Slices of yummy scrummy carrot cake on brown baking paper

Yummy scrummy carrot cake recipe

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(885 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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12th Nov, 2018
This cake is fantastic. As with some other commenters it was the first carrot cake I've made and it was to bring into work. It's been demolished by my colleagues who have all stated that it was delicious. Followed recipe to the letter and the only complaint was that "you can't have too much icing" so next time I make it I'll add a bit more. Brilliant
sheila_bakes19's picture
9th Nov, 2018
i made this recipe with my grandchildren the other day and i wasn't best impressed with the results. i threw the cake on the floor and stamped on it to be honest WOULD NOT RECOMMEND
31st Oct, 2018
Really enjoyed making these with my daughter. Delicious too.
19th Oct, 2018
Deliciously fluffy! But don't make the same mistake as me and bake them as muffins - they totally overflowed and didn't keep shape, they stayed flat.
Only human
4th Oct, 2018
Perfect !
Juliebubs73's picture
26th Aug, 2018
This is my go to carrot cake recipe now! The two variations I make are I omit the icing glaze and use cream cheese frosting topped with pecans, and I use sultanas instead of raisins for a juicier taste. My family always request this and it's never let me down. I won't buy carrot cake ever again - so disappointing after tasting this one!
29th Jul, 2018
I made this last night, very easy and tasted lovely. Followed other posters advice and only used 150mls of oil and sultanas. Didn’t make the icing either will treat myself next time!
12th May, 2018
Probably me, I followed the recipe to the letter and didn't like it all. Disappointed as made to use instead of a birthday cake:-(
15th Mar, 2018
This recipe never fails me - it’s amazing can take lots of variations. I add 80g of chopped walnuts, bake for 20 mins in two tins for a sandwich and then use the cinnamon cream cheese frosting recipe for the carrot cake loaf on this website to dress this delicious cake. Its a definite crowd pleaser.
8th Mar, 2018
Can always rely on this recipe, been using it for years and I’ve never had a bad bake. I do prefer to add more dried fruit than the original recipe but it doesn’t make the cake stodgy at all. Cream cheese frosting goes beautifully with it as well, but if you’re after a light treat then the icing sugar mixture is great.


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.
22nd Oct, 2016
Wondering what I did wrong, after all the positive posts it must be my error! The cooking time was a lot longer as although the scewer came out clean I could see it wasn't cooked. I used a loaf tin instead of the square tin the recipe tells you to use. Do you think this could have been the problem? Many thanks
goodfoodteam's picture
1st Nov, 2016
Hi Catherine, thanks for your question. Yes, switching the tin size and shape will definitely affect the cooking time. We have tested the recipe with the size provided and can confirm it works using the 18cm square tin.
14th Jun, 2018
Yes I had the same issue. Lovely taste, but too soggy and soft. Put it in for an extra 20mins (over an hour) and still the same issue. Is there any way to salvage it at this stage? Would like to give it another go and do it properly as there is a lovely flavour off it.
goodfoodteam's picture
19th Jun, 2018
Thanks for your question. We're sorry to hear your cake was soggy. The following tips might help: make sure you use the correct cake tin and that the oven is fully up to temperature before putting the cake in the oven. Also it's important that the cake feels firm and springy in the centre before taking it out of the oven. Hope that helps!
23rd Jul, 2016
I made this recipe and it's very tasty! The only problem is that the raisins have all sunk to the bottom - why would that be?
goodfoodteam's picture
16th Aug, 2016
We're sorry to hear your raisins headed to the bottom. Some dried fruits can be a little oily. One way of countering this is to take a spoon of flour from the the 175g and toss the raisins in it. This will help to keep them suspended within the cake. That should do the trick. Many thanks.


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.