February 27, 2010

The best Carrot Cake

Carrot Cake with buttercream




This recipe makes a gorgeous Carrot Cake and is much better than the Rachel Allen one I made! Steve’s Mum declared it the best Carrot Cake she’s ever tasted (and she’s quite the expert!), hence the rather arrogant title! The texture is moist and light, plus the walnuts give a nice crunch.


It’s such a simple cake to make and doesn’t require much effort as it’s made with oil, so there’s no creaming of butter and sugar necessary.


I don’t like coconut, but you can’t taste it in the cake and it gives it a better texture, so it’s worth adding. The walnuts are optional of course, but we had some knocking around the house as Steve’s Mum always buys the ones in their shell for Christmas and they never get eaten unless I use them in baking!


Carrot Cake royal icing


There was a bit of a debate in the house about which icing people preferred, so I covered half with a simple buttercream (Steve’s choice) and half with a runny royal icing (Steve’s Mum’s and my choice) as we had some leftover from last week’s birthday cake decorating.


  • Oven temperature: Gas mark 4/350°F/180°C
  • Oven shelf: middle
  • You will need: a greased and lined 8 inch square tin



  • 150ml (¼ pint) sunflower oil
  • 100g (4oz) light soft brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 75g (3oz) golden syrup
  • 175g (6oz) self raising flour, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 100g (4oz) carrots, grated (approx. 1 med-large sized carrot)
  • 25g (1oz) desiccated coconut
  • ½ Tablespoon walnuts, chopped



  1. Preheat the oven to Gas mark 4/350°F/180°C.
  2. Whisk together the oil, sugar, eggs and golden syrup using an electric hand mixer.
  3. Add the flour, spices, bicarbonate of soda, carrots, coconut and walnuts and gently fold into the mixture with a spoon until well incorporated. Don’t overmix as this will make the cake heavy.
  4. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake in the oven for about 30 minutes. A skewer inserted should come out clean. If it’s not done yet, return to the oven for another 5-10 minutes. If the cake is getting too brown then lightly cover with a sheet of foil.
  5. Cool in the tin for about 5 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely before icing.


To make the buttercream icing for half the cake: Beat 25g (1oz) soft butter until pale and creamy. Add 100g (4oz) of sifted icing sugar and just enough milk to create a soft and fluffy icing. Beat well then spread on top of the cooled carrot cake.



  • You can freeze the cake un-iced


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