Moist delicious sponge packed full of freshly grated carrot and walnuts, spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg – all topped with delicious lemon-spiked cream cheese frosting!
I feel like Carrot Cake is the underappreciated stalwart of the cake world. It’s just minding it’s own business while people choose chocolate, or lemon, or red velvet over it, never shouting about how awesome it really is. But Carrot Cake is awesome! The delicate mix of spices, the amazing moistness from the carrots, the nuts… plus a boatload of cream cheese frosting! The cream cheese frosting is spiked with lemon which cuts through the richness and makes it extra yummy.
The final, most awesome part? Unlike heavier cakes like chocolate or red velvet, you can eat a piece without feeling like you’ve completely given up on healthy eating. Because carrots!
I made this Carrot Cake to share with my workmates after we started talking about yummy cakes one day… carrot cake is a crowd pleaser, and a friend winner, take it from me!
This cake is made in a bundt tin – do you have one yet? I have this Wilton one, and Nordicware do some absolutely beautiful ones too! They even sell them in supermarkets and shops like Home & Bargains now too (as well as Lakeland!) If you don’t have one, you can make this recipe in 8 or 9 inch sandwich tins too! You’ll just need to cut the recipe in half, as a bundt is A LOT of cake!
Oh, and just one more thing… don’t even think about making this cake unless you have a good grater (or a food processor!). I do not have a good grater. I will be investing in one very soon!
- 450ml sunflower oil
- 8 large eggs
- 450g light brown / light muscavado sugar
- 450g grated carrots
- 600g self-raising flour
- 3 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp grated nutmeg
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 150g walnuts (or pecans, or a combination thereof), chopped into small pieces
- zest and juice of one orange
- 100g butter
- 500g cream cheese
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
- 500-700g icing sugar
- zest and juice of a lemon
- Preheat your oven to 180c/gas 4/350f and grease your bundt tin very well, getting sunflower oil into the crevices.
- First, grate your carrots! What fun!
- Combine the oil, eggs, and sugar in a large mixing bowl, and whisk together until everything is combined.
- Fold in the grated carrots, and then stir in the flour, making powder, spices and nuts, and finally the zest and juice of the orange.
- Bake on the middle shelf of your oven for around 50 minutes, or until the top is browned and pulling away from the edges of the pan. Remove from the oven once a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean of raw batter (you'll want to test it in two or three spots).
- Let the cake cool completely before attempting to turn out of the pan - when you're ready, give the bundt tin several taps on the work surface, and use a knife to gently loosen the cake from the edges of the tin. Invert the tin over a large serving plate and give it another couple of taps - hopefully it will drop onto the plate at this point! If it's stuck, turn it back around and give it another couple of firm taps and try again.
- In the microwave, heat the butter for approx 20-30 seconds, until it's very very soft, but not completely liquid (ie part of the pat of butter is still holding its shape). Transfer into your stand mixer, OR into a large mixing bowl, and whisk the butter until all lumps are gone - look carefully to make sure they're all eliminated.
- Next, remove your cream cheese from the fridge and add it to the butter. Whisk on low speed to incorporate to the butter, and add the vanilla, then turn of the mixer.
- Finally, sieve your icing sugar into the mixture around 150 - 200g at a time (I just do this by eye). Mixing on low, incorporate each batch of icing sugar before adding the next. Do NOT overmix - just until the sugar is incorporated. Keep adding icing sugar until you're happy with the consistency, then pop into a bowl or tub and put into the fridge for around 30 minutes to chill.
- When you're ready to frost your cake, add the zest and juice of a small/regular sized lemon and stir the frosting, then pour over your cake - I did this by simply holding the bowl over the cake and using a spatula to guide the frosting into slightly artistic looking waterfalls down the side of the cake!
- Decorate with a sprinkle of cinnamon, chopped walnuts, cute carrot decorations, or leave bare!
- You can also make this cake as a classic two layer carrot cake (with frosting in the middle and on the top) - simply divide all the ingredients in half.