Carrot Cake with White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

This recipe is kindly sponsored by Menier Chocolate, however all opinions are my own.

Carrot Cake with White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting
Carrot Cake with White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

Recipe details

TASTE: subtly sweet, warming spices and tangy white chocolate cream cheese frosting. For those wondering… carrot cake does not taste like carrot 😅
TEXTURE: The recipe has a little bit of everything when it comes to texture. Soft sponge, crunchy walnuts, creamy frosting.
EASE: requires a little effort but can be simplified depending on the decoration.
PERFECT FOR: a special celebration or as a Sunday lunch showstopper.
BAKING FACT: classic style carrot cake evolved from Medieval carrot puddings, where carrots were first boiled until soft, then mixed with spices, flour and eggs.

White chocolate flower decoration
White chocolate flower decoration

What ingredients go into carrot cake?

You’ll probably have heard the phrase: baking is a science. Never a truer statement 😅 So I always like to explain the role each ingredient plays in the recipe so you know what you can and what you can’t tweak. To make this carrot cake recipe you will need the following ingredients:

  • Oil – used instead of butter to make the sponge really moist and soft. Vegetable or sunflower oil are fine to use.
  • Light brown sugar – sweetens the sponge and adds a rich caramel flavour. White or golden caster sugar can be used instead.
  • Self-raising flour – the raising agent found in self-raising flour helps the cakes rise in the oven.
  • Free range eggs – use the best quality you can find and make sure they’re at room temperature.
  • Carrots – it wouldn’t be a carrot cake without carrots! The carrots are grated and folded into the cake mixture. They add natural sweetness to the cake and create a soft, moist crumb.
  • Spices – cinnamon and mixed spice bring a lovely warming spice to the cake. Feel free to add more or less of the spices depending on your flavour preference.
  • Vanilla extract the vanilla helps lift the overall flavour of the cake.
  • Orange zest – not 100% needed but personally I love the fresh and vibrant flavour that a little orange zest adds to the sponge.
  • Chopped walnuts – the chopped walnuts add a little crunch throughout the sponge. You could swap for pecans, almonds or brazil nuts instead.
carrot cake ingredients
Carrot cake ingredients

Tips for making the white chocolate cream cheese frosting

What makes this carrot cake extra special is the white chocolate cream cheese frosting. It’s smooth, creamy, chocolatey and reaches new levels of deliciousness!

The frosting is made using four key ingredients: salted butter, icing sugar, full-fat cream cheese (don’t swap for reduced-fat otherwise the frosting will be too runny) and melted white chocolate. Follow these tips to make the perfect frosting for your carrot cake:

  1. Equipment – use an electric handheld mixer for best results.
  2. Melted and cooled white chocolate – melt the chocolate first so that it has time to cool down before you add it to the cream cheese frosting.
  3. The softer butter the better – beat the butter until super soft and pale in colour. The more you beat it the more it will lose its yellowish colour.
  4. Sift the icing sugar – sifting the icing sugar first removes any lumps, making the frosting smooth. Add the icing sugar in two stages so that it’s easier to beat into the butter.
  5. Use full-fat cold cream cheese – only take the cream cheese out of the fridge just before you add it to the bowl. The will make sure the frosting ends up being thick and spreadable.
Making white chocolate cream cheese frosting
White chocolate cream cheese frosting

Semi-naked frosting technique

This recipe makes enough white chocolate cream cheese frosting to sandwich the carrot cake layers together and coat the top and sides of the cake in a ‘semi-naked’ style. A semi-naked cake has a thin covering of buttercream or frosting on the sides, which is then scraped off to reveal some of the sponge underneath.

I decided to use a semi-naked technique for this cake so that the flower decoration would really pop and stand out. It’s also a bonus that semi-naked cakes are much easier to decorate than a fully coated cake, you don’t have to be too neat when applying the frosting and there’s no crumb-coat required. Just apply the frosting and then scrape it off until you have the desired look.

