This impressive carrot cake is covered in a decadent cream cheese icing. An irresistible treat to share with friends and family.
Hey I’m Grace! I’m one of Vanya’s sisters and I love baking. She’s asked me to contribute some of my favourite recipes to the website which is so exciting.
I’m a qualified chef and have worked in kitchens in New Zealand and overseas. I have even had my own dessert caravan which was super fun, I hope you enjoy my recipes!
When I was living in Ohakune and running my dessert caravan, this Carrot Cake became a firm favourite on the menu. For those who don’t know, Ohakune is the carrot growing capital of New Zealand. It even has a giant carrot as you drive into town!
This carrot cake is really scrummy. A great mix of spices in the cake and decadent cream cheese icing kept people coming back for more. The crushed pineapple isn’t very obvious in the final product it but gives the cake a unique flavour and moist texture which keeps really well.
How to make Carrot Cake:
Preheat the oven to 160°C fan bake. Mix the brown sugar and eggs together then add the oil, vanilla, salt and milk and whisk to combine. Sift in the remaining dry ingredients and mix well.
Drain the juice from the canned pineapple then add to the bowl with the grated carrot. Mix to combine. Pour the cake mixture into a pre-lined cake tin and bake for 45 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean.
Cool the cake in the tin for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. To make the icing, cream the softened butter before adding the softened cream cheese, vanilla and lemon zest. Mix together until fully combined in a light smooth icing.
Add half the icing sugar at a time, mixing well after each addition. The icing is ready when it is smooth and white in colour. Ice the cooled cake then leave in the fridge before cutting to help firm up the icing.
Common questions about Carrot Cake:
Can I mix up the spices? You sure can! I really love this combination of spices but if you don’t like nutmeg or all spice, feel free to leave them out or swap them.
What size cake tin should I use? My cake tin is 22cm and works really well for this recipe.
Could I add nuts in? Absolutely. A lot of people like walnuts in their carrot cake. I sometimes add half a cup of chopped walnuts at the same stage as the carrot and pineapple. It’s important to do this after the dry ingredients have been combined otherwise you can end up with flour in the nooks of the walnuts.
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- 1 ⅓ cup brown sugar
- 3 eggs
- 250 ml oil (unflavoured)
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 1 tsp salt
- ¼ cup milk (60 ml)
- 2 cups plain flour (300g)
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 tsp mixed spice
- 350g grated carrot (around 3 carrots)
- 1 x 225g can crushed pineapple (in juice)
- 60g butter (softened)
- 200g cream cheese (softened)
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 2 cups icing sugar
- Preheat your oven to 160°C fanbake.
- Mix brown sugar and eggs together, then add the oil, vanilla, salt and milk, whisk together.
- Sift in the remaining dry ingredients and mix well.
- Drain the juice from the pineapple, then add to the mix. Add the carrots and combine, well.
- Pour into a pre lined cake tin and bake for approximately 45 minutes or until a skewer or knife comes out clean.
- Cool the cake in the tin for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. Now make the icing.
- In a bowl cream the soft butter, then add the cream cheese, vanilla and lemon zest. Whip these together until fully combined. Use a mixer to get a light smooth icing.
- Add half of the icing sugar and mix well then add the second half. Whip together till it turns smooth and white in colour. Set aside.
- Ice the cake when it is fully cooled, you can put into the fridge to firm up before cutting. Enjoy!
- I used a 22cm cake tin for this recipe.
- Neutral oils like canola, sunflower or rice bran work best in this recipe. Strong flavoured oils such as olive oil will alter the taste of the cake.
- Make sure your butter and cream cheese are both at room temperature before beating. If they're too cold the icing will be lumpy.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 541Total Fat: 31gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 21gCholesterol: 74mgSodium: 471mgCarbohydrates: 62gFiber: 2gSugar: 42gProtein: 5g
Nutritional values are approximate. Please use your own calculations if you require a special diet.