Carrot and walnut cake

Carrot and walnut cake
  • Serves icon Serves 10-12
  • Time icon Hands on time 40 minutes, oven time 25 minutes

Ciara Davis’s lusciously moist carrot and walnut cake is packed with sultanas and desiccated coconut and covered with a zesty lemon cream cheese icing. It’s perfect for springtime, Easter or as a year-round afternoon tea treat for lovers of carrot cake.

Alternatively, try Paul Hollywood’s carrot and pecan cake with cream cheese frosting.



  • Sunflower oil to grease
  • 250g unsalted butter, softened
  • 250g caster sugar
  • 4 large free-range eggs
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 250g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp mixed spice
  • 50g desiccated coconut
  • 75g sultanas
  • 50g walnuts, roughly chopped
  • 100g carrot, grated (about 1 large carrot)
  • Edible flowers to decorate (optional)

For the cream cheese icing

  • 150g unsalted butter, well softened
  • 450g full-fat cream cheese (we like Philadelphia)
  • 150g icing sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Finely grated zest 1 lemon


  1. Heat the oven to 180C/fan160C/gas 4. Lightly oil and bottom-line 3 x 20-cm sandwich tins. Cream the butter and sugar together in a large mixing bowl until fluffy and light. Add the eggs one by one, beating well after each addition, then beat through the vanilla extract. Fold in the flour and baking powder with a pinch of salt, then fold in the mixed spice, coconut, sultanas, walnuts and carrot.
  2. Divide the mixture between the tins, then bake for 20-25 minutes until risen, springy and a skewer pushed into the centres comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tins for 10 minutes, then turn out onto wire racks to cool completely.
  3. Meanwhile, make the icing. Beat the butter and cream cheese together until smooth, then gradually beat in the icing sugar. Stir through the vanilla and lemon zest, then chill until ready to use.
  4. To assemble the cake, put a cooled sponge on a serving plate (if it has risen a lot you may need to slice off the top or put the sponge upside-down), then spread over a thin layer of icing. Top with another sponge, then repeat with another layer of icing. Top with the third sponge, then use the rest of the icing to completely cover the cake. Decorate with the edible flowers (optional) and serve immediately.

delicious. tips

  1. The iced cake will keep for up to 2 days in the fridge. Freeze the cooked, un-iced sponges for up to 3 months, well-wrapped in cling film. Defrost completely to ice and decorate.

Recipe By

Ciara Davis


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