Carrot cake served on a cake stand

Easy carrot cake

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(110 ratings)

Prep: 35 mins Cook: 30 mins Plus cooling

Easy

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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Ingredients

  • 235ml vegetable oil, plus extra for the tin
  • 100g natural yogurt
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1½ tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ an orange, zested
    Orange

    Orange

    or-ange

    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
    Cinnamon

    Cinnamon

    sin-ah-mun

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

  • ¼ fresh nutmeg, finely grated
    Nutmeg

    Nutmeg

    nut-meg

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

  • 265g carrots (about 3), grated
    Carrot

    Carrot

    ka-rot

    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

    Butter

    butt-err

    Butter is a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

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

Method

  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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SuzyQQQ
20th May, 2020
5.05
This is the best carrot cake I have ever made - really delicious! I reduced the sugar by 100g (I always reduce the sugar as hate cakes too sweet) and more or less doubled the cream cheese. I am sure I will be making this time and time again.
Lee Wood's picture
Lee Wood
18th May, 2020
5.05
Really good one of the best carrot cakes I've tried Didn't use nut meg as I didn't have any Still turned out amazing 25 mins cooking was right for me but I did cook the cakes separately as I only have one cake tin I did 50% more cream cheese than the recipe As I love it Thanks for this was great to make and amazing to eat
Maddie Couchman's picture
Maddie Couchman
12th May, 2020
5.05
First time making this cake, added the sultanas and pecan nuts. Absolutely amazing recipe, my family loved it!
Dmd84's picture
Dmd84
26th Apr, 2020
5.05
Excellent cake! Added in the sultanas & pecan nuts - was delicious! For me it needed 45 mins in the oven, aside from that, easy to follow and a great result!
Calum Grant-Wood's picture
Calum Grant-Wood
22nd Apr, 2020
5.05
My first ever cake - really delicious and easy to make.
kirstyjd
13th Apr, 2020
5.05
Beautiful recipe very easy
Frederic Campione's picture
Frederic Campione
4th Apr, 2020
5.05
Really great recipe made this 4 times now. Walnuts on the top is a massive boost. Such a tasty cake really suggest this.
LucyK8t
22nd Mar, 2020
5.05
This is my go to carrot cake recipe. I have made it so many times I have lots count. It was even my sons christening cake. People always comment on how delicious it is and are very complementary on my baking skills which is a complete blag. Never fails.
Bevhead
23rd Feb, 2020
5.05
The best tasting carrot cake I’ve had, but the cooking time is definitely off; it took 60 mins in my (usually very reliable) oven at the temperature suggested. Took it out after 30, then checked at 10 minute intervals until finally skewer came out clean. By the time it had cooled, the outside was quite hard and I thought I’d ruined it, but the inside was beautifully moist and the outside added a delicious chewiness. I used both pecans and sultanas and would definitely use the same again.
Wenwake
14th Nov, 2019
3.05
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.

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Mummycooks1234
30th May, 2020
Why can’t I print any of your recipes out? I’ve tried chrome book, iPad and iPhone
Evelyn Doyle's picture
Evelyn Doyle
12th May, 2020
an i make this cake without yoghurt?
lulu_grimes's picture
lulu_grimes
14th May, 2020
Hello Evelyn, You'd have to replace the yogurt with something similar like creme fraiche otherwise the moisture content of the cake batter won't be the same. we have plenty of other carrot cake recipes that don't have yogurt in them, I've pasted a link to one below. https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/yummy-scrummy-carrot-cake-recipe I hope this helps, Lulu
Sofieeee
9th Feb, 2020
Can you do this without the raisins/sultanas? If so what change would you make to other ingredients?
CassieBest's picture
CassieBest
10th Feb, 2020
Hi Sofieeee, Yes you can leave the raisins out, but they do add a nice texture and sweetness. You don't have to replace them, but you could add some nuts to the cake mixture, if you like. Cassie (Senior Food Editor, BBC Good Food)
James Zarzecki's picture
James Zarzecki
4th Dec, 2019
Can I put the walnuts in the cake
lulu_grimes's picture
lulu_grimes
9th Dec, 2019
Hello, The recipe calls for 100g walnuts or pecans, so yes, we recommend it!
Em4824
25th Nov, 2019
Does this cake freeze okay or is it best fresh?
lulu_grimes's picture
lulu_grimes
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?

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Rhi Baxendell's picture
Rhi Baxendell
26th Sep, 2019
1.05
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
LokmaLala
24th Apr, 2019
5.05
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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