Carrot Cake

Carrot Cake

A traditional cake but still one of my favourites, it’s good for feeding the masses too!


225ml sunflower oil

3 eggs, large

120g golden syrup

150g soft light brown sugar

240g self-raising flour

1½ tsp cinnamon

½ tsp allspice (if you don’t have allspice you can just leave it out!)

½tsp ground ginger

1tsp bicarbonate of soda

300g grated carrots

½ Quantity of Cream Cheese Frosting – recipe here

Orange and green sugarpaste for carrot decorations (optional)


Makes 1 x 8″ Square cake.

Prepare your tin lining the base and sides with baking paper.

Pink Tin <3

No, I didn’t buy this tin because it’s pink.

Okay, I did.

(but it was reduced 😉 )

Preheat the oven to 160c (fan)/180c/Gas Mark 4.

Measure out the sunflower oil in a jug and add the eggs.  Whisk them together to break up the eggs.

Now weigh out the golden syrup and set to one side.

In a large bowl combine all the dry ingredients – flour, spices, sugar and bicarbonate of soda.

Yes, I’m using a casserole dish, I couldn’t lay my hands on a mixing bowl…..don’t tell me you don’t do that….?!

Add the oil, eggs and syrup and give it a good old mix up.

Now grate the carrots, it’s about this many… (if they’re piddly little ones like mine).  Peel them first but keep the tops on – something to hold whilst you’re grating.

Officially I hate grating carrots but I hate hunting for the food processor attachments even more.

I’ve seen this which looks kind of nifty, and I reckon it wouldn’t take up any more room in the cupboard than the grater – what do you reckon?  If you have one, let me know if they’re any good! (Tefal Fresh Express)

Add the carrots and stir it up, pour it all into the tin.

Bake it in the oven for 45-50 minutes, check its done inserting a skewer and making sure it comes out clean.

Transfer it to a wire rack to cool completely.

Mix up the frosting, you only need a ½ quantity of this recipe – so 35g butter, softened 100g cream cheese and 200g icing sugar following the instructions.

Spread over the top of the carrot cake and squiggle with a fork.  Cut into 16 pieces, more if you’re feeling stingy.

To make the carrots take the sugarpastes and roll them into fat sausages.

Cut each sausage into even slices – that way all your carrots will be the same sizes.

For the carrot body roll each piece into a ball

then taper the end to a point

Using the end of a paintbrush poke a hole in the top.

Carrot tops – roll a small ball of green, taper the end and then flatten the ball part with your fingertip.

Using a sharp knife make three or four cuts to separate it into leafy bits.

Poke the pointy bit of the carrot top into the paintbrush hole in the top of the carrot.

Using the knife score some lines gently down the body of the carrot.

Add a cute little carrot to each piece of cake (and then cry when the children pick them off before eating the cake – all that hard work!)

Because of the frosting this cake should be kept in the fridge but allow it to come back to room temperature before serving.

 Carrot Cake

Carrot Cake

Ruth Clemens, Baker Extraordinaire



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44 Responses to Carrot Cake

  1. Rachel says:

    My first thought was “yay, carrot cake!” second was “oooh, I like that pink tin!” Great post, as always, thank you!

  2. Jayne says:

    This sounds great, I love carrot cake! Thanks for showing how to make the adorable carrots!

  3. anne says:

    how long will the cream cheese icing keep in the fridge?

  4. Lisa Shannon says:

    Ooo Ruth this looks lovely . The tiny carrots are the cutest thing I have seen in ages. It never crossed my mind to make them myself, they seem so easy. I can’t wait to try them. Thanks Ruth.

  5. Helen Oliver says:

    Just like Rachel, after being pleased to find a carrot cake endorsed by you (not my fave. but my sister loves it & without topping it’s dairy free for one of my church ladies – whilst the rest can have the topping) – I immed thought ‘Ohh,nice pink tin !’. Thanks for keeping my baking motivation going Ruth- you seem to get the perfect balance of exciting flavours but family friendly recipes… and you’re hilarious too xx

  6. biscuitbear says:

    Hi Ruth, I hate grating carrots too, and even if I found the food processor attachment, I doubt that I could figure out how to use it. A few weeks ago, I bought a Benriner mandolin (a Japanese brand) and it’s fabulous (you can find it on Amazon UK). I made carrot cake a few weeks ago and it took only a couple of minutes to grate all the carrots. I wonder though about how fine the carrots should be grated. I used the finest setting on the mandolin, but I see your carrots are more coarsely grated, do you think it makes a difference? I did think that you could not really taste the carrots in my cake.

    • Ooh thanks will have a look for one of those – my worry when the word ‘mandolin’ is mentioned is that i’d most likely lose a finger!!! I use the coarse grater bit for the carrots which comes more down to the fact that in my lazy mode it’s quicker but yes I think it would make a difference in that the carrot will stay together rather than melt away to nothing x

  7. Jenny @ BAKE says:

    I love your carrot decorations! so cute!

  8. Sara says:


    I would like to make a cupcake version of this delicious-looking cake, how long would you think I should bake them for? Also (that’s probably pushing it) but do you have any idea at all how many cupcakes this recipe would yield?

