The ultimate makeover: Carrot cake

The ultimate makeover: Carrot cake

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
(80 ratings)

By

Magazine subscription – 3 issues for £3

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

Buy Ingredients

Buy the ingredients for this recipe now via:

Want to know how this works? Read all about it here.

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

Ads by Google

Comments, questions and tips

Sign in or create your My Good Food account to join the discussion.

Comments

Show comments
karengi's picture
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

I made this the other day and didn't get around to making the frosting. We all loved it, my little boys (1, 3 and 5) all thought it was fab too (even without the icing).

It's definitely not an all-in-one recipe though! By the time I was finished I had a large pile of dirty dishes... Worth the effort though, the instructions are very clear and it came out perfectly. Lovely and moist and fruity. I think it's even better today 3 days later if you can manage to keep any for that long!

lekkerkos's picture
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

The first time I made this cake I used sunflower oil and it was absolutely delicious. The second time I used rapeseed oil as per the recipe and found the flavour of the oil overpowering and (for me at least) unpleasant in a cake, so I won't be doing that again! I'll stick to sunflower oil in the future as that much better.

lekkerkos's picture
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

The first time I made this cake I used sunflower oil and it was absolutely delicious. The second time I used rapeseed oil as per the recipe and found the flavour of the oil overpowering and (for me at least) unpleasant in a cake, so I definitely won't be doing that again! I'll stick to sunflower oil in future as it made a big difference.

gjb1952's picture

Can anyone tell me what size tin they used for this cake? Would a 2lb loaf tin be ok or do I need a square shallow cake tin?

nicolakilmartin's picture
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

I love, love love! Highly recommended. Ive made it twice now and it came out perfect each time. Perfect!

azucar's picture
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Nice and moist. Recipe very easy to follow, no funny surprises. I made a double batch for colleagues, it went down very well, many requests for the recipe.
If I made again, I'd probably want to add a little crunch to the texture - seeds, or the walnuts I think someone already suggested. Spices could be yanked up a little, as could the orange peel...
All in all, good stuff!

onigiri's picture

it looks great...but what's rapeseed oil?n if quark is like creme fraiche wats the difference with soft cheese?

muffin65's picture
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

My family loved this. I used dark brown sugar and a 7 inch square tin as that was what I had. It looks a bit dry in the picture but mine came out wonderfully moist. I didn't bother with the topping as we're cutting down on fat but really did not miss it. Will make again and again - a real find. Well done! (Wish the site would use Imperial measures as well - it's a bit difficult to measure eg 15g on most scales.)

lekkerkos's picture
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

This cake is delicious! I was so surprised, as low fat baking recipes often aren't very good but this one is even better than the very good 'full fat' recipe for carrot cake I've always used.

It's easy to make, very light, moist, tasty, and it looks good too. I am so impressed, I shall be trying more of Angela's recipes!

(I used sunflower oil and the South African 'plump bold raisins', and made the cake in an 8" round deep cake tin instead as I don't have a square one. I also didn't make the frosting, it's great on its own without it).

susancarrie's picture
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Excellent recipe - made this cake and took it to work for my Birthday - now all my colleagues want the recipe - very easy to make and foolproof. Tastes wonderful

susancarrie's picture
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Excellent recipte - made this cake and took it to work for my Birthday - now all my colleagues want the recipe - very easy to make and foolproof. Tastes wonderful

clairebowes's picture
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

tasty and moreish, I substituted cranberries for the raisins and threw in a handful of broken pecans. I also added a teaspoon of grand marnier to the icing.

wizard62's picture

Sounds really lovely and very tempting to try but i suspect i'd add a little vanilla essence to bring out the flavour - maybe it's just me! i will give it a go
well done

katykris's picture

Great recipe. I had no wholemeal flour so used white and used sunflower instead of rapeseed and the cake turned out to be lovely and moist with a nice crumb. The Quark really works as a topping and I added walnut halves on each portion before I cut it (it helps to give you some sort of idea of how much you end up eating!)
Would make again.

annepwheaton's picture

As a diabetic, I really miss baking cakes. Is it possible to substitute some of the sugar with Splenda brown, or similar, please.

245janet's picture
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Excellent! I used self raising wholemeal flour and left out the baking powder except for the pinch. the cake was wonderful and light.

vindya's picture

It is a very low sweet cake. It tasted ok, but cannot really say that it's a carrot cake. Tasted more like a fruit cake.
This is very very good for someone who doesn't like too sweet.

unanic's picture

I have made this cake many times, I even made it as one layer in my daughter's wedding cake, and I am making a number of them as christmas presents as an alternitive to christmas cake.

I gave it ten stars.

tanisha's picture

i really didn't like it, it tasted like a fruit cake, not carrot cake =(

janemathieson001's picture
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Best carrot cake recipe ever! Had to tweek the flour ingredients as I'm wheat/gluten intolerant (severely), so used an extra spoonful of baking powder and 230g Doves Farm plain white flour. It's light, moist and utterly delicious :)

Pages

Questions

Tips