Carrot cake

This cake is one of my favourite ever cakes, in part because it’s the cake I made for my daughter’s first birthday, well over a decade ago. But also because it’s the kind of cake you hope you’re getting when you order a piece of cake. It’s absolutely yummy and the only carrot cake recipe I use.



2 packed cups grated carrots

3/4 cup chopped walnuts

1/2 cup sultanas/raisins

1 cup self raising flour

2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground cloves

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1/2 tsp free flowing salt

2 large eggs

1/2 cup veg oil

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup light brown sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract


100g soft unsalted butter

100g full fat cream cheese

300g icing sugar

Zest of 1 orange

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Small handful chopped walnuts


  1. Heat oven to 180C, grease and line the bottom of two 20cm sandwich tins. Grab your self three bowls – one big, two smaller.
  2. In one of the small bowls mix together the carrots, walnuts & sultanas and set aside. This is bowl 1.
  3. In the second small bowl, sieve and mix together the flour, spices, baking powder, bicarb & salt, and set aside. This is bowl 2.
  4. In bowl 3, the large bowl, whisk together the eggs, oil, both sugars and vanilla.
  5. Sieve the dry ingredients from bowl 2 into bowl 3, and mix well. I know you’ve already sieved them once, but hey, a second time can’t hurt.
  6. Then fold in the carrots/nuts/sultanas from bowl 1.
  7. Scrape into the two prepared tins, shimmy to level, and bake for 25 minutes until the cakes bounce back to a light touch in the centre.
  8. Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then turn out, remove the lining paper and allow to cool.
  9. In the mean time, put the butter for the icing into a bowl and beat until smooth. Then add in the cream cheese and beat until smooth again.
  10. Next, sieve in the icing sugar gently, and use a wooden spoon to beat until (you’ve guessed it) smooth. It’ll be pretty thick, so use the vanilla extract and a tablespoon of milk to loosen it a little if needs be.
  11. Grate in the orange zest and mix in thoroughly.
  12. When the sponges are completely cool, place one on your serving plate, spread over half of the icing, then repeat.
  13. Scatter over the walnuts, and try not to eat it all too quickly.

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