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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8th Dec, 2016
I was looking for a recipe for original carrot cake and I finally found it! This is by far the best carrot cake ever! The frosting was also great, brought balance with the spicy cake. I added a shot of brandy to the orange juice and sultana mixture. Served it with coffee, as a dessert after lunch with friends.
11th Aug, 2016
This is such a beautiful cake. I made it for a friend's birthday and it went down very well and very quickly! So light and a lovely flavour. I didn't make the frosting as i sometimes struggle with it going runny so stuck to a tried and tested one.
11th Jan, 2018
please can you share your tried and tested one? I also struggle with runny frosting!
24th May, 2016
I made this cake as a birthday cake, it turned out beautifully, I doubled the ingredients to make a bigger cake in a round tin, I did not double the topping/icing, there was more than enough that was made from the recommended recipe. It was slightly runny which I rectified by adding a touch more icing and keeping in the fridge to "set". All in all it was a hit a beautiful, light cake.
23rd Mar, 2016
I am new to baking, but have always wanted to make a carrot cake and I am so pleased that I chose this particular recipe to make. I followed the recipe to the letter and I can honestly say the cake is up there with the best carrot, sultana and walnut cake that I have ever tasted anywhere. I am soooo happy and also pleased with myself, so a big thank you for this gorgeous recipe! My oven seems to cook quickly, so I adjusted the timing a bit and it was perfect - it didn't last long :)
29th Feb, 2016
I made this recipe and instead of using walnuts, I doubled the amount of sultanas (though soaked them in the same amount of orange juice as per the recipe). I also only used 180g of philly soft cheese (I didn't want to buy a bigger pack), and I made this into muffin-sized cupcakes rather than a loaf. 25 mins in the oven and they are absolutely delicious - light as air yet moist at the same time. I'll be making them every chance I get. The frosting is utterly delicious (I used more cinnamon in it and as a sprinkle on top), but the cakes are so good I think they'd do very well without the creamy topping if you wanted to save a few calories etc.
27th Jan, 2016
This recipe makes baking a carrot cake so easy! It's the best recipe I've come across and I would definitely recommend it to anyone.
10th Dec, 2015
I've made this cake twice now and both times it's been perfect. Followed the receipe by the book. The only thing I couldn't get right was the topping. Although tasty, the butter wouldn't mix with the cheese properly and formed little lumps of butter. I thought this was because the butter was too cold, but second attempt it was room temperature.
15th Jan, 2016
Try mixing the butter and icing sugar together first until smooth then add the cream cheese. Try not to mix the mixture too much once the cream cheese is added in as it will go runny. I always do it this way and it works everytime.
23rd Oct, 2015
This carrot cake is Devine.... Made especially for my two boys 4 and 7, they love carrot cake and this went down a treat. Tweaked just a little, halfing the cinnamon and mixed spice to just 1 tsp each, also left out the walnuts. The frosting was slightly runny but stiffened once fridgerated. Will be making this a lot!! Fab recipe.


sarahbeth13's picture
20th Nov, 2015
Can I replace the sultanas with nuts? I don't want any dried fruit in the cake. Thanks
goodfoodteam's picture
10th Dec, 2015
As there are only 50g sultanas, adding an extra 50g walnuts instead should be fine.
22nd Jun, 2015
I'd like to make a circular cake using this recipe - would these amounts fit an 8 inch circular tin? Thanks
23rd Mar, 2015
Can I freeze this cake ??
goodfoodteam's picture
31st Mar, 2015
Hi windmill thanks for your question. This cake is fine to freeze un-iced. Just make the frosting to cover the cake once defrosted. 
20th Oct, 2014
What is mean't by the calories per serving? for example is the total serving for the recipe the whole recipe / cake or each slice of the cake?
goodfoodteam's picture
7th Nov, 2014
Hi there thanks for your question, per serving refers to one portion. For example this cake serves 8-10, and the nutrition would be for one slice.
9th Sep, 2013
If I don't want to add nuts can I replace them with extra sultanas?


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