Carrot Cake

Carrot cake was never actually very high on my list of cake must-haves until a few years ago. This was mainly due to the fact that I’d only ever tasted shop bought cake and it never quite hit the spot – Often being far too dry and lacking in flavour.

When I first made carrot cake at home, I headed straight for the Hummingbird Bakery recipe book and have never looked back. Everyone I bake this for loves it (head swell) and I have to say it is one of my all time favourites. It’s remarkably easy to make, deliciously moist and oh. So. Very. BIG!

You can play around a bit with the flavours and add more (or less) cinnamon or ginger to suit your taste, or maybe even add a little nutmeg and ground cloves to the mix. If you are allergic to nuts, then simply leave the walnuts out… I prefer it with though, for that little bit of crunch. If you want to feel like you are being a little healthier, then simply make it without the cream cheese frosting. Not quite sure why you would want to do that!

I have to admit that this is the only carrot cake recipe that I have ever baked at home. I’ve been resisting using another recipe for fear of it not living up to the Hummingbirds, but I plan to change that very soon – I’d hate to be missing out on something that may be that little bit more divine!

Have you got the ultimate carrot cake recipe for me to test out? I’m up for the challenge.

I used 8inch cake tins, but have since used this recipe in muffin cases and it has worked every time.

Carrot Cake

Carrot Cake


300g Soft Light Brown Sugar
3 Eggs
300ml Sunflower Oil
300g Plain Flour
1 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
1 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Ground Cinnamon, plus extra to decorate
½ tsp Ground Ginger
½ tsp Salt
¼ tsp Vanilla Extract
300g Carrots, grated
100g Shelled Walnuts, chopped, plus extra, chopped and whole, to decorate
For the Cream Cheese Frosting:
300g Icing Sugar, sifted
50g Unsalted Butter, at room temperature
125g Cream Cheese, cold


  1. Preheat the oven to 170°C (325°F) Gas 3.
  2. Put the sugar, eggs and oil in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a handheld electric whisk) and beat until all the ingredients are well incorporated (don’t worry if the mixture looks slightly split). Slowly add the flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, salt and vanilla extract and continue to beat until well mixed.
  3. Stir in the grated carrots and walnuts by hand until they are all evenly dispersed. Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tins and smooth over with a palette knife. Bake in the preheated oven for 20–25 minutes, or until golden brown and the sponge bounces back when touched. Leave the cakes to cool slightly in the tins before turning out onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
  4. For the Cream Cheese Frosting: Beat the icing sugar and butter together in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a handheld electric whisk) on medium-slow speed until the mixture comes together and is well mixed.
  5. Add the cream cheese in one go and beat until it is completely incorporated. Turn the mixer up to medium-high speed.
  6. Continue beating until the frosting is light and fluffy, at least 5 minutes. Do not overbeat, as it can quickly become runny.
  7. When the cakes are cold, put one on a cake stand and spread about one-quarter of the Cream Cheese Frosting over it with a palette knife. Place a second cake on top and spread another quarter of the frosting over it.
  8. Top with the last cake and spread the remaining frosting over the top and sides. Finish with walnuts and a light sprinkling of cinnamon.


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14 Responses

  1. Kay January 23, 2013 / 4:28 pm

    Love homemade carrot cake as I agree with you that a lot of the shop bought ones tell to lack somewhat. I’ve only ever made carrot cake once, made it for my sister who had only ever tried shop bought and was put off as it always seemed dry. The cake was a hit with her, but I just don’t know what happened to the cream cheese frosting (even though I followed a recipe) it just came out too runny :0 don’t think I over beat it, So I am going to give your recipe a go for sure!

    • seebyzoe January 23, 2013 / 5:02 pm

      Let me know how you get on. It may be that you mixed the frosting for too long. I usually mix it for about three or four mins. Good luck :)

      • Kay January 24, 2013 / 2:04 pm

        Will do. The frosting never seemed to thicken up, I think It might have been the type I used. Maybe I need to purchase a better quality one!

  2. auscanucksarah January 23, 2013 / 9:07 pm

    Umm YUM! I love carrot cake! I’ve never tried to make it yet though. I am however, always willing to be a taste tester for new recipes!!

    • seebyzoe January 24, 2013 / 11:59 am

      I’ll have to make it for you when you arrive back in London!

  3. Dee Drummond-Goldman January 24, 2013 / 11:09 pm

    Looks amazing and I too love Hummingbird. My special ingredient for carrot cake is coconut!

  4. Nora January 30, 2013 / 1:33 pm

    I love carrot cake, and have a new absolute favourite recipe – the carrot, orange and pistachio cake in Short and Sweet, by Dan Lepard. I think it’s the same recipe as here: It requires some more obscure ingredients (tahini, pomegranate syrup) than your usual carrot cake, but it’s totally worth the extra effort. I’d recommend giving it a try if you want a slightly more exotic version.

  5. caterina February 3, 2013 / 2:28 am

    holy moly i just drooled all over my keyboard, this looks and I am sure tastes absolutely delicious!

  6. Laura February 9, 2013 / 8:44 am

    Great blog you have, I love the diversity of it.
    I keep meaning to try carrot cake, as Ive never had it! It actually came up the other day when me and my friends went for cake and they bought carrot (i had chocolate). I might have to loose my carrot cake v plates haha

    • seebyzoe February 11, 2013 / 12:22 pm

      Thanks Laura. You’ve got a nice and diverse blog there yourself :)

  7. Birdy March 11, 2013 / 11:34 am

    Hi! I have been making the Peyton and byrne carrot cake, which is sooooo divine, thought I would share that with you. I too am reluctant to try another since this one is so good, but will be trying the hummingbird one as recommended by you! X

  8. Helen July 25, 2014 / 5:46 am

    I’ve made this carrot cake about 6 times now, doubling the recipe, I have greedy friends. I always have problems with the frosting, so a friend advised I put a thin layer on, then put cake in the freezer for an hour, then cover again. I’ll let you know the result. Amazing recipe though. Delicits.

  9. Tracy August 6, 2016 / 7:49 am

    hello, what size cake tins did you use?

    • seebyzoe August 11, 2016 / 4:52 pm

      Hi. 8inch. Have updated my post with the info :)

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