Carrot Cake with White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

3 ways to decorate the carrot cake

Another thing I love about carrot cake is that you can either dress it up or dress it down depending on the occasion. I chose to decorate the cake with a wow-factor chocolate flower (which is surprisingly easy to make), but there are lots of different ways you could decorate a carrot cake ranging from simple to showstopper. Here are 3 decoration ideas:

  1. Simple: scatter a handful of chopped walnuts onto the top of the cake and finish with a light dusting of cinnamon.
  2. Sophisticated: press chopped walnuts around the base of the cake to create a border. Pipe small carrot shapes on top using green and orange icing.
  3. Showstopper: try the gorgeous chocolate flower decoration included in this recipe. Just melt white chocolate and then spread it into petal shapes. Once the petals are dry and hard, peel them off and stick them to the cake to create a flower.

Carrot cake recipe FAQs

What size cake tin should I use?

This recipe uses 2 x 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 different sized cake tin?

If you’re using 2 x 6inch round tins then bake for 45-50 minutes. If you’re using 2 x 9inch round tins then bake for 30-35 minutes.

How many slices will this cake make?

10-12 slices depending on how chunky you cut them.

Can I make this recipe gluten-free?

Yes absolutely. Swap 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 cream cheese frosting is too runny, what do I do?

Put the frosting in the freezer for 30-45 minutes. This will give the frosting time to set and thicken up a little.

How should I store the carrot cake and how long will it keep for?

The cream cheese frosting means this cake will need to be stored in the fridge in an airtight container or wrapped in clingfilm. It will keep for up to 3 days. 

Can I make normal cream cheese frosting?

Yes absolutely. Just remove the white chocolate and keep all other ingredients and quantities the same.

Got a question about something else? Drop it in the comments section below and I’ll reply to you asap 😊


Want to watch this recipe being made?

Carrot Cake with White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

This recipe will teach you step-by-step how to make a delicious two-layer carrot cake with white chocolate cream cheese frosting! For a wow-factor finish, the carrot cake is decorated with a white chocolate flower decoration.
Prep Time 1 hr
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 1 hr 40 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine Baking, British
Servings 12

Ingredients
  

Carrot Cakes

  • 300 g Self-raising flour
  • 2 tsp Ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Mixed spice
  • 1 large Orange zest only
  • 300 g Light brown sugar
  • 300 ml Vegetable or sunflower oil
  • 3 large Eggs  at room temperature
  • 2 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 200 g Carrots grated
  • 100 g Walnuts roughly chopped

White chocolate cream cheese frosting

  • 125 g Salted butter soft at room temp
  • 250 g Icing sugar
  • 125 g Full-fat cream cheese my favourite is Philadelphia
  • 60 g White chocolate my favourite is Menier White Chocolate

White chocolate flower

  • 100 g White chocolate my favourite is Menier White Chocolate
  • Sprinkles any colour and type you fancy

Instructions
 

First make the carrot cakes

  • Preheat the oven to 170°C (fan oven).
  • Lightly grease two 8inch round cake tins with butter. Line the base and sides with greaseproof paper.
  • Stir the flour, cinnamon, mixed spice and orange zest together in a large mixing bowl. Set aside for now.
  • In a separate mixing bowl beat the brown sugar, eggs, oil and vanilla extract together.
  • Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix until well combined.
  • Fold in the grated carrot and chopped walnuts.
  • Divide the mixture evenly between the cake tins and bake for 35-40 minutes until risen, golden on top and a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cakes comes out clean.
  • Leave to cool for 20 minutes in the baking tins, then turn out onto a wire rack and leave to cool completely. 

Make the white chocolate cream cheese frosting

  • Finely chop the white chocolate and place in a microwave-safe bowl. Melt in the microwave in 30-second blasts, stirring after each, until smooth. Set aside to cool.
  • 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 to the bowl. Mix the cream cheese into the frosting until just combined, be careful not to overdo it as the frosting can quickly loosen and become too thin.
  • Now mix in the melted white chocolate until you have a smooth and creamy frosting.
  • Use the frosting to sandwich the cake layers together and roughly coat the top and sides, leaving the outside of the cake slightly exposed. This decoration technique is called a "semi-naked" cake. Save a little bit of the frosting if you are adding the chocolate flower so you can stick the petals onto the cake.

