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Yummy scrummy carrot cake

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(761 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

  • Freezable
  • Dairy-free
Nutrition info

Nutrition per serving

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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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CannyFradock's picture

I made this a few days ago as a treat because for a cake the calories and fat are low compared to many others. After making it with that much oil I don't really know where these figures have came from. There wasn't much flavour apart from grease. I'm going to try again today but try with a lot less oil and add more carrots, it just feels like There's not much to it. The icing is lovely but impossible to drizzle and that's after putting a lot more orange juice in Than the recipe says. I ended up just layering it on quite thick. There is probably potential if you mess with it a bit and I will try again but at the min I personally thought it was just ok

Murfy's picture

Just make this for my carrot cake loving mother. Unfortunately it's either me or the recipe, but she thought it as lacking in flavour. Didn't like the fact there were no nuts inside, and found the cake heavy. Her score was 5/10.

Also the 175g icing sugar amount is enough to completely cover the cake in a thick layer. Not a light drizzle as per the photo.

sheils50's picture

Used less oil and less sugar, added a couple of dates instead and worked perfectly!

LRMS1608's picture

I love this recipe & it is my go-to cake for all occasions now. I add some ginger to give it a bit of a kick & use buttercream as my family has a sweet tooth.

Bundt66's picture

Wow! Just wow.
This cake is amazing. I made it to the minutest of details, as given in the recipe, and it turned out fantastic. I'm amazed at how light and moist it is too. Initially, I wasn't sure about adding the raisins but they add to the cake's moisture and taste amazingly soft and juicy, once cooked.
Basically, this is the perfect carrot cake and one that I'll be baking many more times in the future. Thanks, Mary, for sharing this recipe.

vittoriacorda's picture

Best spin on a carrot cake I've tested. Made the 100g addition of raisins into a mixture of raisins, walnuts & cranberries; cranberries gave great color. Used finest grater on carrots, baked as a loaf - tin buttered & floured - , layered the glazed to have a relatively thick icing crust. Icing was transparent orange, seeped all too perfectly into the cake. Cut into 8 slices, ends discarded, folded a piece of parchment around each slice, & took to a picnic.

she-geek's picture

this cake is absolutely gorgeous :) i didn't have any nutmeg so used mixed spice instead, i didn't have any raisins so used sultanas and i didn't have an orange so sploshed in some pure orange juice instead of zest. it turned out really really nice, but will try it again with the listed ingredients. even my son likes it and he doesn't usually like carrot cake. fab recipe!

katashton's picture

I have used this recipe many times and have been able to amend it easily for a gluten free recipe when required. My coeliac friends were so grateful and everyone tucked in as usual!

I must admit I leave the raisins out and double up on the carrot, but that is personal taste

Bundt66's picture

hi katashton.
Could you please tell me how you made this recipe into a coeliac-friendly one, as one of my relatives is coeliac and I'd love to make this for him. Did you substitute the flour with ground almonds or something. Thanks in advance for any reply.

TawnyOwl1992's picture

This carrot cake is delicious! It's beautifully moist! Made it with cinammon cream cheese frosting instead of the orange icing. Really easy to make just use 150g of unsalted butter, 45g of caster sugar and 300g of full fat cream cheese. Cream together the sugar and butter, then mix in the cream cheese. Then add cinammon to taste.
You won't regret it honestly!

jprice55's picture

This was an excellent cake went down very well with our visitors for afternoon tea! Liked it much better than using a heavy topping.

samanthapodda's picture
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I have to tell you how AWESOME this recipe is its EASY and its sooooooo yummi! you can see mine here - -

I have used this recipe several times now and also made it for a gift
and 2 of the people have asked me to make it again!

thank you Mary Cadogan!
hugs me x

lancaster4's picture
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Absolutely perfect...I just changed the icing to apricot jam then sprinkled with desiccated coconut, delicious!

jbce01's picture
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Never had another carrot cake as nice or delicious as this. Every other time I've had any other carrot cake it is always a serious disappointment after you have eaten this recipe. Just so moist and tasty...just perfect!!

mindymoo62's picture
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I made this for a buffet tea, and it went down a storm! The guests were super impressed, and it tasted fantastic! Very moist, they devoured the whole lot and I had many compliments. I did a couple of tweaks - I added 50g if chopped walnuts and used mixed spice instead of nutmeg. I also topped it with cream cheese frosting ( used the recipe which is on the carrot cupcakes ) I added a little cinnamon to the frosting and it was fantastic! This is so easy to make,and will be my regular recipe from now on.. I made this in advance and put it in the freezer ( without the frosting ) it froze so well, I was impressed! Delicious .

ayshe77's picture

Gorgeous cake! The kids can't get enough of it.

cjhickmott's picture

This recipe is so easy and turns out perfect every time. I make this regularly at the cafe I run and also frequently get requests for it for fund raisers. Its easy,cheap,keeps well,freezes well.What more can you ask? I use vegetable oil or sunflower oil,whichever I have on hand.I make it as a round cake rather than a square,and have no problems with the icing.Other posters seem to have some problems,but essentially add enough orange juice (or water if neccessary)to get the right consistency. Drizzle or spread it,whatever takes your fancy.It works just as well without any icing,or just dusted with icing sugaar.

colette_smith's picture
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beth2227's picture
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Really tasty, light and moist. I added more of the spices than stated in the recipe as I didn't think it was strong enough. Will definitely keep this as my staple carrot cake recipe, 'best carrot cake ever' according to my little brother.

annando's picture
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One of the nicest carrot cakes I have tasted!! Also my first attempt at making one. Not overly sweet and extremely light. I agree that you do not need that much icing and I used a piping bag to drizzle it on. Will definitely be making this one again!!