Classic Carrot Cake

Watch me decorate this cake

Classic Carrot Cake

Welcome to Jessie Bakes Classic Cakes Part 3

This is the third recipe in my latest baking series: Jessie Bakes Classic Cakes. Simple, timeless, comforting cake recipes that ANYONE can easily make time and time again.

In case you missed the first two recipes, here’s a link to my Classic Victoria Sponge Cake and Classic Coffee Cake. Both equally delicious!

Who invented Carrot Cake?

Our modern-day or “classic” style carrot cake most likely evolved from Medieval carrot puddings, where carrots were first boiled until soft, then mixed together with spices, flour and eggs.

It wasn’t until the early 1900s that carrot pudding started to be baked in a loaf tin and transformed into a sweet bread-like cake. Fast forward some time and a thick slather of cream cheese frosting was added (thank you America 😅) to make what we now know as a Classic Carrot Cake.

This Classic Carrot Cake recipe is:

  • Flavoured with grated carrot, orange zest and spices
  • Filled with chopped walnuts
  • Moist and soft in texture
  • Sandwiched with cream cheese frosting
  • Free from sultanas 😉 but feel free to add some if you’d like
Classic Carrot Cake

Ingredients & alternatives

To make this carrot cake you will need:

  • Carrots – you’ll need 200g whole carrots, which is roughly 2 medium-sized carrots.
  • Spices – cinnamon, ground cloves and nutmeg give this sponge a lovely warming spice.
  • Orange – you’ll zest a large orange (not a satsuma or tangerine) and add this to the cake mixture.
  • Walnuts – chopped walnuts are added to the sponge.
  • Sunflower oil – using oil instead of butter makes the cake texture really moist and soft. You can use vegetable oil instead.
  • Light muscovado sugar – you can use light brown sugar instead.
  • Self-raising flour – you can instead use 300g plain flour + 1.5 teaspoons baking powder.
  • Eggs – you’ll need 4 medium eggs for this cake, or you can use 3 large eggs instead.

Wondering if you can use an alternative ingredient? Leave a comment at the bottom of this recipe, and I’ll reply to you ASAP!

Carrot Cake ingredients

5 tips for making Cream Cheese Frosting

Problems making cream cheese frosting? Does it always turn into a lumpy, runny disaster? Trust me, I’ve been there! Follow these 5 tips to make a thick, spreadable and smooth cream cheese frosting:

  1. Use Full-fat Philadephia Cream Cheese
  2. Beat the butter on its own for 1-2 minutes first.
  3. Sift the icing sugar to remove any lumps.
  4. Add the cream cheese straight from the fridge so it’s still cold.
  5. Gently fold the cream cheese into the mixture. Be really careful not to over-mix as this will loosen the frosting.

Need more help? Check out this detailed Cream Cheese Frosting blog post.

Recipe troubleshooting

Below I’ve answered the most common questions you might stumble across with this recipe. Got a different question? Leave a comment at the bottom of this recipe, and I’ll reply to you ASAP!

What size cake tin should I use?

This recipe uses 2 x 20cm (8inch) round cake tins. Here is a link to the exact tins I used from Lakeland. Make sure your baking tins aren’t too shallow because the cakes will rise, the tins I used were 8cm in height.

Can I use a different sized baking tin?

Yes absolutely! Here’s how to adjust the baking time:

  • 15cm (6inch) round tin = plus 5-10 minutes. Check on the cake after 5 minutes.
  • 23cm (9inch) round tin = minus 5-10 minutes. Check on the cake after 5 minutes.
  • 20x20cm square tin = minus 5-10 minutes. Check on the cake after 5 minutes.
  • Cupcakes = the recipe will make roughly 18 cupcakes. Bake for 18-20 minutes at 180°C.
Can I use gluten-free flour?

Yes you can! Just sub the 300g self-raising flour for 300g gluten-free flour + 1.5 teaspoons of xanthan gum (this will improve the texture of the cake) + 1 teaspoon baking powder.

My cake sunk in the middle, what happened?

Urggh, this can be so annoying! There are three main reasons this could have happened:

  1. The oven was too hot which caused the cake to rise too quickly
  2. You opened the oven door too early and caused a sudden change in temperature
  3. The cake wasn’t fully baked before it was taken out of the oven

But don’t worry, there is a way you can rescue your cake. Use a round cookie cutter to stamp out of the middle of the cake layers, and then sandwich them together with frosting. It’s basically a carrot bundt cake!

My cream cheese frosting isn’t thick enough, what do I do?

Whatever you do, do not try adding more icing sugar 😅 it won’t work! Instead, put the frosting in the fridge for 1 hour. This will give it time to set and hopefully thicken up.

