Carrot Cake

Recipe courtesy of Rachel Allen

Photo: Carrot Cake

TOTAL TIME: 3 hr 30 min
Prep: 1 hr
Inactive Prep: 1 hr 30 min
Cook: 1 hr
YIELD: 12 servings
LEVEL: Intermediate


  • 2 eggs
  • 5 fluid ounces vegetable oil
  • 7 ounces soft light brown sugar
  • 11 ounces grated carrot (weight when grated)
  • 3 1/2 ounces raisins
  • 3 ounces pecans or walnuts, chopped, optional
  • 6 1/2 ounces self-rising flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon mixed spice, (aka pudding spice, available online)
    • For the orange cream cheese icing
    • 9 ounces cream cheese, chilled
    • 4 tablespoons butter, softened
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 10 ounces icing sugar (confectioners'), sifted
    • Finely grated zest of 1 orange
    recipe tools


    Who doesn't love this classic cake? It's perfect just as it is with a cup of tea or coffee, but you could also try decorating it with candied violets to add a little visual 'oomph'.
    Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Grease and line a 5 by 9-inch loaf pan with greaseproof or parchment paper, and set aside.

    In a large bowl, beat the eggs, and then add the 5 ounces oil, brown sugar, grated carrot, raisins, and chopped nuts, if using.

    Sift in the flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and mixed spices, and bring the mixture together using a wooden or large metal spoon.

    Pour the mixture into the prepared loaf pan, smooth the surface, and bake in the oven for 1 to 1 hour 15 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.

    Allow the cake to cool in the pan for about 5 minutes before removing. Cool the cake completely on a wire rack before serving.

    To make the icing: In a bowl, beat the cream cheese and butter together, until combined. Add the vanilla extract, confectioners' sugar, and finely grated orange zest, and mix to combine. The icing should be smooth, and quite thick. Using a palette knife, spread the icing evenly over the cooled cake, dipping the knife into a bowl of hot water if the icing is hard to spread out. Cut the cake into slices to serve.

    Cooks Note

    Uniced, this cake is also delicious sliced and buttered.

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