Can’t Resist Carrot Cake

We all have those recipes that are like jewels, much coveted and ultimately prized – they become this from being so good you can’t resist them, and because you end up making them time and time again. Hence, I came up with the name of this Carrot Cake because it is so damned moreish that I may have well called it Crack Carrot Cake! Such was its reputation I made it day in and day out for our first café, and requests for the recipe used to come thick and fast from its loyal following.

It’s a remarkably simple recipe, no fancy food mixers needed, although I do use an old-fashioned handheld whisk to beat the oil and sugar. It’s ready in less than hour from start to finish and will elevate your baking reputation to superstar overnight. Perfect for any teatime, but really suits an Easter celebration. You can have some fun with young bakers by making sugar paste carrots to adorn rather than walnuts, and I always find there are plenty of willing volunteers to help clean the cream cheese frosting bowl…

Can’t Resist Carrot Cake

Recipe by Gemma SimmoniteCourse: Dessert, CakeDifficulty: Easy


  • Butter for greasing

  • 200g plain flour, sifted

  • 1 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda

  • 1 ½ teaspoon of baking powder

  • 1 teaspoon of salt

  • 1 ½ teaspoon of mixed spice

  • 225g of soft light brown sugar

  • 225ml of flavourless oil, I used vegetable oil but you could also use sunflower or rapeseed.

  • 3 large free-range eggs

  • 200 g grated carrots – approximately 3/4 carrots depending on size

  • 100g g broken walnuts, (but pecans would be delicious too) Reserve 8 left whole for decorating.

  • For the Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 375g cream cheese, at room temperature

  • 90g butter, at room temperature

  • ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract

  • A dash of lemon juice

  • 125g icing sugar, sifted


  • Preheat the oven to 170C/325F
  • Grease 2 x 8-inch sandwich cake tins with butter and line with greaseproof paper
  • Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, salt, and the mixed spice into a large bowl.
  • Whisk the oil and the light brown sugar in a large jug, then beat in the eggs one at a time until thick and incorporated, then pour into the flour mixture.
  • Add the carrots and the nuts of choice and mix until no flour is visible, and all the ingredients are incorporated.
  • Pour the mixture into the prepared tins, making sure there is an equal amount in each.
  • Bake in the oven for around 25-35 minutes – the cakes are ready when the cake is risen, no longer feels wobbly on top, and springs back when pressed.
  • Leave to cool in tin, then turn out onto a cooling rack.
  • For the frosting
  • In a bowl beat the cream cheese, butter, vanilla extract and lemon juice on medium high until light and whippy, then incorporate the icing sugar and beat again.
  • To decorate
  • Determine the top and bottom of the cake halves and arrange the bottom half on a plate or cake stand of your choice. With a palette knife generously slather the frosting on the bottom half, do this confidently – if you dither or are too sparing with the frosting the carrot cake will crumble into your frosting. Make sure to push the frosting to the outside edges of your cake, which will give the end appearance a full and bountiful look. Carefully arrange the top cake layer, and frost in the same way.
  • When finished swish the palette knife to ruffle the frosting.
  • Place reserved walnut halves/sugar paste carrots around the top of the cake.


  • Place reserved walnut halves/sugar paste carrots around the top of the cake.

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