Ways to upgrade this Carrot Cake

This Classic Carrot Cake is delicious as it is, but here are a few ways you could upgrade the recipe:

  1. Add 50g sultanas or raisins to the sponge
  2. Double up the cream cheese frosting ingredients to coat the entire cake
  3. Dust the top of the cake with a little cinnamon

Equipment & ingredients used for this recipe


Classic Carrot Cake Recipe

This delicious Classic Carrot Cake is spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg, filled with chopped walnuts and sandwiched together with cream cheese frosting.
Prep Time 40 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 1 hr 10 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine Baking
Servings 10

Ingredients
  

Carrot Cake

  • 300 g Light muscovado sugar or light brown sugar
  • 4 medium Eggs at room temperature 
  • 300 ml Sunflower oil 
  • 2 tsp Vanilla extract 
  • 300 g Self-raising flour
  • 2 tsp Ground cinnamon
  • 0.5 tsp Ground nutmeg
  • Pinch of Ground cloves 
  • 1 large Orange zest only
  • 200 g Carrot grated
  • 125 g Chopped walnuts

Cream cheese frosting

  • 150 g Unsalted butter soft at room temperature
  • 150 g  Full-fat Philadelphia cream cheese use cold straight from the fridge
  • 300 g Icing sugar

Instructions
 

  • Preheat your oven to 170°C (fan oven).
  • Lightly grease two 8inch round cake tins with butter and line the base with greaseproof paper.
  • In a large mixing bowl beat the wet ingredients together: sugar, eggs, sunflower oil and vanilla extract. Set the bowl aside.
  • In a separate bowl stir the dry ingredients together: flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, ground cloves and orange zest together.
  • Pour the mixed wet ingredients into the dry and mix together until combined.
  • Add the grated carrot and chopped walnuts and fold into the mixture.
  • Divide the mixture evenly between the cake tins and bake for 30-35 minutes until risen, golden on top and a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean.
  • Leave to cool for 20 minutes in the baking tins, then transfer onto a wire rack and leave to cool completely.

Make the cream cheese frosting

  • Beat the butter until really soft and pale in colour.
  • Sift in half the icing sugar and beat until smooth.
  • Sift in the remaining icing sugar and beat again until smooth and creamy.
  • Now take the cream cheese out of the fridge and add it into the bowl.
  • Gently fold the cream cheese into the frosting until smooth. Be careful not to overdo it, as it can quickly become runny.

Assemble the cake

  • Place one of the carrot cake layers on a cake stand or plate. If the cake has domed on top, use a sharp knife to trim off the top and make the cake flat.
  • Spread half the cream cheese frosting on top.
  • Place the second carrot cake on top and lightly press down to sandwich the cake layers together.
  • Spread the remaining cream cheese frosting on top.
  • Decorate with either walnut halves or cute carrot shaped sugar decorations.

Notes

Store your carrot cake in a container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Keyword Butter, Carrot cake, Cinnamon, Cream cheese frosting, Eggs, Flour, Walnuts

More classic cake recipes to love

This post contains affiliate links which means I will make a small commission if you purchase through those links. I only recommend products that I know, trust and love!

Classic Coffee and Walnut Cake

Coffee and walnut cake

Welcome to Jessie Bakes Classic Cakes Part 2

This is the second recipe in my new baking series: Jessie Bakes Classic Cakes. Simple, timeless, comforting cake recipes that ANYONE can easily make time and time again.

In case you missed it, a few weeks ago I shared the all-time British favourite Victoria sponge cake and for my second recipe, I decided to share this delicious coffee and walnut cake with you.

I attempted to research the origins of coffee and walnut cake, but strangely couldn’t find much online. So to whoever invented it, I salute you 🥳

What I did discover however is that a classic “coffee cake” recipe will vary depending on where you’re from. This recipe is a British “coffee cake”; two coffee sponge layers sandwiched with coffee buttercream and decorated with walnuts. Whereas, a German or Amercian “coffee cake” has a cinnamon crumble topping and actually contains no coffee at all 🤔 it’s instead served with a coffee on the side.

