A very good carrot cake

The Main Squeeze is partial to carrot cake. I am too. So when an occasion to celebrate rolled around, I went looking for a good recipe. There are thousands of them, many with an awful lot in them besides carrots. I had two considerations in mind. First, I didn’t want too big a cake. We’d never get through a three-layered tower of delight. Secondly, not too sweet, so anything that had more sugar than flour was automatically out. In the end I found one that was scaled for a loaf pan rather than a round cake tin and that didn’t seem too sweet. Of course it was written in American, so I translated the amounts to Sensible, made a few modifications and have no hesitation in claiming it now as my own.


For the cake

  • 200 gm plain flour (You can of course use self-raising flour if you have it,
    in which case omit the baking powder.)
  • 10 gm baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) ground ginger
  • 240 gm coarsely grated carrots
  • 90 gm brown sugar (muscavado or demerara)
  • 70 gm roughly chopped walnuts
  • 35 gm sultanas
  • 250 ml light oil (I used peanut)
  • 4 eggs

For the icing

  • 250gm Philadelphia cream cheese
  • 55 gm icing sugar


Preheat the oven to 180°C (approximately gas mark 5).

Beat the eggs together lightly. Measure the dry ingredients and the grated carrots into a bowl and stir briefly to mix. Add the oil and the beaten eggs and stir well to mix thoroughly. Grease a loaf tin (about 10 x 23 x 6 cm) and pour the batter into the tin, smoothing the top with a wet spatula.

Bake for 50–55 minutes, turning halfway through, until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.

Remove from the oven and allow to rest in the tin for about 10 minutes, then slip the cake out and place it on a wire rack to cool thoroughly.

When the cake is cool, beat the icing sugar into the cream cheese and spread over the top of the cake. You may have a little left over (I did) or maybe you prefer your icing thicker than I do. A dollop of leftover icing serves to gild the lily of a nice thick slice, if you are so minded.

This cake keeps well in the fridge for at least a week, which is how long it took us to polish it off.

The Main Squeeze approved.

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