Yummy scrummy carrot cake

Yummy scrummy carrot cake

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(789 ratings)

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


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

  • Freezable
  • Dairy-free

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal265
  • fat12g
  • saturates2g
  • carbs39g
  • sugars24.8g
  • fibre1g
  • protein3g
  • salt0.41g
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  • 175g light muscovado sugar
  • 175ml sunflower oil
    Sunflower oil

    Sunflower oil

    A variety of oils can be used for baking. Sunflower is the one we use most often at Good Food as…

  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 140g grated carrot (about 3 medium)



    The carrot, with its distinctive bright orange colour, is one of the most versatile root…

  • 100g raisins
  • grated zest of 1 large orange



    One of the best-known citrus fruits, oranges aren't necessarily orange - some varieties are…

  • 175g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
    Bicarbonate of soda

    Bicarbonate of soda

    Bicarbonate of soda, or baking soda, is an alkali which is used to raise soda breads and full-…

  • 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


  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.

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Comments (989)

jiranma's picture

You can't really just change the proportions of everything. You already reduced the oil and sugar which reduces moisture and tenderness, and you further reduced the number of eggs, which will give you less rise and moisture as well. Unless you are trying to reduce the size of the cake you're making, you might want to consider replacing like for like, for ingredients you have removed. I have made this recipe many times, so from experience, I will be able to tell you, if you want it to be just as moist and tender as the original recipe, just be more aware of what you change in the recipe. Also, the reason why your cake did not rise is because the recipe calls for bicarbonate, not baking powder. Huge difference there.

esjayyy94's picture

Had this recipe in the oven for over 50 minutes and it unfortunately still caved in the middle. Although it tasted lovely I'd say it still could have done with an extra 15/20 minutes. Use the knife test to check your cake in the middle before taking it out on the oven. I went by the time given in the recipe trusting it would be the same for all ovens but use it as more of a general guidelines and use your basic knowledge of cake making to know when to take it out of the oven

jiranma's picture

Because the recipe uses self-raising flour and calls for bicarbonate, sometimes the amount of raising agents might cause your cake the cave in. You can experiment with a Victoria sponge which uses self-raising flour as well. It will cave in if you put too much baking powder. Made this cake countless times and it is more likely the cake over-rises and peaks a bit more than I would've liked (can be due to over-mixing), but never caving in. So I would say, extend your baking time and be accurate with the bicarbonate in the recipe. Saves you from a tough n coarse crumbed cake.

van1968's picture

Made this today with 110ml of olive oil, 110ml of sugar, 200g of carrots and 1 teaspoon of mixed spice as no cinnamon or nutmeg. Very light and moist, absolutely delicious.

simonetossa's picture

5 stars! Perfect yummy and moist cake.

Frantic Flapjack's picture

Easy to make and very good, light end result. I didn't bother with the topping and used just 100ml oil. The only reason I didn't give it five stars was the next day it looked a bit too moist, as if the oil was seeping out.

ellieamini's picture

I made this recipe yesterday, and i think baking powder is better than bicarbonat of soda!
Only 125 ml oil, the next time will use 100ml.

lem0ndrizzle's picture

i made this today, but instead of an orange, used 2 lemons and about 170g of grated carrots. despite the full amount of sugar and oil, i found the cake not too sweet, even with the raisins, and not greasy at all. most of the raisins fell to the bottom but overall the cake is delicious, not heavy like the previous ones i have made. didn't bother with the icing, but had it with natural unsweetened yogurt, which was perfect.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 :).


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