This Coffee and Walnut Cake is:

  • Flavoured with freshly brewed coffee
  • Filled with chopped walnuts
  • Sandwiched together with coffee buttercream
  • Decorated in a simple way with walnut halves
  • Homely and comforting to make and eat
Coffee and walnut cake

Ingredients & alternatives

You will need 8 simple, everyday ingredients to make this coffee and walnut cake:

  • Coffee – you can use either freshly ground or instant coffee.
  • Walnuts – chopped walnuts are added to the sponge and walnut halves are used to decorate the top of the cake.
  • Margarine or butter – I prefer to use Stork Original margarine instead of butter. It makes the sponge light and fluffy, and helps the cake layers rise with a flat top.
  • Golden caster sugar – you can use either white or golden caster sugar for this recipe.
  • Self-raising flour – the raising agent in self-raising flour will help the cake layers rise. You can instead use 300g plain flour + 1.5 teaspoons baking powder.
  • Eggs – you’ll need 3 large room temperature eggs for this cake, or you can use 4 medium eggs.
  • Salted butter – it may sound strange, but using salted butter for buttercream helps to balance the sweetness. Just trust me on this 😊
  • Icing Sugar – to get a super smooth buttercream, sieve the icing sugar before adding it.

Wondering if you can use an alternative ingredient? Leave a comment at the bottom of this recipe, and I’ll reply to you ASAP!

Coffee cake ingredients

Recipe troubleshooting

Below I’ve answered the most common questions you might stumble across with this recipe.

Got a different question? Leave a comment at the bottom of this recipe, and I’ll reply to you ASAP!

What size cake tin should I use?

This recipe uses 2 x 20cm (8inch) round cake tins. Here is a link to the exact tins I used from Lakeland. Make sure your baking tins aren’t too shallow because the cakes will rise, the tins I used were 8cm in height.

Can I use a different sized baking tin?

Yes absolutely! Here’s how to adjust the baking time:

  • 15cm (6inch) round tin = plus 5-10 minutes. Check on the cake after 5 minutes.
  • 23cm (9inch) round tin = minus 5-10 minutes. Check on the cake after 5 minutes.
  • 20x20cm square tin = minus 5-10 minutes. Check on the cake after 5 minutes.
  • Cupcakes = the recipe will make roughly 18 cupcakes. Bake for 18-20 minutes at 180°C.
Can I use gluten-free flour?

Yes you can! Just sub the 300g self-raising flour for 300g gluten-free flour + 1.5 teaspoons of xanthan gum (this will improve the texture of the cake) + 1 teaspoon baking powder.

My cake sunk in the middle, what happened?

Urggh, this can be so annoying! There are three main reasons this could have happened:

  1. The oven was too hot which caused the cake to rise too quickly
  2. You opened the oven door too early and caused a sudden change in temperature
  3. The cake wasn’t fully baked before it was taken out of the oven

But don’t worry, there is a way you can rescue your cake. Use a round cookie cutter to cut out of the middle of the cake layers, and then sandwich them together with coffee buttercream. It’s basically a coffee bundt cake 😅

Do I need to cool the coffee before adding it?

Yes. Particularly for the buttercream otherwise it will melt the butter. Just brew the coffee beforehand and pop it in the fridge until you’re ready to use it.

Coffee and walnut cake

Tips for making the coffee buttercream

Here are a few tips and tricks that will make your buttercream super smooth and creamy:

  1. Beat the butter on its own first, until it’s really soft and pale in colour.
  2. Sift in the icing sugar so that it’s really fine and free of lumps.
  3. Make sure the coffee has cooled to room temperature before mixing it into the buttercream.
  4. At the end, swap your mixer for a flat spatula. Use it to smooth the buttercream against the side of the bowl. This will help knock out any air bubbles and make the buttercream smoother.

Ways to upgrade this Coffee and walnut cake

This coffee and walnut cake is delicious as it is, but here are a few ways you could upgrade the recipe:

  1. Add a teaspoon of cinnamon spice to the sponge
  2. Swap 50g flour with 50g cocoa powder to make a mocha cake
  3. Add a tablespoon of hazelnut or caramel coffee syrup to the buttercream

Equipment & ingredients used for this recipe


Coffee and Walnut Cake

Flavoured with freshly brewed coffee and filled with chopped walnuts, this delicious coffee and walnut cake is an all-time classic and couldn't be easier to make!
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Total Time 1 hr 5 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine Baking
Servings 10

Ingredients
  

Sponge layers

  • 300 g Margarine or unsalted butter If you're using Stork, use it cold straight from the fridge. If you're using butter, then make sure it's at room temperature.
  • 300 g Golden caster sugar
  • 3 large Eggs at room temperature
  • 300 g Self-raising flour
  • 2 tbsp Coffee, dissolved in 3 tbsp hot water Cooled to room temperature
  • 100 g Chopped walnuts

Coffee buttercream

  • 250 g Salted butter soft at room temperature
  • 500 g Icing sugar
  • 2 tbsp Coffee, dissolved in 2 tbsp hot water Cooled to room temperature

Decoration

  • 10 Walnut halves to decorate

Instructions
 

Make the coffee sponge layers

  • Preheat oven to 180°C.
  • Lightly grease two 8inch round cake tins with butter and line the base with greaseproof paper.
  • In a large mixing bowl, beat the margarine and golden caster sugar until creamy.
  • Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each.
  • Gently fold in the flour until the cake mixture is smooth.
  • Now mix in the cooled coffee.
  • Fold through the chopped walnuts.
  • Divide the mixture evenly between the cake tins and bake for 30-35 minutes until risen, golden on top and a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean.
  • Leave to cool for 15 minutes in the baking tin, before turning out onto a wire rack and cooling completely.

