Lighter spiced carrot cake

Lighter spiced carrot cake

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(12 ratings)

Prep: 30 mins Cook: 30 mins Plus cooling


Cuts into 15 squares
All the joy of baking with healthier results! This traybake uses sweet potato for natural sweetness and lower fat frosting

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freeze un-iced

Nutrition: per square

  • kcal269
  • fat10g
  • saturates1g
  • carbs38g
  • sugars25g
  • fibre3g
  • protein6g
  • salt0.4g
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  • 125ml rapeseed oil, plus a little extra for greasing
    Rapeseed oil

    Rapeseed oil

    If you want a light alternative to other cooking oils, rapeseed is a great choice and has…

  • 300g wholemeal flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
    Baking powder

    Baking powder

    bay-king pow-dah

    Baking powder is a raising agent that is commonly used in cake-making. It is made from an alkali…

  • 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-…

  • 1 tbsp mixed spice
  • 100g dark soft brown sugar
  • 140g carrot, grated



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

  • 140g sweet potato, peeled and grated
    Sweet potatoes

    Sweet potato

    sweet po-tate-toe

    Sweet potatoes have a creamy texture and a sweet-spicy flavour that makes them ideal for savoury…

  • 200g sultana
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 tbsp agave syrup
    Agave syrup

    Agave syrup

    Agave syrup (also known as agave nectar) is a naturally occurring sweetener similar in…

  • juice 2 oranges



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

For the icing

  • 200g quark



    This is a soft, smooth curd cheese with a refreshingly light acidity. It ranges from low-fat…

  • 50g fromage frais
  • 3 tbsp icing sugar, sifted
  • zest 1 orange



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


  1. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Grease and line a 20 x 30cm traybake tin with baking parchment. Mix together the flour, baking powder, bicarb, spice and sugar in a big mixing bowl. Stir in the grated carrots, sweet potatoes and sultanas. In a jug, whisk together the eggs, rapeseed oil, agave syrup and juice from 1 orange. Tip the wet ingredients into the bowl and stir to combine, then scrape into the tin. Bake for 25-30 mins until a skewer poked in comes out clean. Prick all over with a skewer and drizzle over the remaining orange juice. Cool in the tin.

  2. Once cool, make the icing. Stir the quark with a spoon to make it a bit smoother, then fold in the fromage frais, icing sugar and orange zest. Spread all over the cake and slice into squares to eat.

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Comments, questions and tips

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MB seastar
24th Feb, 2019
The cake was very moist and, for me, very heavy and the spice was too overpowering. Next time, I will probably sub the mixed spice for cinnamon and the sweet potato for apple.
Ursula Thompson's picture
Ursula Thompson
19th Aug, 2018
Cake tasted too much of strong spice mix, and sweet potato. Icing was too runny to put on cake...not great. It would be better to use an oil recipe like the one from “The Joy Of Cooking”...definitely tried and’s one I have used for years and changed around flours, added more fruit, nuts and coconut and it’s always turned out fabulous.
14th Nov, 2016
Tried this recipe as I was interested to try the sweet potato in the cake... It was actually really nice, you couldn't tell it was even in there and it tasted delicious! I did swap the lighter frosting for regular vanilla, wholemeal flour for plain flour and a bit less golden syrup for agave.
30th Jul, 2015
Thanks for sharing this recipe. I will try this at home :) purchase soundcloud re-posts -- >
8th Apr, 2013
I deviated from the recipe for health and supply reasons but the end result was delicious cake - used spelt flours instead of wheat for health - omitted sugar for similar reasons and don't have a sweet tooth - used maple syrup instead of agave as ran out of latter - cake was lighter in colour because of lack of dark sugar but it was tasty and kids loved it too
3rd Feb, 2013
@Exotic sometimes a mashed banana will do as an egg sub, but even better and more nutritious is flaxseeds soaked in a little water- they go 'gummy' and are ace at binding. Google it for measures :)
29th Jan, 2013
Has anyone made this cake without egg, if so what did you use instead in this recipe please as I am a vegan Thank you
29th Jan, 2013
A really easy recipe. I left out the syrup and orange juice, (as I had none) but it was still fab. As a novice baker it passed the table test, none left!
29th Jan, 2013
A really easy recipe. I left out the syrup and orange juice, (as I had none) but it was still fab. As a novice baker it passed the table test, none left!
4th Jan, 2013
Yummy, moist cake - from the taste, it's hard to believe it's healthier than regular cake. I've made this twice, for friends and colleagues, and both times it got rave reviews. I couldn't find natural fromage frais in any of my local supermarkets so the first time I made this I just left it out, but the icing was very runny. The second time, I added some cream cheese (philly) and it seemed a little less runny.


Lesley E Watts
10th May, 2020
This is a general question about cakes. I don't have a particularly sweet tooth. Can I cut down the amount of sugar that goes into cakes without affecting the texture or consistency too much?
lulu_grimes's picture
12th May, 2020
Hello, You can cut the sugar in some cakes but you will change the texture as sugar adds structure as well as a sweet flavour. Start by cutting back a little and then a little more if that works. Lulu
15th Sep, 2016
What can I use as an egg substitute to make this cake vegan friendly?
goodfoodteam's picture
26th Sep, 2016
Hi there, we haven't tested this recipe using an egg replacer but have used Orgran No Egg in a number of recipes. It is designed to be used in baking and is available in larger supermarkets and health food shops. Check out these other vegan cakes too, plus our vegan desserts for more inspiration.
15th Sep, 2016
What can I use as a vegan substitute for eggs in a cake recipe?
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