The best carrot cake
- August 2010
- Serves 10
- Hands-on time 20 min, 35-40 cook time, plus cooling
This recipe is the gold standard of carrot cakes – a true teatime classic. Top with edible flowers for an extra decadent look.
Discover more delicious carrot cake recipes here.
- 51.6g (20.8g saturated)
- 50.4g (30g sugars)
- Butter for greasing
- 4 medium free-range eggs
- 225ml sunflower oil
- 175g soft light brown sugar
- 3 tbsp runny honey
- 2½ tsp ground cinnamon
- 300g self-raising flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 50ml rum
- 50g pine nuts, toasted, plus extra to serve
- 275g (about 2 large) carrots, roughly grated
- 1 small (about 75g) courgette, roughly grated
For the icing
- 400g cream cheese
- 170ml double cream
- Grated zest and juice of 1 lime, plus extra zest to serve
- 75g icing sugar
For the sugared petals
- Large handful of edible petals (such as unsprayed roses and violas)
- 1 large egg white, lightly whisked
- Caster sugar to dust
You’ll also need
- 2 x 20cm sandwich tins
- Heat the oven to 180°C/fan160°C/gas 4. Grease the sandwich tins with butter and line with baking paper. Put the eggs, oil, sugar and honey in a bowl and whisk with an electric hand whisk for 4-5 minutes until the mixture becomes creamy.
- Sift together the cinnamon, flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda, then fold gradually into the mixture. Gently fold in the rum, pine nuts, carrot and courgette.
- Divide the mixture evenly between the tins and bake for 35-40 minutes or until a skewer pushed into the centre of the sponges comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tins for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- For the icing, beat the cream cheese and cream until smooth, then beat in the lime zest and juice and the icing sugar until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Add more icing sugar to taste, if necessary.
- Make the sugared petals by brushing the petals with egg white and dusting with caster sugar (see video in tips). Set aside until hardened.
- To assemble, place one of the sponges top-down on a plate and spread the surface generously with one-third of the icing.
- Top with the other cake and cover the top with the remaining icing. Sprinkle with pine nuts, lime zest and the sugared petals before serving.
You can freeze the cooled, un-iced cake freezes well (wrapped in cling film, then foil) for up to 3 months. Defrost at room temperature before icing.
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