Make the coffee buttercream

  • Beat the salted butter until really soft and pale in colour.
  • Sift the icing sugar into the bowl and beat until smooth.
  • Add the cooled coffee and fold together until smooth.

Assemble the cake

  • Place one of the cake layers on a cake stand or plate. If the cake has domed on top, use a sharp knife to trim off the top and make the cake flat.
  • Spread half the buttercream on top, taking it to the edge of the cake.
  • Place the second cake on top and lightly press down to sandwich the layers together.
  • Spread the remaining buttercream on top.
  • Decorate the edge of the cake with walnut halves.

Notes

Your coffee and walnut cake will stay fresh for up to 3 days in an airtight container. 
Keyword buttercream, Coffee, Eggs, Flour, Golden caster sugar, Walnuts

More cake recipes to love

This post contains affiliate links which means I will make a small commission if you purchase through those links. I only recommend products that I know, trust and love!

Classic Victoria Sponge Cake

Classic Victoria Sponge Cake

Welcome to Jessie Bakes Classic Cakes Part 1

I’m so excited to launch my brand new recipe series: Jessie Bakes Classic Cakes!

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing simple, timeless, comforting cake recipes that ANYONE can easily make time and time again. Think coffee and walnut, lemon drizzle and black forest gateaux 😍 To kick-start the series, I had to go with a beautifully simple British favourite… Classic Victoria Sponge Cake.

Victoria Sponge Cake dates back to 1861 and was named after Queen Victoria, who supposedly enjoyed a slice with her afternoon tea (I’m totally with her on this 😉). Traditionally the sponge layers were sandwiched together with a thin layer of jam, however over the years the recipe has been tweaked and now it is most commonly filled with whipped cream or buttercream. Personally, I prefer my Victoria Sponge cake to be filled with whipped cream. It’s lighter, easier to make and uses less ingredients. After all, a Classic Victoria Sponge is all about simplicity!

This Classic Victoria Sponge Cake is:

  • A British classic, known and loved by all
  • Made using only 7 ingredients
  • Quick and easy to make
  • Filled with freshly whipped cream and jam
  • Soft and fluffy in texture
  • Light and delicate in flavour
Slices of Victoria Sponge Cake

Ingredients & alternatives

You will need 7 simple, everyday ingredients to make this Classic Victoria Sponge Cake:

  • Margarine or butter – I prefer to use Stork Original margarine instead of butter. It makes the sponge light and fluffy, and helps the cake layers rise with a flat top.
  • Sugar – you can use either white or golden caster sugar for this recipe.
  • Self-raising flour – the raising agent in self-raising flour will help the cake layers rise. You can instead use 300g plain flour + 1.5 teaspoons baking powder.
  • Eggs – you’ll need 3 large room temperature eggs for this cake, or you can use 4 medium eggs.
  • Milk – you can use full-fat or semi-skimmed milk.
  • Double cream – for the filling you’ll whip double cream to soft-peaks. Double cream can also be called whipping cream or heavy cream in the US. Do not buy single cream, it will not whip or thicken.
  • Jam – Victoria sponge cake is traditionally made with strawberry jam, but you could also use raspberry jam or even lemon curd.

Wondering if you can use an alternative ingredient? Leave a comment at the bottom of this recipe, and I’ll reply to you ASAP!

Victoria sponge cake ingredients

Recipe troubleshooting

Below I’ve answered the most common questions you might stumble across with this recipe.

Got a different question? Leave a comment at the bottom of this recipe, and I’ll reply to you ASAP!

What size cake tin should I use?

This recipe uses 2 x 20cm (8inch) round cake tins. Here is a link to the exact tins I used from Lakeland. Make sure your baking tins aren’t too shallow because the cakes will rise, the tins I used were 8cm in height.

Can I use a different sized baking tin?

