Carrot cake with cinnamon frosting

Carrot cake with cinnamon frosting

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(96 ratings)

Prep: 20 mins Cook: 1 hr Plus overnight soaking


Cuts into 8-10 slices
Who can resist a slice of moist, frosting-topped carrot cake with a warming cuppa?

Nutrition and extra info

  • Can be frozen before icing

Nutrition per serving

  • kcalories592
  • fat41g
  • saturates14g
  • carbs51g
  • sugars36g
  • fibre2g
  • protein7g
  • salt0.83g
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  • zest and juice 1 orange



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

  • 50g sultanas
  • 150ml sunflower oil, plus extra for greasing

    Sunflower oil

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

  • 2 eggs



    The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition, packed with protein and a…

  • 140g soft light brown sugar
  • 85g wholemeal self-raising flour
  • 85g self-raising flour
  • 2 tsp each ground cinnamon and ground mixed spice



    A fragrant spice which comes from the inner bark of a tropical tree. When dried, it curls into…

  • 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-…

  • 140g carrots, coarsely grated



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

  • 50g walnuts, chopped, plus a few halves to decorate



    Walnuts are one of the most popular and versatile of all nuts. When picked young, they're…

For the icing

  • 200g soft cheese
  • 50g butter, softened



    Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…

  • 85g icing sugar, sifted
  • pinch ground cinnamon



    A fragrant spice which comes from the inner bark of a tropical tree. When dried, it curls into…

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  1. If you have time to do it the night before, put the orange zest and juice in a bowl with the sultanas. If you don’t have time, on the day simply stir the zest, juice and sultanas together and microwave on Medium for 1-2 mins.

  2. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4 and grease and line the base and sides of a 2lb loaf tin. Whisk together the oil and eggs. Mix together the sugar, flours, mixed spice, cinnamon and bicarb in your largest mixing bowl. Add the sultanas with any juice and zest left in the bowl, grated carrot, walnuts and whisked egg mixture into the dry ingredients, then thoroughly mix with a wooden spoon. Tip into the loaf tin and bake on the middle shelf for 1 hr, or until a skewer comes out clean. Cool the cake in the tin.

  3. Once cool, remove from the tin and make the icing. With an electric whisk, beat together the soft cheese, butter, icing sugar and cinnamon until smooth. Spread over the top of the cake and decorate with walnut halves.

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Comments (124)

sophs1989's picture

This recipe makes baking a carrot cake so easy! It's the best recipe I've come across and I would definitely recommend it to anyone.

melcrucher's picture

I've made this cake twice now and both times it's been perfect. Followed the receipe by the book. The only thing I couldn't get right was the topping. Although tasty, the butter wouldn't mix with the cheese properly and formed little lumps of butter. I thought this was because the butter was too cold, but second attempt it was room temperature.

colalouise's picture

Try mixing the butter and icing sugar together first until smooth then add the cream cheese. Try not to mix the mixture too much once the cream cheese is added in as it will go runny.

I always do it this way and it works everytime.

Harver22's picture

This carrot cake is Devine.... Made especially for my two boys 4 and 7, they love carrot cake and this went down a treat. Tweaked just a little, halfing the cinnamon and mixed spice to just 1 tsp each, also left out the walnuts. The frosting was slightly runny but stiffened once fridgerated. Will be making this a lot!! Fab recipe.

therealslimsal's picture

Really pleased with how this cake turned out, very moist & delicious. Apart from just using normal self-raising flour and not putting walnuts in it I followed the recipe exactly. I think the amount of spices is just right.
But the icing is too runny as others have said. I made a second batch using a different recipe.
I will definitely be making this cake again.

pocketlucy's picture
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I used just normal self-raising flour (instead of half wholemeal), and added a drop of vanilla extract to the icing. Turned out great - so lovely and moist! I also found I ended up with extra icing (but just ate it with a spoon, so no harm done!)

