Carrot cake with cinnamon frosting

Carrot cake with cinnamon frosting

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(175 ratings)

Prep: 20 mins Cook: 1 hr Plus overnight soaking


Cuts into 8-10 slices

Who can resist a slice of moist, frosting-topped carrot cake with a warming cuppa?

Nutrition and extra info

  • Can be frozen before icing

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal592
  • fat41g
  • saturates14g
  • carbs51g
  • sugars36g
  • fibre2g
  • protein7g
  • salt0.83g
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  • zest and juice 1 orange



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

  • 50g sultanas
  • 150ml sunflower oil, plus extra for greasing
    Sunflower oil

    Sunflower oil

    Sunflower oil is made from pressing sunflower seeds and extracting the oil. It's usually…

  • 2 eggs



    The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition packed with protein and a…

  • 140g soft light brown sugar
  • 85g wholemeal self-raising flour
  • 85g self-raising flour
  • 2 tsp each ground cinnamon and ground mixed spice



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

  • 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-…

  • 140g carrots, coarsely grated



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

  • 50g walnuts, chopped, plus a few halves to decorate



    Walnuts are one of the most popular and versatile of all nuts. When picked young, they're…

For the icing

  • 200g soft cheese (we used full fat Philadelphia)
  • 50g butter, softened



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

  • 85g icing sugar, sifted
  • pinch ground cinnamon



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


  1. If you have time to do it the night before, put the orange zest and juice in a bowl with the sultanas. If you don’t have time simply stir the zest, juice and sultanas together and microwave on Medium for 1-2 mins.

  2. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4 and grease and line the base and sides of a 2lb loaf tin. Whisk together the oil and eggs. Mix together the sugar, flours, mixed spice, cinnamon and bicarb in your largest mixing bowl. Add the sultanas with any juice and zest left in the bowl, grated carrot, walnuts and whisked egg mixture into the dry ingredients, then thoroughly mix with a wooden spoon. Tip into the loaf tin and bake on the middle shelf for 1 hr, or until a skewer comes out clean. Cool the cake in the tin.

  3. Once cool, remove from the tin and make the icing. With an electric whisk beat together butter, cinnamon and icing sugar until it comes together and is smooth. It takes a little while to come together (will look like breadcrumbs for a bit). Add the cream cheese and beat briefly until soft and smooth. Be careful not to overbeat or the cream cheese may split and become runny. Spread over the top of the cake and decorate with walnut halves.

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Comments, questions and tips

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Kate Shanahan
23rd Jun, 2020
This was so easy to make and really delicious without the frosting. I didn't make the frosting because I froze it and took it out a slice at a time for treats. I didn't have wholemeal flour or light brown sugar so made do with white flour and caster sugar. I will make it again and hope to follow the recipe - sheilding makes shopping difficult!
16th May, 2020
Amazing cake, beautifully moist. No problems at all with the frosting, you need to be patient and wait for the butter and sugar to come together into a smooth thick batter before adding the cream cheese (it goes through that breadcrumbs stage then comes back together again) then stop beating as soon as it looks and tastes a good consistency.
Paul Thompson's picture
Paul Thompson
14th May, 2020
Lovely and moist. I used undiluted concentrated orange juice to soak the fruit and microwaved. With the icing I didn't have enough cream cheese so I just added fresh yogurt to make up the quantity required. Crushed mixed nuts on top - delicious.
Priz P's picture
Priz P
11th May, 2020
Great recipe. I soaked the sultanas the night before but I don't think it's necessary just a nice extra. I had quite a lot of juice so this made the mixture quite runny so the cake needed 50 mins to bake. Also used about 120g of cream cheese and it worked out fine. Lovely moist cake!
Annette MacKay
1st May, 2020
I made this a few days ago and followed the recipe exactly. It was delicious, maybe a little over cooked around the edges therefore I would give it 45 minutes in the oven next time. I had a problem with the walnuts, after a couple of days in an airtight container, they have turned black. My daughter, who studied bakery, says it needed something acidic to counter balance the alkaline bicarbonate of soda to stop this happening. I thought the orange juice would do this. Did this happen to anyone else? How can I stop this happening as I really would like to make it again.
Rita Patel's picture
Rita Patel
29th Apr, 2020
This cake turned out fantastic and tasted amazing. Made a few tweeks: Didn't use sultanas however replaced with 70g pecan nuts chopped, used zest and juice from half an orange, used 160g Philadelphia soft cheese with a tsp of vanilla extract for frosting and put in the fridge for an hour before icing the cake. I also used an 8 inch round cake pan and cooked for 45 min in oven. Perfecto! Family and neighbours loved it, will be definitely making it again.
26th Apr, 2020
Great easy recipe but glad I looked at it after 40 mins, it was done to perfection, any longer and it would have been very dry. Maybe just my oven.
12th Jan, 2020
Very good, the icing was a bit runny, definitely needs more icing sugar, and the walnuts should be very finely chopped, as they are, very crunchy, but a nice moist cake, was ready after 45 minutes and made more icing than was necessary. Delicious but possibly a few quantity tweaks.
Deedee's picture
8th Jan, 2020
This is so easy to make, keeps well and is delicious. I used less butter for the icing. Also works well in an 8 x 8 inch tin. Makes it easy to cut. Loved it!
Tanya Leech's picture
Tanya Leech
9th Oct, 2019
The icing is a nightmare...... Having read some of the other comments, I reduced the amount of cream cheese and it's been in the fridge for hours and yet still it's far too runny.... :((


10th Jun, 2020
Can I replace the flour with gluten free self raising?
lulu_grimes's picture
10th Jun, 2020
Hello, I think you probably could but we haven't tested this recipe with gluten free flour, but we do have this recipe that has been through the test kitchen. Lulu
16th May, 2020
Hi, what would be the effect of using butter instead of the oil, and how much butter would you substitute in? Thank you.
lulu_grimes's picture
18th May, 2020
Hello, You would get a different, denser texture if you used butter. I have done so myself on occasion, I've melted the butter and then cooled it a little and poured it in like oil. I hope this helps. Lulu
Lisa Townsend's picture
Lisa Townsend
16th Apr, 2020
Please help! I followed the recipe to the letter, only changing to be 170g of SR flour as I didn't have wholemeal and swapped 3tsp baking powder for the bicarb as I didn't have any (I was assured by Google this was right). However, it sunk in the middle half way and after an hour and 10 mins it was still undercooked in the middle and getting too crispy on the outside. What happened?!
Esther_Deputyfoodeditor's picture
17th Apr, 2020
Hello, Esther from the food team here! Bicarb isn't a direct replacement of baking powder therefore your cake would have sank without the correct amount of baking powder. Sorry about that. Thanks for your question!
12th Jan, 2020
First time making and I was wondering if there was a substitute for walnuts, as I don’t have any
lulu_grimes's picture
14th Jan, 2020
Hello, You could use pecan nuts, or leave the nuts out altogether.
20th Jul, 2019
I'm intending to use all regular SR flour. Is it still advisable to add the same amount of bicarbonate of soda?
goodfoodteam's picture
22nd Jul, 2019
Thanks for your question. Yes, simply substitute the two types of self-raising flour for the same weight of white self-raising flour. There's no need to change any of the other ingredients.


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