Yes absolutely! Here’s how to adjust the baking time:

  • 15cm (6inch) round tin = plus 5-10 minutes. Check on the cake after 5 minutes.
  • 23cm (9inch) round tin = minus 5-10 minutes. Check on the cake after 5 minutes.
  • 20x20cm square tin = minus 5-10 minutes. Check on the cake after 5 minutes.
  • Cupcakes = the recipe will make roughly 18 cupcakes. Bake for 18-20 minutes at 180°C.
Can I use gluten-free flour?

Yes you can! Just sub the 300g self-raising flour for 300g gluten-free flour + 1.5 teaspoons of xanthan gum (this will improve the texture of the cake) + 1 teaspoon baking powder.

My cake sunk in the middle, what happened?

Urggh, this can be so annoying! There are two main reasons this could have happened:

  1. You opened the oven door too early and caused a sudden change in temperatue
  2. The cake wasn’t fully baked before it was taken out of the oven

But don’t worry, there is a way you can rescue your cake. Use a round cookie cutter to cut out of the middle of the cake layers. Sandwich them together with cream and jam, and then fill the middle with fresh berries. It’s basically a Victoria Sponge Bundt Cake 😅

My cream has curdled and split, what should I do?

This is likely due to over-whisking the cream, and trust me it’s SO easy to do! Don’t worry though, there is an easy way to fix it. Gradually mix in 1-2 tablespoons of cold double cream on a low speed until the whipped cream returns to a soft and smooth consistency.

Tips for whisking cream to soft-peaks

If you’re me, you’re probably thinking “what is soft-peaks!?” 😆 Don’t worry, I’ve got you!

Soft-peaks is when the cream has a soft, pillowy, cloud-like texture that can hold its shape. As a rough guide, if you’re using an electric whisk this should take roughly 5 minutes. If you’re whisking the cream by hand, expect this to take up to 10 minutes (and expect an achy arm 😅).

Whipped cream can turn from soft peaks to hard peaks in a hot minute, so watch it like a hawk! If in doubt, I always suggest stop-whisking, swap for a spoon and gently fold the cream until the consistency feels right.

Ways to upgrade this Classic Victoria Sponge Cake

This Victoria sponge cake is delicious as it is, but here are a few ways you could upgrade the recipe:

  1. Flavour the sponge with a teaspoon of vanilla extract
  2. Sandwich the cake together with vanilla buttercream instead of whipped cream
  3. Use lemon curd instead of jam

Equipment & ingredients used for this recipe


Classic Victoria Sponge Cake

This beautifully simple Classic Victoria Sponge Cake has two layers of sponge, sandwiched together with jam and whipped cream!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 1 hr 10 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine Baking
Servings 10

Ingredients
  

Sponge layers

  • 300 g Margarine or unsalted butter If you're using Stork, use it cold straight from the fridge. If you're using butter, then make sure it's at room temperature.
  • 300 g Caster sugar
  • 300 g Self-raising flour
  • 3 large Eggs at room temperature
  • 4 tbsp Milk full-fat or semi-skimmed

Filling

  • 200 ml Double cream use cold straight from the fridge
  • 2-3 tbsp Strawberry Jam
  • Icing sugar for dusting on top

Instructions
 

Make the sponge layers

  • Preheat oven to 180°C.
  • Lightly grease two 8inch round cake tins with butter and line the base with greaseproof paper.
  • In a large mixing bowl, beat the margarine and caster sugar until creamy.
  • Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each.
  • Add the flour and milk and fold together until the cake mixture is smooth.
  • Divide the mixture evenly between the cake tins and bake for 30-35 minutes until risen, golden on top and a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean.
  • Leave to cool for 15 minutes in the baking tin, before turning out onto a wire rack and cooling completely.

Make the filling

  • Whip the cream until it thickens and reaches soft-peaks*. The texture should look like soft, pillowy clouds. See the notes in the text above for more help on this.

Assemble the cake

  • Place one of the cake layers on a cake stand or plate. If the cake has domed on top, use a sharp knife to trim off the top and make the cake flat.
  • Spread the jam on top. Don't take the jam right to the edge of the cake otherwise it will spill over when you add the cream and the second cake. You want to leave roughly 1inch around the edge.
  • Spread the whipped cream on top. Again, leave roughly 1inch around the edge.
  • Place the second cake on top and lightly press down to sandwich the layers together.
  • Dust the top with icing sugar, slice and serve!
    Classic Victoria Sponge Cake

Notes

Cover and store your Victoria Sponge Cake in the fridge for up to 2 days. 
*If you’re using an electric whisk this should take roughly 5 minutes. If you’re whisking the cream by hand, expect this to take up to 10 minutes. 
Keyword Caster sugar, Cream, Jam, Milk

More cake recipes to love

This post contains affiliate links which means I will make a small commission if you purchase through those links. I only recommend products that I know, trust and love!