hi i'm new to this site, can I just ask please can this carrot cake be cooked in a 10x10in tin, if possible could anyone tell me what the ingredient weights would be.. thank you very much.
Wendek sorry have just seen I've put this in the wrong catagory

sobia's picture

I'm new to baking wanted to make a carrot cake for a friend I followed this recipe but I read all the reviews and put in 200g carrots and 150ml oil and the cake turned out fantastic. Even though I opted out of putting the Orange zest and nutmeg. It still tasted wow .