Slices of yummy scrummy carrot cake on brown baking paper

Carrot cake

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(970 ratings)

Prep: 1 hr - 1 hr, 15 mins


15 slices

Delight friends with an afternoon tea that includes this easy carrot cake. You can bake the cake, freeze it and just drizzle over the icing on the day

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable
  • Dairy-free

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal265
  • fat12g
  • saturates2g
  • carbs39g
  • sugars24.8g
  • fibre1g
  • protein3g
  • salt0.41g
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  • 175g light muscovado sugar
  • 175ml sunflower oil
    Sunflower oil

    Sunflower oil

    A variety of oils can be used for baking. Sunflower is the one we use most often at Good Food as…

  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 140g grated carrot (about 3 medium)



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

  • 100g raisins
  • grated zest of 1 large orange



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

  • 175g self-raising flour
  • 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 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp grated nutmeg (freshly grated will give you the best flavour)



    One of the most useful of spices for both sweet and savoury

For the frosting

  • 175g icing sugar
  • 1½-2 tbsp orange juice


  1. Heat the oven to 180C/fan160C/gas 4. Oil and line the base and sides of an 18cm square cake tin with baking parchment.

  2. Tip 175g light muscovado sugar, 175ml sunflower oil and 3 large beaten eggs into a big mixing bowl. Lightly mix with a wooden spoon. Stir in 140g grated carrots, 100g raisins and grated zest of 1 large orange.

  3. Sift 175g self-raising flour, 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda, 1 tsp ground cinnamon and ½ tsp grated nutmeg into the bowl. Mix everything together, the mixture will be soft and almost runny.

  4. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 40-45 mins or until it feels firm and springy when you press it in the centre.

  5. Cool in the tin for 5 mins, then turn it out, peel off the paper and cool on a wire rack. (You can freeze the cake at this point if you want to serve it at a later date.)

  6. Beat 175g icing sugar and 1½ - 2 tbsp orange juice in a small bowl until smooth – you want the icing about as runny as single cream.

  7. Put the cake on a serving plate and boldly drizzle the icing back and forth in diagonal lines over the top, letting it drip down the sides.

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Comments, questions and tips

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Bethan Lygo's picture
Bethan Lygo
31st Oct, 2019
Just made and they were lovely!! I used currents instead of sultanas because I didn’t have any, and also made a batch without any sultanas or currents for my friend because she hates them, and they turned out great too
Emmet O'Donoghue's picture
Emmet O'Do...
3rd Aug, 2019
Hi this is my second time to make this cake and it is lovely. I was going to ask a question which was why do the raisins sink but I read that section now and know the answer. I will dust the raisins next time with flour and there definitely will be a next time. To think all this time I thought carrots in a cake would be gross, how wrong was I. Thanks for the recipe. Emmet
laurella's picture
22nd Jun, 2019
The perfect carrot cake - moist and fluffy, took only 40min - it has instantly become a family favourite! Depending on the sweetness of your tooth, you might consider going as low as 120g of sugar and it'll still be amazing!
lamorna08's picture
14th Jun, 2019
So easy to make. Allways reliable and tastes so nice. Been baking this recipe for about four years now and everyone loves it.
Sarah Robins's picture
Sarah Robins
15th Apr, 2019
Delicious, easy to make cake (from someone that doesn't make cakes often). Having read some previous comments we used 140ml vegetable oil instead of 175ml. We also substituted the raisins for 75g chopped walnuts, as all our family prefers nuts to raisins. We didn't have a square cake tin but this fit perfectly in 2 normal sized loaf tins. We used the frosting (added slightly more than 2 tbsp orange juice) to completely cover the top of the cake, rather than just drizzling in lines, which we all thought was nicer (having just drizzled this initially).
Sinéad Chearúil's picture
Sinéad Chearúil
23rd May, 2019
Hi Sarah, I'm planning on doing this myself & only have loaf tins to hand. Just wondering if you lined the tins with greaseproof or just greased it? Thank you.
robosquid's picture
16th Mar, 2019
Made this a few times with really good results, light, fluffy and moist. I weigh out 150g of sunflower oil - it's about the same as 175ml.
MB seastar
24th Feb, 2019
This cake is amazingly light, moist and fluffy - I have made it loads of times and it is the ultimate carrot cake - Enjoy!
15th Feb, 2019
Tried this recipe last night, and it's delicious! I did use light brown sugar instead of muscovado and left out the raisins, but only because I didn't have either ingredient at the time. Still came out a light, moist cake. Everyone at work agrees that it's a great cake!
Joanna Sas
12th Feb, 2019
I never liked carrot cake before this recipe, and now I make it all the time proudly telling people it will be the best carrot cake they every eat, and everyone agrees and asks for the recipe! So nice and moist without all that horrible thick butter icing. I hate raisins so use walnuts instead, also adding crushed walnuts on top.