    • I suspect that the wrappers would peel away from the cake because of the oil content and the moistness of the cake but it’s worth a try. I’d say it would make approx 8 cupcakes and would probably bake for 35 mins but do test them to check they’re done with a skewer x

  9. Betty Ingarfill says:

    Hi Ruth, made your carrot cake yesterday and it’s lovely. Took it to work and it was a success there too. Love you blogs 🙂 x

  10. All4meggymoo says:

    Just made this & the cute little carrots too, thank you this is amazing! I will write ablog post about this! Love love love it!

  11. Rebbecca says:

    Hello, can vegetable oil be used instead of sunflower? I want to make this tomorrow, but don’t want to buy more oil when I already have some, Thanks! 🙂

  12. Kelly Baker says:

    Can I use an 8″ round tin using this recipe?

  13. martha says:

    Hi Ruth,

    Really love this website :)I am a novice baker – very novice! so this may be a stupid question! The little carrots u made …..could you make up a batch of these and store them for use later? if so how wud u store? Also is sugarpaste the same as fondant icing???? Thanks :))))

  14. Suzanne Doe says:

    Baked this today and it’s a beautiful moist cake. Also, the cream cheese frosting was divine…..mine normally turns out to be too runny, but not today!
    Can you tell me, did you use a baking tray for your cake because I used 8×8 square as directed and my cake is twice as high as yours! I would like to make a traybake version of this but not sure if the mixture would be sufficient in a baking tray. Any advice would be appreciated. Great recipe, thanks.

    • Hi Suzanne – no mine was an 8″ square! I don’t think there’d be enough mixture to make it as a traybake but would instead use 1 and a half times the quantity to do it this way x

  15. Valerie says:

    I baked this at the weekend and it was an immediate hit with my family. I’ve never been a fan of carrot cake so I left out the all spice and it suited my taste. The cake is really moist and I loved it. I followed the recipe for the cream cheese filling to the letter and it turned out perfectly. The ‘carrot’ decoration made my cake look very professional. I shall certainly be making it again.

  16. Helen Blake says:

    Hi, I really liked the look of your carrot cake recipe (especially how to make the carrots for the top) but was wondering how long this cake will keep for? Will it still be good to eat after a couple of days. Also, could I convert to gluten free?

    • Yes definitely Helen, keep it in the fridge (because of the frosting). Covert it to a gluten free by using GF flour, you may need to add a tablespoon or two of milk if the consistency seems a little dry x

  17. Deirdre says:

    Hi can this cake be frozen ahead of time to be defrosted and used as one tier of a wedding cake in 4 weeks? (uniced) Thank you!

  18. Sharon Rae says:

    Hi Ruth,
    Love your site, recipes are great and have now realised cake decorating is easier than I thought!!
    I have a Tefal Fresh Express and couldn’t do without it. Makes short work of carrots, cheese etc. I make a lot of soup and carrot cake and it’s just a godsend. I’d definately recommend it.
    Happy Baking
    Sharon x

  19. Laura says:

    Hi Ruth,
    Made this last week, first time I had tried decorations of this sort and turned out quite well!
    Just wondered if you had advice on keeping the cake in a tin for a few days but not letting the decorations go soggy. There’s only 2 of us plus 2 year old twins so it takes us a few days to get throggh 16 pieces of cake!
    Laura x

    • I would leave the decorations off the cake and then just add them to the slices as you serve them, once they’re on the cake they start to absorb the moisture so its impossible to keep them dry x

  20. Suzanne Doe says:

    Hi Ruth.
    A quick question. I would like to make this as a birthday cake for my Mother-in-law.
    Could I make it a couple of days in advance and store it in the fridge. I know th cake will be fine but am worried that the carrots would go soggy if refrigerated .
    Thanks x

  21. Jacquie says:

    Hi Ruth, thanks for this – ave just made the cake and it smells delicious! When stored in the fridge should it be kept in an airtight container? Sorry – might sound daft but I’m a novice baker!

  22. Gerryberry says:

    Ruth my kitchen smells amazing……. Thank you so much.

  23. Gerryberry says:

    Thanks to the carrot cake in the oven….

  24. Santhi Kadiresan says:

    Hi Ruth,

    I baked this carrot cake for my hubby’s birthday last week. It was awesome . It was so moist n easy to do. But I excluded all spice as I didn’t have any. I even did the cream cheese frosting and the carrot topper. I used fondant instead . Thanks for sharing the wonderful recipes.


  25. Kelly says:

    Thank you so much for this recipe!
    I baked it today as per my father in laws request & it was just perfect!
    Tastes just like coffee shop carrot cake & I got lots of compliments!
    I had to bake a bit longer than advised tho – about 15mins longer but it was great!
    I also sprinkled some chopped walnuts on top – bliss!
    Thank you!

  26. Emily says:

    Hi Ruth,
    I love this recipe, I’ve made it as cupcakes and it worked well. I would like to try and make a gluten free version now and was wondering if I could simply substitute the sr flour for gf flour? Or should I add another raising agent?

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