Carrot cake with cinnamon frosting

Carrot cake with cinnamon frosting

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(180 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


  • 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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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.... :((
2nd Apr, 2019
So easy and so unbelievably tasty! I almost convinced myself I was a pro baker after making this. I doubled the self raising flour as I couldn't find a wholemeal version. I accidentally baked it at a higher temp for the hour and it still came out moist. The flavor from the mixed spice, cinnamon and orange combo was so delicious. The only issue was my frosting tasted very cream cheesy, might just add more icing sugar and cinnamon next time. Most definitely my go to recipe from now on!
Daisy C B
1st Apr, 2019
Fantastic recipe, I've made it three times in as many weeks and have had so many compliments and requests for the recipe. Tips: - Beat the butter and sugar for the frosting for 3-5 minutes before adding cream cheese - Add cream cheese to taste - 200g produces a runny frosting - Don't fret if you are out of wholemeal self raising, 170g of regular self raising works fine - Cinnamon in the frosting optional – vanilla works well too.
4th Mar, 2018
This is a beautiful cake with minimal adjustments required. I have a fan oven and it took about 65 mins to cook perfectly. Anyone having trouble with the frosting, cream the butter and icing sugar before whipping in the cream cheese and then let it sit in a bowl in the fridge to cool again before spreading over the cake. This should hopefully help with reports of runny frosting. I didn't add cinnamon to my frosting as i felt the cake had enough, I just grated in some orange rind. I was tempted to squeeze in some of the lovely orange juice too but glad I didn't as i feel this would have made it too slack. Enjoy!
5th Jun, 2018
Made this cake for second time at the weekend and used your tip re the icing, this time was absolutely perfect if I do say so myself. Thank you for your helpful hint.
Jennifer Srivasan
10th Dec, 2017
I've made this twice in the last three days as it doesn't last very long! One of the best cake recipes I have ever come across. I agree with the commenter below - soaking the sultanas overnight is well worth the effort. Note that the recipe makes a lot (!) of icing - you may want to cut this down but I'm a sucker for cream cheese frosting. Overall, this is an easy recipe to follow and it creates a moist, flavourful and delicious cake.
11th Sep, 2017
I love this carrot cake recipe! Soaking the sultanas overnight makes a real difference to the overall taste and worth the extra effort. Cake took 1hr 5 mins to bake. For the frosting I grated an orange and squeezed some of the juice and them mixed it with some quark, icing sugar and butter. Delicious cake that is always devoured by my family
2nd Aug, 2017
I have baked this cake numerous times for family/friends and it literally goes tf off every time people now think i am some kind of master baker. i dont usually like raisins/sultanas in cakes but they actually add something to this cake! definitely a more interesting take on a carrot cake.
15th Jun, 2017
Best recipe ever! I use macadamia oil instead of sunflower for a slightly healthier cake. Also gives a mild nutty flavor which is lovely. Only need about two thirds of the icing. It makes a lot! Highly recommend! I think I've made this cake about 5 times now. Just gorgeous!
8th Feb, 2017
I've been told many times this is the best carrot cake recipe people have ever tasted ! It's deliciously moist, keeps well in an airtight container. I microwave the sultanas in the orange juice, good result, no need to soak over night ! The frosting sets best on the cake in the refrigerator overnight. Would defiantly recommend, it's yummy !


Gail B
15th Feb, 2018
Hi there jsut wondering whether you can use all sr flour rather than half wholemeal flour as stated in the recipe or would this affect the flavour/texture?
goodfoodteam's picture
22nd Feb, 2018
Thanks for your question. Wholemeal flour tends to give a denser texture and earthier flavour. However, the recipe will stick work using all white self-raising flour.
2nd Mar, 2017
can I change this recipe so it ok for a diabetic
goodfoodteam's picture
4th Mar, 2017
Thanks for your question. We are not able to give nutritional advice for individuals and always recommend following a doctor's specific advice. For more information on suitable foods for people with diabetes, please take a look at the following feature:
4th Sep, 2016
Hi I've made this cake several times and it is absolutely delicious - the best tasting carrot cake I have ever tried. My only problem is that when I go to slice it, it all crumbles apart instead of staying in one slice (not because it's dry but because it's moist). Do you have any tips to prevent this from happening?
goodfoodteam's picture
8th Sep, 2016
Thanks for your question, ensure it's thoroughly cooked and remove from the tin once fully cooled. We'd suggest slicing it gently with a serrated knife and keep the slices chunky. Hope that helps!
27th Feb, 2016
Hi, I've made this on several occasions in a tin as per the recipe (and it is beyond amazing!) - but I wonder if it could be make into smaller cakes (cupcakes/muffins) and if so how long they might need in the oven? They'd be more suitable for my parents than one big cake. Thank you.
goodfoodteam's picture
28th Apr, 2016
We think if you made them muffin size they would take about 20-25 mins at the same temperature. We have a recipe for Carrot & cream cheese cupcakes on this website if you want to take a look and try those instead:
19th Feb, 2016
Is it possible to make this cake using a circular cake tin? If so, should the oven temperature/cooking time/ingredients be altered in any way? Many thanks.
goodfoodteam's picture
28th Apr, 2016
We think this mixture would fit in an 18cm/7inch round cake tin, although we haven’t tried it so cannot guarantee perfect results. Bake at the same temperature, but check after 40 mins as we think it will cook more quickly.


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