This simple carrot cake recipe is moist, light and delicious. It’s also nut-free (unless you choose to decorate with them). Perfect for morning tea or a special occasion cake.
Simple carrot cake recipe
When I first shared this carrot cake recipe I dubbed it the best ever carrot cake.
It’s always a big call when a recipe is described as ‘best ever.’
At first it stood atop its pristine white cake stand in all its glory ready to be adorned with candles for a belated Birthday lunch for a friend.
After the four of us had two slices each, I took the remaining third of the cake to dinner at Mum and Dad’s house where Mum, Dad and I left just a few slices on the plate.
The following night was Friday at the beach and after dinner mum produced a small plate with 6 tiny slithers of carrot cake.
It was all that was left and it didn’t last long.
I think that’s probably a record for cake disappearance rate so I can tell you, ‘the best’ is a well-earned title.
So why is this recipe so good?
Unlike a traditional heavy carrot cake, this one is light (in texture not in oh-good-I-can-eat-more) and airy and not too crumbly.
The sweetness of the cream-cheese icing is subdued by the lemon zest.
If you’re looking for a carrot cake recipe without nuts then just leave the nuts off the top.
I’ve seen little marzipan carrots that look adorable on carrot cakes.
To make this carrot cake recipe you will need
- Eggs – free range is preferable
- Caster sugar – also called superfine sugar
- Vanilla extract – or vanilla bean paste
- Plain flour – also called AP flour
- Baking powder – helps it rise
- Ground cinnamon
- Ground cardamom
- Ground ginger
- Salt – sea salt over table salt
- Olive oil – a light olive oil is best but use whatever you have
- Grated carrots – make sure you peel them first or they can be slightly bitter
Cream cheese Icing
- Butter – the pure stuff you buy in a block where the only ingredient is cream
- Cream cheese – preferably full-fat for full flavour
- Vanilla extract
- Icing sugar – also called confectioner’s or powdered sugar. Here’s how to make your own icing sugar.
- Lemon zest
The sides of the cake weren’t exactly the look I was going for.
I was picturing pristine white, but the longer it sat the more the carrot colour seeped into the icing sugar.
If you don’t want it to turn orange then icing it at the very last minute.
I personally don’t think it mattered and gave it a much more rustic look.
My icing isn’t white, what did I do wrong? Probably nothing! Mine started out yellow but just needed a bit of extra whipping to make it snowy white.
I like a chunky carrot cake. Can you make this one a little more dense or should I look for a different recipe? If you like your carrot cake to have a bit more bite to it and not be too light then use a coarse grater to grate the carrot.
I used the fine setting on mine so the carrot blended in with the cake creating a smoother batter. However you make it, I know you’re going to love it. Enjoy!
What about you? Can you resist a recipe that says ‘best ever.’
p.s. Did you know there was such a thing as National Carrot Cake Day? It just so happens, it’s on February 3rd. I’ll take any excuse to eat cake.
Looking for more carrot recipes? You might also like:
- The best ever carrot cupcakes
- Carrot cake biscuits
- Carrot, apple & banana muffins
- Carrot and banana cake with macadamia icing
The best ever carrot cake
More celebration cake ideas
About The Author
Nutrition and Wellness Coach, mum of 3 and creator of Claire K Creations, Claire Cameron is passionate about simplifying natural living for busy families.
Through good food, natural products & simple living she'll help you achieve better health and a happier planet in a quick, easy & affordable (but not hippie!) way.
Don't forget to grab your free eBook 12 Ingredients, 11 Recipes.
If you make this recipe, don't forget to share it and tag me @clairekcreations .
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Could I have this in cups not g,
Hi Oma. Here’s a great resource for converting measurements – http://www.taste.com.au/how+to/articles/369/weights+measurement+charts
I am making this as we speak. I’m doing a carrot cake off. With 3 bags of carrots given to me, I don’t have a choice.
Verdict to come.
Good luck Fran! I hope yours is a winner!
Looks fabulous Claire! It sounds unlike most traditional cakes and I love that. The icing looks like you could eat it all own it’s own!
You could sit with a spoon and the icing Chris! Although I think you could eat more if you balanced it with some cake. The icing is pretty sweet!
That’s amazing – you and Tania posted carrot cake recipes on the same day! I love the look of your cake and I’m a firm believer in rustic presentation xx
I know what are the chances?! Rustic beats perfect any day!
Oh Claire its beautiful. Love a carrot cake don’t you. Its one of my favourites
I do indeed Tania!
This does look really good and it has my favourite icing-cream cheese icing which always makes cakes winners! :D
I didn’t use to like cream cheese icing would you believe?! Not now thought!
This looks so yummy!! x
It was! If only you were in Brisbane you would have gotten a piece too! x
Yum! This looks glorious! I haven’t had carrot cake in such a long time.
I might adapt this into carrot (cup)cakes so I can bring them as snacks to work!
It would work perfectly as cupcakes Kelly!