Yummy scrummy carrot cake

Yummy scrummy carrot cake

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(777 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

    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, 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, questions and tips

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Comments (979)

Emma_Milo's picture

AMAZINGGGGG AHH, so incredibly moist and juicy but light all at once, and the flavours uhh just to die for

gekkotoes's picture

I love carrot cake and this is one of my favorite recipes. I have tried reducing the oil and sugar as others have suggested, but I have found for it to make any significant calorific difference, it alters the balance of the recipe and whilst flavour can be boosted the texture is denser. I do add walnuts or pecans sometimes and these work well - I tend to chop them and mix them in rather than putting them on the top as I find they start to burn resulting in a bitter flavour. My children really like it when I put sour cherries and cranberries, usually half and half with the raisins, you get a pop of tartness - which is really quite good. I don't bother with the frosting most of the time, but I do sometimes give it a sprinkle of cinnamon sugar whilst it is still warm. A really good cake, so glad I tried it! Worth every star!

lornamcinnes's picture

This is a terrific recipe that can withstand a lot of tweaking. To make it a bit healthier I reduced the oil to 100ml and the sugar to 90g, and increased the carrot to 200g and raisins to 130g. I also used a mixture of white and wholemeal self-raising flour and added half a teaspoon of baking powder (as well as the bicarbonate) to compensate for the wholemeal flour. It rose perfectly and was ready in 40 minutes. Since I like the spiciness of carrot cake I added a little ground ginger and a bit more cinnamon than the recipe says. I would definitely recommend trying it and tweaking it to your own preferences. Absolutely delicious.

Pauline Wan's picture

Took previous suggestions and decreased oil as well as sugar. Used currants and sultanas as I ran out of raisins. Added some ground ginger as well. Took 35 minutes to bake. Served it with cream cheese frosting. Yum!
-Pauline Wan, Singapore

jeni's picture

Made this for my mum's birthday cake. The only thing I changed was the icing, at my sister's request as she loves the cream cheese topping. The cake was quick and easy to mix and came out perfectly cooked, light and very tasty, in exactly the time given on the recipe (40 mins). Everyone loved it. I'm sure it is fine to add in walnuts and tweak in other ways to 'personalise' the cake to individual tastes, but if you just want a recipe that works really well, just do it as stated. Five stars from me!

delicousfoods's picture

This is such a delicious fool proof recipe my only tip would be measure the Bi carbonate accurately as it can turn the carrots green if you add to much (still tastes great though)

gekkotoes's picture

How much did you put in to turn the carrots green? A teaspoon is nowhere near enough to do that. It would also taste really awful, are you sure you didn't use something else by mistake?

martus's picture

A fantastic, easy to make cake that remains moist for a good few days!
As suggested by others, I used 110 ml oil, 140 g sugar and 190 g of carrots and it worked a treat!
Skipped the icing and used a round spring form, baking for 35 mins in a fan assisted oven.
Thank you for a brilliant recipe! 10 out of 10.

incinur's picture

Great taste, light and healthy cake. I made this cake today and it's amazing. I used 100ml. Oil, 75gr wholemeal, 100gr all purpose flour, I also used 87.5gr "half spoon sugar" and added a 200mg vitamin C tablet (to help the rising). It turned out great.

Izzy188's picture

The cake turned out amazing! I put 150ml oil, 190g carrots and 140g brown sugar and 2 eggs. BUT my only problem was that the cake didnt rise at all. Anyone one with the same problem? I did put self raising flour and 2 tsp of baking powder. What can i do next time to rise more? Thanks

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!


Questions (16)

Nyh's picture

How much walnuts can we add to this recipe? I love nuts in my carrot cake. Thanks

goodfoodteam's picture

Try adding 85g/3oz walnuts to start with.

Emmy2015's picture

Can I use instead a deeper and shorter tin instead? That's because I have a taller silicon cake tin, is it suitable as well?

sallyassadi's picture

Can I use this recipe for cupcake?

Annie17's picture

Could you reduce the amount of oil further? It works well with 150ml. What would happen if you used 125ml or even 100ml. I guess I could just try, but thought I'd ask first!

goodfoodteam's picture

Hi there, thanks for getting in touch. We haven't tested this recipe with 100ml of oil so cannot guarantee perfect results. Baking is a bit of a science so it could be that altering the quantities too far could adversely affect the texture of the finished cake but please do let us know how you get on if you do adapt the recipe. 

sodeindea's picture

Hiya, I was wondering: Does this recipe freeze well (without the frosting)? And how long does it last at room temperature?

goodfoodteam's picture

Hi, thanks for your question. This cake is fine to freeze. Alternatively keep in an airtight container for 2-3 days. 

_aore_'s picture

Hi, I have made this cake so many times and its amazing. However, I am type 1 diabetic and after eating this my blood is mad. Have you any idea how many carbohydrates is in the cake?

goodfoodteam's picture

Hi _aore_ thanks for getting in touch. Per piece (the cake some cut into 15 pieces) there are 39g of carbohydrate which is 585g for the whole cake. This information is listed at the top of each of our recipes (below the sharing buttons and above the method and shopping tools) I hope this is helpful. 

fayemily's picture

I made this cake the other week as a practice for a top tier of a Christening cake (obviously I intend not to frost it and will instead be covering it for decoration). Unfortunately as soon as I took it out of the oven it sank a little in the centre, and although it tasted cooked in the middle, it was a bit soggier - yet the rest of the cake was delicious. Is there any way to stop the cake from sinking and to bake evenly?

DGZ's picture

What spice can I use instead of nutmeg? Thanks in advance, :).

fayemily's picture

I just used 'ground spice' as I didn't have any nutmeg. Hope that helps :) (although I'm 3 months too late!)'s picture

This looks great. Can anyone suggest a substitute for the eggs? My friend is allergic!

miamibe's picture

how finely should I grate the carrots for this cake ?

goodfoodteam's picture

Hi there, thanks for your question. A standard grater would be fine for this recipe - like you would use to grate cheese. Hope the cake turns out well. 

BBC Good Food team

Tips (6)

nobbynorris's picture

To really give this fantastic recipe some zing, don't use water with the icing sugar mix. Instead grate the zest of 4 limes. Squeeze the limes in to a bowl and use the juice to mix the icing (about 10 tsp) to the mix. Then sprinkle the grated zest on top for decoration. The sugar takes the bite out of the bitterness. This added to the orange in the cake makes a really fresh, zingy taste.

poshcakes's picture

This works really well with Gluten Free flour instead. My favourite!

hoimen's picture

I used the mascarpone and lime to made the frosting. Still yummy,and fresher!

jessieevee's picture

Made this the other day, but with a couple of tiny tweaks. I used 160g light muscovado sugar and added a handful of chopped walnuts to the wet batter.

Baking time was only about 30-40 minutes. I kept checking with a cake thermometer. when it was about to reach the 30 minute mark.

All in all, recipe is quite good. Just like how my mum used to make. I skipped the frosting as eating it in itself is already a treat.

kupoqueen's picture

Best carrot cake I have ever had :)
Although, I find that you don't need as much icing sugar as the recipe states to just drizzle over the top as the picture shows. I also made the cake another time with the typical creamy topping from another goodfood carrot cake recipe (Carrot & cream cheese cupcakes), which made it even more delicious and indulgent.
Hope to try it with nuts added next time

dee2dum's picture

Made this last night for work as a Gluten and Lactose free cake (variety of dietary issues in my office!). The girls LOVED it. I used Dove's Farm gluten free flour, and about a tablespoon of orange juice - gluten free flour always absorbs more water. Worked like a dream.

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