Carrot cake recipe

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Our easy carrot cake recipe is so simple to make. This recipe makes a loaf cake with a rich sponge, topped with delicious cream cheese frosting.

Carrot cake
  • Nut-free
  • Vegetarian
  • healthy
Serves8
SkillMedium
Preparation Time10 mins
Cooking Time1 hours (plus 10 mins cooling time)
Total Time1 hours 10 mins
Cost RangeCheap
Nutrition Per PortionRDA
Calories425 Kcal21%
Fat24 g34%
Saturated Fat6 g30%
Carbohydrates45 g17%

A carrot cake is so easy to make and it's a classic - one that everyone loves!

This recipe for carrot cake is a slight twist on the classic. It is baked in a loaf tin and is made up of a rich sponge, topped with the crowd pleasing and delicious cream cheese icing. If you're wondering how to make carrot cake, our simple recipe comes with a handy step-by-step video showing you exactly how to whip up this easy to make recipe. And it has even been triple-tested by our Test Kitchen - so you know it will come out perfectly every time. This cake is perfect for an afternoon tea (opens in new tab), a picnic or even served as a grown up birthday cake. If you've got any carrots left afterwards then why not use them in your dinner (opens in new tab).

Ingredients

  • 175g (6oz) wholemeal self-raising flour
  • 1 level tsp baking powder
  • 2 level tsp ground mixed spice
  • Pinch of salt
  • 150ml (¼ pint) sunflower oil
  • 175g (6oz) soft light brown sugar
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 100g (3½ oz) raisins
  • 250g (8oz) carrots, peeled and grated
  • 200g (7oz) cream cheese
  • Few drops vanilla extract
  • 3-4 level tbsp icing sugar
  • Orange and green food colouring

WEIGHT CONVERTER

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Method

  1. To make the carrot cake: Tip the flour into a bowl and stir in the baking powder, spice and salt. Then stir in all the remaining ingredients until well mixed. Pour the mixture into a 1kg (2lb) loaf tin, buttered and lined with a strip of baking parchment.
  2. Bake in centre of oven at 180C, gas 4 for about 1 hr, until just firm to the touch in the centre. A skewer should come out clean after being inserted into the middle.
  3. Remove from the oven. Allow to cool in the tin for 10 mins, then turn out on to a wire rack and leave to cool completely.
  4. To make the cream cheese topping: Beat together the cream cheese and vanilla extract. Add icing sugar to taste.
  5. Colour a small amount of icing orange and a small amount green, and use to fill a disposable piping bag each. Spread the remaining uncoloured icing over the top of the cake.
  6. Cut the end off the bag with the orange icing to give a small hole, and pipe tapered zigzags, to resemble carrots. Cut the end off the green icing bag into a 'V' shape and pipe leaves.
Top Tip for making Carrot cake

You can wrap the undecorated carrot cake in a freezer bag and freeze for up to three months. Defrost before icing.

Carrot cake is a great recipe for using up leftover carrots from your weekly food shop or ones that you might not have got round to using with your Sunday roast. This recipe is made with sunflower oil meaning the sponge is much lightertab.  and is bejewelled with raisins too. And don't forget about the sweet cream cheese icing! Topped with a simple classic cream cheese frosting (opens in new tab), this cake is the perfect base for a birthday cake (opens in new tab) or even split into 12 for cupcakes.

This recipe serves 8 people so it’s enough to feed the family if you’re having people round for a cuppa, or even for a small birthday party, because who doesn’t love a slice of carrot cake? This simple carrot cake recipe will take 1hr and 10 mins to make. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Food & Recipes writer

Sue McMahon is a former Food and Recipes Writer at GoodTo and Cooking Editor at Woman's Weekly. Her primary passion is cakes and Sue regularly travels the world teaching cake decorating. Her biggest achievement to date was winning the Prix d’honneur at La Salon Culinaire International de Londres beating over 1,200 other entries.