The ultimate makeover: Carrot cake

The ultimate makeover: Carrot cake

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(82 ratings)

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Cooking time

Prep: 30 mins Cook: 1 hr

Skill level

Easy

Servings

Cuts into 16 squares

Angela Nilsen rethinks traditional ingredients and baking techniques to create a healthier version of a classic

Nutrition and extra info

Additional info

  • Cake only
Nutrition info

Nutrition per serving

kcalories
217
protein
4g
carbs
31g
fat
9g
saturates
1g
fibre
2g
sugar
21g
salt
0.52g

Ingredients

For the cake

  • 1 medium orange
  • 140g raisins
  • 125ml rapeseed oil
  • 115g plain wholemeal flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder, plus a pinch
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 rounded tsp ground cinnamon
  • 140g dark muscovado sugar
  • 280g finely grated carrots (about 375-400g carrots before peeling)
  • 2 eggs
  • 115g self-raising flour

For the frosting

  • 100g light soft cheese, straight from the fridge
  • 100g Quark
  • 3 tbsp sifted icing sugar
  • ½ tsp finely grated orange zest
  • 1 ½ tsp lemon juice

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Method

  1. Heat oven to 160C/fan 140C/gas 3. For the cake, finely grate the zest from the orange and squeeze 3 tbsp of juice. Pour the juice over the raisins in a bowl, stir in zest, then leave to soak while you make the cake. Lightly oil and line the base of a deep 20cm square cake tin. Mix the flours with 1 tsp baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and cinnamon.
  2. Separate one of the eggs. Put the white in a small bowl and the yolk in a large one. Break the remaining whole egg in with the yolk, then tip in the sugar. Whisk together for 1-2 mins until thick and foamy. Slowly pour in the oil and continue to whisk on a low speed until well mixed. Tip in the flour mix, half at a time, and gently stir it into the egg mixture with a rubber spatula or big spoon. The mix will be quite stiff. Put the extra pinch of baking powder in with the egg white and whisk to soft peaks.
  3. Fold the carrot, raisins (and any liquid) into the flour mixture. Gently fold in the whisked egg white, then pour into the tin. Jiggle the tin to level the mixture. Bake for 1 hr until risen and firm or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin 5 mins, turn out onto a wire rack, peel off the paper, then leave until cold.
  4. To make the frosting, stir the soft cheese, Quark, icing sugar and orange zest together - don't overbeat. Stir in the lemon juice. Swirl the frosting over the cake and cut into 16 square. This cake is even better if left well wrapped for a day or two before icing and eating. Will keep up to 5 days uniced in an airtight tin, or in the fridge if iced.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, September 2008

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Comments

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itskitty's picture
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I made it last Saturday
and it came out lovely -- even though I didn't strictly follow the measurements

but my mom thought it was a bit too moist though

could anyone suggest how i can make it a bit less moist?
Btw, I put all of the grated carrots into the batch, including some
carrot juice. Did it affect the moisture? do you put in the juice or drain it out?

Lovely anyway definitely a keeper recipe!

fashionista25's picture
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Lovely and light, my favourite carrot cake recipe. I use plain white flour and normal vegetable oil, which works fine. The topping is very moreish!

annaborowski's picture
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This cake is lovely! Moist and gooey and totally yummy. It tastes as if it should be packed full of calories, but it's a fabulous alternative to the full fat version. You have to make it!

kirstensmith's picture
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One of the lightest, moistest cakes I have ever made. Like some others have commented, you wouldn't necessarily know its a carrot cake but it's delicious none the less. My only criticism is that you wouldn't be able to 'ice' the whole of the cake in one go if you were planning on saving some for later as the soft cheese/quark mixture will never set. Worth making though

pelupi's picture
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Excellent. Will never bother with a full fat version gain

trish-whytock's picture

Try Xylitol (you can get it from Sainsburys in the speciality foods section). It is an excellent substitute for sugar, especially if you are diabetic. It is natural & therefore not carcinogenic or bad for you. Patrick Holford (UK Nutritionist put me onto to this amazing sugar substitute) & I have not looked back since. It allows diabetics to have dessert without the fear of using chemically enhanced sweeteners!

melanieday's picture

This recipie was good, easy to make and the cake was a nice colour and texture.

I didnt have any as it was a gift to a friend but she said it went down well at the party.

ih8daylite's picture

Hi the BEST substitute for sugar is STEVIA we tried it half and half last sunday and it was brilliant no difference at all, today were going to use ALL stevia, so it will be a no sugar carrot cake, i enjoyed it so much but i will feel less guilty knowing theres no sugar carbs or calories in it, but even half n half is brilliant!!.... ill report back later :o)

vaf666's picture
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Wonderfully straightforward to make and tasted delicious. Got many complimebnts

nike85's picture
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I didn't really like this cake. Wasn't anywhere near other good carrot cakes I've tasted. I kept it in the fridge after icing which made the cake taste odd because it was cold. I'm also not a fan of the topping combination.

leifam's picture
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Really easy to make and less fat than normal versions. It's very fruity, but I like it like that. Everyone was very impressed with it.

jaymaywin's picture
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Yummy, followed the recipe except for adding a handful of walnuts in the mixture. Will be my regular carrot cake recipe as I can eat twice as much! I always know an Angela recipe is never a waste of time or money, thanks Angela.

fashionista25's picture
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Really nice, moist and very moreish! loved the topping too, since im a massive fan of cheesecake.

lisa_stone's picture
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Lovely

watchstrap's picture
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Quite simply the best carrot cake ever. Lovely and moist and it kept well-wrapped for days. Even my daughter who says she hates carrot cake loved it. I would give it 10 stars and it has made it into my husband's 'top cakes to ask for' list!

shally007's picture
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I wanted to do a carrot cake and decided on this recipe as opposed to the others as it appeared a healthier option (it had more carrots, included wholemeal flour and included less oil) I doubled the recipe to cook it in my brownie tray 40 cm x 29 cm. I also didn't measure the orange juice in which I soaked my raisins - I squeezed every last drop out of the oranges. I also added 1tsp ground nutmeg and 1tsp mixed spice and used vegetable oil instead of rapeseed oil. For the topping I opted for the 'drizzle' option as featured in the 'Yummy scrummy carrot cake recipe' but using lemon juice instead of the orange juice. The result was stunning! The cake is light, moist and utterly delicious. The raisins are plump and juicy and the drizzle top was just the right amount of sweetness. This recipe is already printed and at the front of my recipe folder. I will definitely be making this cake again.

marjoleinbezemer's picture

Loved this carrot cake! Since I don't eat sugar, I used 60 grams of fructose instead. Fructose caramalises quicker than normal sugar, so you can't bake it above 160C. Normally I have to adjust the recipes, but this one was perfect for using fructose! The cake was still juicy and the flavours tasted excellent.
Thanks a lot Angela!

eleanor7's picture
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Really moist and yummy, the topping was delicious!

joannebesli's picture

this sounds lovely. im going to try it this weekend.

littlefriend's picture

Quark is a virtually fat free (only 0.2g of fat in 100g) soft cheese. I got mine from Morrison's in London.

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