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Carrot Cake with slice taken out and another sitting in it

Really Good Carrot Cake

Serves 8

4.5 from 2 votes
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins
Total Time: 2 hrs
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American


Carrot Cake

  • 3 cups grated carrots
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp bicarb soda ‘bicarbonate of soda’ or baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup raisins optional
  • 3/4 cup shredded coconut
  • 1 orange zest and juiced


  • 2 blocks cream cheese chilled
  • 2 cups butter softened
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 orange zest
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 cup milk powder see notes
  • 1/2 batch buttercream frosting
  • 2 drops orange food gel
  • 2 drops green food gel
  • 2 cups walnuts chopped to decorate


Carrot Cake

  • Preheat a fan forced oven to 160C / 325F. Spray the bottom and side of three 8-inch cake tins with oil and line the bottom with baking paper. Set aside.
  • Add the all-purpose flour, baking powder, bicarb soda, salt and cinnamon to a medium sized mixing bowl and use a whisk to combine. Set aside.
  • To a separate bowl, add the oil and brown sugar. Mix until well combined. Then add the eggs one at a time, mix well each time. Add the dry ingredients and use a spatula to mix until well combined.
  • Next, add the walnuts, grated carrots, coconut, orange zest and orange juice and mix until well combined. The mixture will seem thick at first but as you mix it will thin out.
  • Split between the three 8-inch cake tins and bake for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.


  • Add the cream cheese, butter, salt, vanilla extract and orange zest into a large mixing bowl. If you have a stand mixer, use the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until the mixture is well combined and creamy, about 4-5 minutes.
  • Add the powdered sugar and milk powder and mix on low speed to begin with. Then turn up to high speed when there are no dry ingredients showing. Continue beating on high speed until pale and creamy, about 5 minutes.

Coloured buttercream

  • The buttercream carrots around the outside of the cake are made using my American buttercream recipe mixed with food gel. I used a medium piping tip for the carrots and a small round tip for the leaves.

To Assemble

  • Add a dab of cream cheese frosting on your serving plate and spread around. Add the first layer of cake and press down. Add the first layer of cake. Add a ring of frosting around the cake. Then fill in with more frosting. Use an offset spatula to smoothen and flatten out.
  • Add the next layer of cake. And repeat until you get to the next layer of cake. Once you have all 3 layers on, frost the outside and top of the cake and smoothen out.
  • Add chopped walnuts around the bottom of the cake and around the top.
  • Pipe the carrots around the sides of the cake and then pipe the leaves on top.


This glorious carrot cake can be stored in an airtight container for up to three days.
Milk powder
The milk powder used in this recipe is the type that is used to make long life milk and can be found in the long-life milk section of your supermarket. The milk powder is used to make the cream cheese frosting creamier and to help it set so that it holds its shape.
Typically, a carrot cake has tart cream cheese frosting. Usually with a good squeeze of lemon juice. Mine is different in that the focus is on making it creamy, not lemony and it instead has orange zest which compliments the orange zest and orange juice found in the cake recipe.


Calories : 1262kcal
Carbonhydrates: 118g
Protein: 19g
Fat: 85g
Saturated Fat: 38g
Polyunsaturated Fat: 23g
Monounsaturated Fat : 18g
Trans Fat : 2g
Cholesterol: 220mg
Sodium: 1346mg
Potassium : 907mg
Fiber: 8g
Sugar : 70g
Vitamin A: 9762IU
Vitamin C: 17mg
Calcium: 349mg
Iron: 4mg
Nutrition Disclosure