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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5th Apr, 2014
Best carrot cake I've ever had.
20th Mar, 2014
I don't have a microwave, so I heated the sultanas in a pan with some orange juice. I did this a couple of hours before I made the cake, but this was enough to plump up the fruit. I made it with gluten free flours. I didn't top it with icing and it kept very well when stored in an air-tight tin. Definitely worth making again!
13th Feb, 2014
I have made this recipe twice - each time as a tray bake which cooks in 45mins. The first time I made it exactly to the recipe - the second time I used the microwave to plump up the fruit then put everything into the Kitchenaid to mix. I also cut the quantity of spices to one tsp each of cinnamon and mixed spice. I think this is enough - spicy but not too much! I've frozen most of the second batch and may drizzle some icing over it before cutting it into squares when serving it to friends next week. I don't know why baking soda is used rather than baking powder in this recipe - is it because of the orange juice? - just curious!
28th Jan, 2014
I have used this recipe lots of times now the cake always turns out perfect! It is a huge hit with friends and family. Made it foe a charity coffee morning and an argument broke out over who was going to buy the last piece
26th Jan, 2014
First time I made carrot cake. This recipe is super easy and delicious, will definitely be making again. It is moist and flavourful. I forgot to buy walnuts and so left them out and I only had mixed fruit but it tasted great. You can really taste the orange. I added a bit mor cinnamon to the frosting to suit my taste as well.
26th Jan, 2014
AMAZING cake! I have had bad experience with carrot cakes - they always too moist that when you put frosting and cut it you would found out it was not cooked! This one is a perfect recipe - moist to a perfect degree - without any embellishments like crushed pineapple or coconut. I also doubled the size because this treat cannot be enough in the original portions! Also I am very happy with the colour! it is very dark! My previous cakes were never dark and it frustrated me because carrot cake should be dark - here I supposed the orange zest works as colouring
anightq7's picture
6th Dec, 2013
Delicious. I have made many variations to this recipe including fresh grated apple and ginger, more or less fruit, peanuts instead of walnuts etc. and it comes out beautifully every time!
kathryndonna's picture
4th Oct, 2013
Best carrot cake recipe I've tried. Lovely moist, slightly spicy cake. I have made it as 12 individual cakes too, looks very stylish.
wannabeheston's picture
12th Sep, 2013
Amazing, Amazing, Amazing! Followed the recipe completely (doubled it as I was making two) and they are delicious. Really moist, not too sweet and a real hit! Will certainly make again! @MAVSTweets
11th Sep, 2013
This recipe was amazing. I did put a little less sugar (given the amount of sugar in the icing) and only used regular flour. For the icing, I also put a bit less sugar, and added 1 tsp of cinnamon, 1 tsp of nutmeg, 1 orange's zest, and 2 tsp of orange juice. I also took a handful of walnuts and chopped them very small to put on top of the icing. It was a major hit.


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