Bibi Baker's picture
Bibi Baker
16th Nov, 2019
just made this n it turned out amazing however the cake has green bits running thru it now ! possible carrot n I don't know why. they taste bit soap like. is it because i ditnt add orange peel ? .thank u
23rd Sep, 2019
Will it be ok to put the icing on top before freezing?
goodfoodteam's picture
24th Sep, 2019
Thanks for your question. Yes, you can ice beforehand, although for the best appearance we'd suggest doing so after defrosting.
Melissa Inness's picture
Melissa Inness
4th Sep, 2019
Could you please advise if this cake is suitable to be iced with fondant?
goodfoodteam's picture
9th Sep, 2019
Thanks for your question. Technically, it's possible to cover this with fondant. However, it's not specifically designed as a celebration cake and as such will not last beyond a few days or hold the weight of tiers. If you're looking for an occasion cake, we'd suggest looking through the following collections: We hope this helps.
Nick Johnson's picture
Nick Johnson
27th Aug, 2019
Do I need to squeeze the grated carrot before adding?
goodfoodteam's picture
31st Aug, 2019
Thanks for your question. No, it's not necessary to squeeze the carrots.
Pippa Anning's picture
Pippa Anning
8th Aug, 2019
I have a tin that's 28cm by 22cm and wondered if this recipe would work in this tin and if I'd need to make any adjustments? Thanks
goodfoodteam's picture
9th Aug, 2019
Thanks for your question. A 28 x 22cm tin will be too large but if you have a 20cm round cake tin that will make a good substitute.
Antonia Treitli's picture
Antonia Treitli
11th Apr, 2019
Hi! I would like to bake this cake, but I only have plain flour at home. Should I use more bicarbonate of soda or should I add some baking powder? If yes, how much? Thank you


12th Aug, 2019
Really easy recipe, i used rapseed oil instead doubled the recipe and made a four layer cake it took slightly longer in the oven as i used a deeper smaller diameter tin. I also added nutmeg along with the cinnamon. Lovely moist cake will definitely be making again!
MB seastar
24th Feb, 2019
Try adapting this to make a blueberry and pistachio cake. Sub the raisins for blueberries and add 50g pistachio and decorate with ground and whole pistachios and chopped blueberries - delicious!
29th Nov, 2017
I cut the oil to 140ml and that works out better for me.
CJHardy's picture
21st Nov, 2016
I have been using this recipe for quite some time as the basis for large muffins, this recipe will make 8 cafe-sized muffins. Really tasty recipe, but I would cut down on the oil, about 110-115ml is plenty. There is sufficient rising agent to increase the fruit content but care should be taken that too much will lead to poor temperature conduction. Similarly you can increase the number of carrots, I have successfully used up to 4 carrots including large ones. Don't over-stir though as they will break down thereby raising the liquid content
10th Apr, 2015
To really give this fantastic recipe some zing, don't use water with the icing sugar mix. Instead grate the zest of 4 limes. Squeeze the limes in to a bowl and use the juice to mix the icing (about 10 tsp) to the mix. Then sprinkle the grated zest on top for decoration. The sugar takes the bite out of the bitterness. This added to the orange in the cake makes a really fresh, zingy taste.
18th Sep, 2014
This works really well with Gluten Free flour instead. My favourite!
7th Mar, 2014
I used the mascarpone and lime to made the frosting. Still yummy,and fresher!
28th Jan, 2014
Made this the other day, but with a couple of tiny tweaks. I used 160g light muscovado sugar and added a handful of chopped walnuts to the wet batter. Baking time was only about 30-40 minutes. I kept checking with a cake thermometer. when it was about to reach the 30 minute mark. All in all, recipe is quite good. Just like how my mum used to make. I skipped the frosting as eating it in itself is already a treat.
26th Oct, 2013
Best carrot cake I have ever had :) Although, I find that you don't need as much icing sugar as the recipe states to just drizzle over the top as the picture shows. I also made the cake another time with the typical creamy topping from another goodfood carrot cake recipe (Carrot & cream cheese cupcakes), which made it even more delicious and indulgent. Hope to try it with nuts added next time
10th Jul, 2013
Made this last night for work as a Gluten and Lactose free cake (variety of dietary issues in my office!). The girls LOVED it. I used Dove's Farm gluten free flour, and about a tablespoon of orange juice - gluten free flour always absorbs more water. Worked like a dream.
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