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Simple Carrot Cake

Paul Hollywood’s carrot cake recipe uses pecan nuts for crunch and flavour, with a lovely warmth coming through in the cinnamon and ginger spices. It’s topped with cream cheese frosting, and decorated with a crown of orange zest.

how to make Simple carrot cake

Making this carrot cake is pretty easy. Start with toasting walnuts in the oven. Spread them on a baking tray and toast for 7 - 8 minutes, let them cook the chop. This way they will get extra nutty and delicious.

preparing the springform pan

Preparing the baking tin for this dense moist cake is the most important first step - if you don't want your cake stack in the pan. Generously grease the pan, then sprinkle with flour sides of the pan until it just lightly coats the surface. Then line the bottom of the pan with a round cutted baking paper.

Making the batter

For the batter, you will need 2 mixing bowls. In one mix all dry ingredients - flours, spices, baking soda and salt. In another whisk eggs, muscovado sugar and Greek yogurt. Now pour wet ingredients into flours along with shredded carrots and walnuts. Now, pour the batter into the springform pan and bake.

making the frosting

make ahead Simple carrot cake

This carrot cake can be made in one day easily but also can be made in advance. Bake the cake a day ahead, then make the frosting and assemble the cake on the day you want to serve. Keep leftovers for 3 - 4 days in a sealed container in the fridge.

looking for more dessert recipes?

best carrot cake

COOKS IN: 30 minutes plus cooling time
LEVEL: Moderate


For the batter

  • 100g plain flour
  • 100g spelt or whole grain spelt flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 80g dark muscovado sugar
  • 150ml vegetable oil
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 300g carrots, peeled and roughly grated
  • 100g walnuts, finely chopped

For the frosting

  • 125g icing sugar
  • 100g butter, at room temperature
  • 200g cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • grated zest of 1 orange
  • 1 tablespoon orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste


  1. Preheat the oven to 170 C. Prepare 24cm spring-form deep cake tin and grease it and line with baking paper.

  2. FOR THE BATTER, first toast the walnuts on the pan. Arrange them in a single layer in the pan then toast on a low heat for 5 - 6 minutes. They should become lightly brown and fragrant. Remove them then finely chop on the cutting board or blitz in the food processor.

  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine together plain and spelt flours, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, baking soda and salt.

  4. In a medium bowl, whisk eggs, muscovado sugar, Greek yogurt, sunflower until combined and no sugar lumps remain. Pour over the dry ingredients and fold with a silicon spatula until just combined. Fold in the carrots and chopped toasted walnuts.

  5. Pour the batter into prepared baking pan and bake for 20 - 25 minutes. Test with a skewer - if it comes out clean, the cake is done. Be sure not to overbake. Allow cake to cool completely in the pan on a wire rack.

  6. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin for 5 minutes before turning out on to a wire rack.

  7. TO MAKE THE FROSTING, using an electric hand mixer, beat the butter and icing sugar in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy, then gently beat in the cream cheese and vanilla extract.

  8. Once the cake is cold, discard the baking paper, spread the cream cheese mixture over the top and serve cutted into squares.

  9. To assemble the cake, trim the domed top off the cake to flatten them using a bread knife. Spread with a thick layer of cream cheese frosting. Transfer to the fridge and leave to set for an hour, then decorate with chopped walnuts.

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