Chocolate carrot cake recipe

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It's hard to resist a good chocolate carrot cake with light chocolate sponge and sweet chocolate cream cheese icing. Find more chocolate cake recipes at

Preparation Time30 mins (including decorating time)
Cooking Time25 mins
Total Time55 mins (plus cake cooling time)

Chocolate carrot cake puts an indulgent spin on the British teatime treat. 

This chocolate carrot cake recipe is ideal for any occasion from an afternoon picnic to weekday dessert. The creaminess of the frosting and the chocolate combined with the spice of the cinnamon and ginger really takes this classic cake recipe to the next level. But to give this cake an extra silky texture, we recommend finely shredding the carrots with a cheese grater. Then add to the mixture and be sure to stir well. To finish off, sprinkle the top of your chocolate cake with crushed or sliced walnuts.


For the sponge:

  • 3 large free-range eggs
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 200ml sunflower oil
  • 250g finely grated carrots (about 5 medium)
  • 200g plain flour
  • 3tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1tbsp baking powder
  • 1tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1tsp ground ginger
  • 125g walnut pieces or chopped pecans

For the filling and topping:

  • 100g unsalted butter, very soft
  • 100g good-quality cream cheese
  • ½tsp vanilla essence
  • 300g icing sugar, sifted
  • 5tbsp cocoa powder, sifted
  • 2tbsp walnut pieces or chopped pecans to decorate
  • 2 x 20.5cm sandwich tins, greased and base-lined




  1. Heat the oven to 180°C (350°F, gas mark 4).
  2. Put the eggs and sugar into the bowl of a food mixer and beat, with the whisk attachment, until very light and frothy. Gradually beat in the oil. Using a large metal spoon, stir in the carrots.
  3. Sift the flour, cocoa, baking powder, cinnamon and ginger into the bowl and stir in. Once thoroughly combined mix in the nuts.
  4. Transfer the mixture to the prepared tins, dividing it evenly. Bake in the heated oven for 25 mins or until firm to the touch. Turn out the sponges on to a wire rack and leave to cool completely.
  5. Meanwhile, make the filling and topping: put the soft butter, cream cheese, vanilla, icing sugar and cocoa into the bowl of a food mixer and beat, on low speed, until very smooth and creamy. Use about half to sandwich the sponges, then spread the rest on top. Scatter over the nuts.

Tips for making chocolate carrot cake:

Be sure to use full-fat cream cheese frosting rather than lower fat alternatives. Reduced and low-fat cream cheese always contains more liquid and stabilisers which will mix with the sugar and turn runny. 

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Grace Walsh
Features Writer

Grace Walsh is a health and wellbeing writer, working across the subjects of family, relationships, and LGBT topics, as well as sleep and mental health. A digital journalist with over six years  experience as a writer and editor for UK publications, Grace is currently Health Editor for and has also worked with Cosmopolitan, Red, The i Paper, GoodtoKnow, and more. After graduating from the University of Warwick, she started her career writing about the complexities of sex and relationships, before combining personal hobbies with professional and writing about fitness.