Will definitely use this recipe to make all my carrot cakes in the future :)

siobhan cooke's picture

Made this a couple of times ,very nice moist cake. Made a few little changes like only added 100g of sugar and was sweet enough didn't put the fruit but put in the juice of the orange. Used the zest in the icing instead of the cinnamon and used half the amount of cream cheese for the topping and it was just right, the first time I made there was too much icing. Will be making this again and again!

belindacaroline's picture
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This was my first ever time of making carrot cake (last weekend I made the coconut and parsnip cake on this site and found it disappointingly dry and lacking flavour), followed this recipe in every detail and the result was superb. In my fan oven at 170 degrees it took one hour to cook. Tasty, moist, perfectly risen (no uncooked areas and no 'collapse' in the middle). I was really impressed with the result and the recipe is definitely going to be used many times in the future!

chichi13's picture
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Made this with 'help' from my 4&5 yr olds- deelish!!
Left out sultanas and orange as didn't have and only used regular self raising flour. Also didn't have mixed spice so used 1/4tsp ground ginger.
Used a little vanilla essence in frosting instead of cinnamon and 1/2 quantity as per other suggestions.
Very easy to make and very tasty. Will definately make again.

lzbear's picture
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First ever attempt at a carrot cake. Baked 2 of these at the same time, in a rush to take to a friend's so it didn't have time to cool or be iced. By the time it got to eating, it had reabsorbed a lot of the steam so it was even more moist than it should have been but it didn't suffer for it as it became a bit more pudding-y in texture which worked out a treat as a dessert with ice-cream. Other one was allowed to cool and was a perfect light cake texture. They took 45 mins in a fan oven at the stated temperature. Everyone who tried it thought it was excellent, I will experiment with reducing sugar and oil next time but a top recipe as is, another keeper.

potatohead's picture

Made this earlier today. Cake took 48 minutes in my fan oven at the stated temperature so suggest keeping an eye on it. Also following the icing recipe to the letter gave me running icing, not thick glorious frosting. Did use low fat Philly so perhaps to blame? Fat/reduced fat not stated. Neither was size of eggs. Used two large. Will judge once cake is cut. Disappointing icing :-(

colalouise's picture

You have to use full fat cream cheese and also try not to mix too much as cream cheese goes runny quickly. :)

piiran's picture

This cake really perfect and healthy ,,i just less sugar and is great for diet plans ..thanks

clamlett's picture
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Best carrot cake I've ever had.

cshobbs's picture
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I don't have a microwave, so I heated the sultanas in a pan with some orange juice. I did this a couple of hours before I made the cake, but this was enough to plump up the fruit.
I made it with gluten free flours.
I didn't top it with icing and it kept very well when stored in an air-tight tin.
Definitely worth making again!

Dotvic's picture

I have made this recipe twice - each time as a tray bake which cooks in 45mins. The first time I made it exactly to the recipe - the second time I used the microwave to plump up the fruit then put everything into the Kitchenaid to mix. I also cut the quantity of spices to one tsp each of cinnamon and mixed spice. I think this is enough - spicy but not too much! I've frozen most of the second batch and may drizzle some icing over it before cutting it into squares when serving it to friends next week. I don't know why baking soda is used rather than baking powder in this recipe - is it because of the orange juice? - just curious!

Lisas's picture

I have used this recipe lots of times now the cake always turns out perfect! It is a huge hit with friends and family. Made it foe a charity coffee morning and an argument broke out over who was going to buy the last piece

hellphooey's picture

First time I made carrot cake. This recipe is super easy and delicious, will definitely be making again. It is moist and flavourful. I forgot to buy walnuts and so left them out and I only had mixed fruit but it tasted great. You can really taste the orange. I added a bit mor cinnamon to the frosting to suit my taste as well.

gulimkosh's picture
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AMAZING cake! I have had bad experience with carrot cakes - they always too moist that when you put frosting and cut it you would found out it was not cooked!
This one is a perfect recipe - moist to a perfect degree - without any embellishments like crushed pineapple or coconut. I also doubled the size because this treat cannot be enough in the original portions! Also I am very happy with the colour! it is very dark! My previous cakes were never dark and it frustrated me because carrot cake should be dark - here I supposed the orange zest works as colouring


Questions (8)

sarahbeth13's picture

Can I replace the sultanas with nuts? I don't want any dried fruit in the cake.

goodfoodteam's picture

As there are only 50g sultanas, adding an extra 50g walnuts instead should be fine.

carolinelovescake's picture

I'd like to make a circular cake using this recipe - would these amounts fit an 8 inch circular tin?

windmill's picture

Can I freeze this cake ??

goodfoodteam's picture

Hi windmill thanks for your question. This cake is fine to freeze un-iced. Just make the frosting to cover the cake once defrosted. 

murras224's picture
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What is mean't by the calories per serving? for example is the total serving for the recipe the whole recipe / cake or each slice of the cake?

goodfoodteam's picture
Hi there thanks for your question, per serving refers to one portion. For example this cake serves 8-10, and the nutrition would be for one slice.
spanialgrowl's picture

If I don't want to add nuts can I replace them with extra sultanas?

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