Slices of yummy scrummy carrot cake on brown baking paper

Yummy scrummy carrot cake recipe

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(934 ratings)

Prep: 1 hr - 1 hr, 15 mins


15 slices

Delight friends with an afternoon tea that includes this easy carrot cake. You can bake the cake, freeze it and just drizzle over the icing on the day

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

    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

    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)



    One of the most useful of spices for both sweet and savoury

For the frosting

  • 175g icing sugar
  • 1½-2 tbsp orange juice


  1. Heat the oven to 180C/fan160C/gas 4. Oil and line the base and sides of an 18cm square cake tin with baking parchment.

  2. Tip 175g light muscovado sugar, 175ml sunflower oil and 3 large beaten eggs into a big mixing bowl. Lightly mix with a wooden spoon. Stir in 140g grated carrots, 100g raisins and grated zest of 1 large orange.

  3. Sift 175g self-raising flour, 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda, 1 tsp ground cinnamon and ½ tsp grated nutmeg into the bowl. Mix everything together, the mixture will be soft and almost runny.

  4. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 40-45 mins or until it feels firm and springy when you press it in the centre.

  5. Cool in the tin for 5 mins, then turn it out, peel off the paper and cool on a wire rack. (You can freeze the cake at this point if you want to serve it at a later date.)

  6. Beat 175g icing sugar and 1½ - 2 tbsp orange juice in a small bowl until smooth – you want the icing about as runny as single cream.

  7. Put 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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laurella's picture
22nd Jun, 2019
The perfect carrot cake - moist and fluffy, took only 40min - it has instantly become a family favourite! Depending on the sweetness of your tooth, you might consider going as low as 120g of sugar and it'll still be amazing!
lamorna08's picture
14th Jun, 2019
So easy to make. Allways reliable and tastes so nice. Been baking this recipe for about four years now and everyone loves it.
Sarah Robins's picture
Sarah Robins
15th Apr, 2019
Delicious, easy to make cake (from someone that doesn't make cakes often). Having read some previous comments we used 140ml vegetable oil instead of 175ml. We also substituted the raisins for 75g chopped walnuts, as all our family prefers nuts to raisins. We didn't have a square cake tin but this fit perfectly in 2 normal sized loaf tins. We used the frosting (added slightly more than 2 tbsp orange juice) to completely cover the top of the cake, rather than just drizzling in lines, which we all thought was nicer (having just drizzled this initially).
Sinéad Chearúil's picture
Sinéad Chearúil
23rd May, 2019
Hi Sarah, I'm planning on doing this myself & only have loaf tins to hand. Just wondering if you lined the tins with greaseproof or just greased it? Thank you.
robosquid's picture
16th Mar, 2019
Made this a few times with really good results, light, fluffy and moist. I weigh out 150g of sunflower oil - it's about the same as 175ml.
MB seastar
24th Feb, 2019
This cake is amazingly light, moist and fluffy - I have made it loads of times and it is the ultimate carrot cake - Enjoy!
15th Feb, 2019
Tried this recipe last night, and it's delicious! I did use light brown sugar instead of muscovado and left out the raisins, but only because I didn't have either ingredient at the time. Still came out a light, moist cake. Everyone at work agrees that it's a great cake!
Joanna Sas
12th Feb, 2019
I never liked carrot cake before this recipe, and now I make it all the time proudly telling people it will be the best carrot cake they every eat, and everyone agrees and asks for the recipe! So nice and moist without all that horrible thick butter icing. I hate raisins so use walnuts instead, also adding crushed walnuts on top.
Chrystal Gracious
7th Feb, 2019
This recipe is perfect. Been baking this cake for about 10 years now and have always followed this recipe. Never goes wrong.
Anisah Kausar's picture
Anisah Kausar
30th Dec, 2018
Recipe is great, I doubled the ingredients because I have a big family and used a little less oil and sugar because carrots give sweetness too. I made a cream cheese icing with crushed walnuts on top. It made a great dessert


Antonia Treitli's picture
Antonia Treitli
11th Apr, 2019
Hi! I would like to bake this cake, but I only have plain flour at home. Should I use more bicarbonate of soda or should I add some baking powder? If yes, how much? Thank you
goodfoodteam's picture
11th Apr, 2019
Thanks for your question. Instead of 175g self-raising flour use 175g plain flour plus 1 3/4 tsp baking powder and bicarb as above.
14th Mar, 2019
Would it still work if I used Olive oil instead of sunflower oil?
goodfoodteam's picture
16th Mar, 2019
Thanks for your question. You can use olive oil but make sure it's one with a subtle flavour.
18th Feb, 2019
If I made this cake in a round tin so that it could be layered what adjustments would I need to make? For example what size tin and what would the cooking time be? Many thanks.
goodfoodteam's picture
19th Feb, 2019
Thanks for your question. You can cook this in a 20cm round tin, same time and temperature. If you want to layer it. We'd recommend allowing it to cool, then cutting it in half carefully and slowly using a serrated knife.
Alina Asad's picture
Alina Asad
22nd Feb, 2018
Has anyone replaced the raisins with walnuts? How does it taste? My family isn't big on raisins. Also we don't have muscovado sugar where I live? Can I use brown sugar instead?
goodfoodteam's picture
28th Feb, 2018
Thanks for your question. You can make both of these substitutions. Raisins have a juicier quality than the nuts but it will still work.
16th Feb, 2017
Hi I have made this cake twice with great results, and I was wondering how many cupcakes it will make as I am planning to do cupcakes. Thanks a lot
goodfoodteam's picture
18th Feb, 2017
Thanks for your question. We haven't tested this recipe in cupcake form so can only estimate at around 12. You'll need to adjust the cooking times to 15 - 20 mins. For more precise instructions, why not have a go at our Carrot & cream cheese cupcakes. You can always change the frosting to this one if you prefer.


MB seastar
24th Feb, 2019
Try adapting this to make a blueberry and pistachio cake. Sub the raisins for blueberries and add 50g pistachio and decorate with ground and whole pistachios and chopped blueberries - delicious!
29th Nov, 2017
I cut the oil to 140ml and that works out better for me.
CJHardy's picture
21st Nov, 2016
I have been using this recipe for quite some time as the basis for large muffins, this recipe will make 8 cafe-sized muffins. Really tasty recipe, but I would cut down on the oil, about 110-115ml is plenty. There is sufficient rising agent to increase the fruit content but care should be taken that too much will lead to poor temperature conduction. Similarly you can increase the number of carrots, I have successfully used up to 4 carrots including large ones. Don't over-stir though as they will break down thereby raising the liquid content
10th Apr, 2015
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.
18th Sep, 2014
This works really well with Gluten Free flour instead. My favourite!
7th Mar, 2014
I used the mascarpone and lime to made the frosting. Still yummy,and fresher!
28th Jan, 2014
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.
26th Oct, 2013
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
10th Jul, 2013
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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