Paul Hollywood’s ultimate carrot cake recipe

By Paul Hollywood

  1. Serves 8
  2. Takes 20 minutes to make, 1 hour to cook
  3. Rating

This carrot cake is fabulous, easy and simple. Follow it exactly using digital scales, and it can't go wrong

tried and tested
Paul Hollywood’s ultimate carrot cake


  1. 155ml sunflower oil, plus extra for greasing
  2. 230g self-raising flour
  3. 1 tsp baking powder
  4. 1½ tsp ground cinnamon
  5. ½ tsp mixed spice
  6. ½ tsp ground ginger
  7. 230g light brown muscovado sugar
  8. Finely grated zest of 1 satsuma or mandarin, plus strips to decorate
  9. 100g pecans, halved
  10. 260g carrots, coarsely grated
  11. 3 medium free-range eggs, beaten
  12. For the icing
  13. 50g butter, softened
  14. 200g full-fat cream cheese
  15. 150g icing sugar, plus extra to dust
  16. 2 tsp orange juice


  1. 1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan160°C/gas 4. Grease an 18cm loose-bottomed round cake tin and line the base with baking paper. Sift the flour, baking powder and spices into a large bowl. Add the sugar, zest, pecans and grated carrots, then stir until well combined. Stir in the beaten eggs and oil, then mix well.
  2. 2. Pour into the prepared cake tin and bake in the oven for 1 hour or until a skewer comes out clean. Transfer to a cooling rack, leave in the tin for 5 minutes, then turn out and leave to cool completely before icing.
  3. 3. For the icing, beat the butter in a large bowl with a hand mixer until really soft. Add the cream cheese and beat again until well mixed. Sift over the icing sugar, add the orange juice, then beat until smooth. Store, covered, in the fridge until needed.
  4. 4. To decorate, fill a piping bag (see above) fitted with a plain, small nozzle with icing, then carefully pipe lines across the top of the cake. Give the cake a quarter of a turn and pipe more lines across. Dust with a little icing sugar and scatter some grated satsuma/mandarin zest on the top.

Nutritional info

PER SERVING 688kcals, 42.9g fat (13.8g saturated), 7.7g protein, 69.1g carbs (49.6g sugars), 0.8g salt, 3g fibre


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February 3

I have bought several issues of Delicious over the last few years and I love the UK version best, nothing against our Dutch version but I see more of my favorite cooking & baking in the UK & USA versions. Now I am still on the lookout for the Christmas and New Years Issue of December 2013 since my regular bookstore had forgotten to order it for me and I was in hospital most of the month December. Could you inform me if by any chance I could still acquire a copy of this issue ?? I liked particularly the Mascarpone Semmifreddo Dessert that was on the cover very very well plus some more of the recipes in that issue. Your help in this matter would be highly appreciated, with kind regards, Helene Flokstra.


February 2

This is a lovely recipe but I cook it in muffin cases ... Yummy.


January 23

I agree - this is the best carrot cake recipe. My 10 year old now specifically asks if it's a 'Paul Hollywood' one if we are out and about. Yes, the picture does not match the recipe - if you had bought the magazine the picture you see is the front cover version and the one shown with the recipe matches (with an alternative method to follow for the cover photo). I have had to look the recipe up as my magazine is now so well used you can barely read it!

Jenny Rea

December 23

This recipe gets a big thumbs up from me and all whom have tried my version of this recipe. Ive used this recipe a few times now and achieve best results by splitting the mixture into 2 tins and I also I use twice the amount of icing sugar to create a stiffer icing as I found the icing recipe very runny, the sponge mixture is the best flavoursome 1 I've ever tried for carrot cake :)


October 24

I made this cake and it didn't look like the photo, which is a shame. Is it me, I put mine mix in an 8" tin, but it was fairly deep. my cake came out like a biscuit. all my cakes come out like biscuits! Can someone tell me what I'm doing wrong, as I follow the recipes to the letter!?


October 15

Made this for my OH's birthday as it's his favourite cake. Never made a carrot cake before, recipe was straight forward and easy to follow. Having read the comments I split the batter between 2 sandwich tins, upped the cream cheese, lowered the icing sugar and flavoured with lemon instead of orange. Absolutely bleeping gorgeous, looked exactly like the photo with good deep laters.


August 17

This recipe doesn't match the picture, see previous comments, it also states piping to decorate, this cake hasn't been piped as stated. Recipes need to give clear instructions with pictures that match.


July 15

I agree picture depicts possibly two cakes. I found that 300g of cheese with the 150g of sugar and about 75-100g butter made an icing that I could spread or pipe when chilled and was not too sweet. It was very well received. Also the increased amount allows one to slice the cake in two sandwich together or completely cover. Recipes do need to be clear and so many are wishy washy. I have always found that just cream cheese and icing sugar give a runny icing but the butter just firms it up. Otherwise a very tasty cake and I will use this recipe again.


April 18

Hmm. I have never trusted Paul Hollywoods recipes. There always seems something amiss with them. A cake such as the one depicted in the photo is either baked in 2 sandwich tins or one deep cake tin. If the latter, then the recipe should state that the cake is sliced in 2. Please don't say I'm being pedantic. Recipes need to be written clearly in order to achieve good results. Looks like others have had different problems.


March 31

The cake is fine, but the icing sugar quantities seem large for the amount of cream cheese, and if you follow the quantities exactly, it ends up like an icing, very runny and certainly not suitable for piping... Even after many hours in the fridge.


February 2

Are the quantities for the icing on the carrot cake correct?

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