Carrot cake served on a cake stand

Easy carrot cake

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(58 ratings)

Prep: 35 mins Cook: 30 mins Plus cooling


Serves 10-12

Top this classic carrot cake with moreish cream cheese icing and chopped walnuts or pecans. Serve as a sweet treat with a cup of tea any time of the day

Nutrition and extra info

  • Can be frozen un-iced

Nutrition: Per serving (12)

  • kcal680
  • fat37g
  • saturates8g
  • carbs78g
  • sugars61g
  • fibre3g
  • protein8g
  • salt0.6g
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  • 235ml vegetable oil, plus extra for the tin
  • 100g natural yogurt
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1½ tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ an orange, zested



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

  • 265g self-raising flour
  • 335g light muscovado sugar
  • 2½ tsp ground cinnamon



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

  • ¼ fresh nutmeg, finely grated



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

  • 265g carrots (about 3), grated



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

  • 100g sultanas or raisins
  • 100g walnuts or pecans, roughly chopped (optional)

For the icing

  • 100g slightly salted butter, softened



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

  • 300g icing sugar
  • 100g full-fat cream cheese


  1. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Oil and line the base and sides of two 20cm cake tins with baking parchment. Whisk the oil, yogurt, eggs, vanilla and zest in a jug. Mix the flour, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg with a good pinch of salt in a bowl. Squeeze any lumps of sugar through your fingers, shaking the bowl a few times to bring the lumps to the surface.

  2. Add the wet ingredients to the dry, along with the carrots, raisins and half the nuts, if using. Mix well to combine, then divide between the tins. Bake for 25-30 mins or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. If any wet mixture clings to the skewer, return to the oven for 5 mins, then check again. Leave to cool in the tins.

  3. To make the icing, beat the butter and sugar together until smooth. Add half the cream cheese and beat again, then add the rest (adding it bit by bit prevents the icing from splitting). Remove the cakes from the tins and sandwich together with half the icing. Top with the remaining icing and scatter with the remaining walnuts. Will keep in the fridge for up to five days. Best eaten at room temperature.

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Comments, questions and tips

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14th Nov, 2019
This was quite nice though VERY VERY sweet, I would recommend reducing the sugar in both the cake and icing. Walnuts are a delicious addition! Also this needs baking for at least 45 minutes as otherwise is very liquidy.
5th Oct, 2019
Made this 3 times...each one with slightly different ingredients to replace cream and it never fails to work somehow. HUGELY recommend it!
29th Sep, 2019
Made this for my mother in law’s birthday (without the nuts as she’s not keen), it was absolutely delicious! I’ll definitely be making this one again :D
Kirsten Olver's picture
Kirsten Olver
25th Sep, 2019
First time making this and tasted great. Easy recipe to follow. Was worried about so much oil going in but didn’t make it greasy. Will definitely make again !
25th Aug, 2019
This is a deliciously moist cake. I had to bake it for closer to 40 minutes and although when I tested the cakes with a skewer it came out clean, one of the cakes did dip a little in the middle when cooling so it probably could have done with a few minutes more. I only had medium eggs and reduced the oil by 30ml as I used 2 tbsp of rum to soak my raisins in.
Jane Greene's picture
Jane Greene
26th May, 2019
Delicious moist cake. Hubby says,it's the nicest carrot cake he's ever had. I also baked for 35 mins.
Amber.wright's picture
11th Apr, 2019
Wow! Such an amazing recipe, will definitely make again :-) .
7th Apr, 2019
This recipe made an excellent cake. I made as a sheet cake instead in a 9x13 inch pan and baked for 35 minutes. It came out perfectly.
1st Apr, 2019
This was so delicious and had a lovely soft texture. I baked it for a rowing club event, so only managed to have one slice of it, but I will definitely be baking it again!
17th Dec, 2018
Can you substitute for low fat yogurt?


James Zarzecki's picture
James Zarzecki
4th Dec, 2019
Can I put the walnuts in the cake
9th Dec, 2019
Hello, The recipe calls for 100g walnuts or pecans, so yes, we recommend it!
25th Nov, 2019
Does this cake freeze okay or is it best fresh?
29th Nov, 2019
Hello, You can freeze this but the icing will change texture a little on thawing. If you are just freezing leftovers then that should be fine. I hope this helps.
Kyle 632's picture
Kyle 632
21st Sep, 2019
My cake didn't rise on both layers. Double checked the recipe and everything was okay. Definitely used self-raising flour. Can someone explain why it's so thin?
goodfoodteam's picture
22nd Sep, 2019
We're sorry to hear your cakes didn't rise. The main pointers are to make sure the oven is fully up to temperature and also once the dry and wet ingredients have been combined to get the cake in the oven as soon as possible. Once the baking powder in the flour becomes wet, it starts to activate. We hope this helps in future.'s picture
12th Oct, 2018
I don’t have any yoghurt in fridge can I substitute it with anything else?
Rhi Baxendell's picture
Rhi Baxendell
26th Sep, 2019
Absolutely NOT 25-30 mins baking time! Went to take it out at 25 minutes to check it with a skewer and it was like water! Checked the BBC Classic Carrot Cake timings which is 1hr 15 mins, much more realistic. Please correct the timings
24th Apr, 2019
I made this recipe in a 24cm round cake tin, reducing 100g sugar from the dough mixture, and reducing the icing by one third. Still very delicious and sweet. I think you could add a little extra carrot, if you really want some carroty taste, but I haven't tried that out yet myself.
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