Make the white chocolate flower decoration

  • Finely chop the white chocolate and place in a microwave-safe bowl. Melt in the microwave in 30-second blasts, stirring after each, until smooth. Set aside to cool.
  • Drop teaspoons of white chocolate onto greaseproof paper & use the back of the spoon to make petal shapes. 
  • Repeat until you have approx. 12 petals. Leave to cool and harden (roughly 1-2 hours).
  • Carefully peel off the petals and stick them onto the front of the cake using leftover frosting to create a flower shape.
  • Spread a blob of frosting in the middle of the petals and decorate with sprinkles to create the middle of the flower.
  • Slice and serve!

Notes

The cream cheese frosting means this cake will need to be stored in the fridge in an airtight contacter or wrapped in clingfilm. It will keep for up to 3 days. 
Keyword Carrot cake, Cream cheese frosting, White chocolate, White chocolate cream cheese frosting

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Pecan Cinnamon Rolls with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

Pecan Cinnamon Rolls with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

Reasons to love these Pecan Cinnamon Rolls

  • Soft and fluffy bread texture
  • Crunchy pecan swirls throughout
  • Gooey caramelised cinnamon sugar filling
  • Topped with maple cream cheese frosting
  • Made using fast action yeast so they’re quicker to make
  • Require a little patience but aren’t complicated
Pecan Cinnamon Rolls

What ingredients are used to make the cinnamon roll dough?

Cinnamon rolls aren’t made with any complicated ingredients, in fact, it’s likely you’ll have most of the ingredients in your cupboard already. Here are the ingredients you will need to make the dough:

  • Strong white bread flour: bread flour is the secret to a fluffy and soft texture.
  • Time Saver Instant Yeast: I love using this type of yeast because it significantly reduces the proving time. I’d recommend Allinson’s Time Saver Yeast packets.
  • Milk: Use full-fat whole milk (blue top if you live in the UK). The milk is heated to 40°C to activate the yeast.
  • Granulated sugar: sugar helps activate the yeast and add a little sweetness.
  • Eggs: 1 whole egg plus an extra egg yolk adds richeness.
  • Unsalted butter: melted butter is added to the dough, giving it it’s signature buttery flavour.
  • Salt: a little salt helps to balance the sweetness from the filling and frosting.
Pecan Cinnamon filling

What equipment do I need?

I used to be put off from making cinnamon rolls because I always assumed you needed fancy equipment and tools. Yes, an electric mixer with a dough hook will help, but it’s not essential. You can bake these pecan cinnamon rolls using these basic tools: 

  • Mixing bowl: used to mix the dough ingredients and for the first prove.
  • Wooden spoon: used to roughly bring the dough together. 
  • Electric mixer with a dough hook OR your hands: used to knead the dough and activate the yeast. The dough will take 8 minutes using a dough hook, or 12 minutes using your hands.
  • Rolling pin: used to roll out the dough.
  • Measuring tape: helpful when rolling out the dough but not essential.
  • Sharp knife: used to slice the rolled dough into cinnamon rolls. 
  • Large baking/roasting tin: used to bake the cinnamon rolls.
  • Greaseproof paper: used to line the baking tin and prevent the cinnamon rolls from sticking to the sides.
  • Not essential but a thermometer is also useful for testing the temperature of the milk.
Cutting the cinnamon rolls

What type of yeast should I use?

There are four types of yeast: Active Dry Yeast, Fresh Yeast, Instant Yeast and Rapid Dry Yeast. If you’re an experienced bread baker you will most likely have your preference, but if you’re a bread newbie like me, I would 100% recommend using Allinson’s Time Saver Instant Yeast for these Pecan Cinnamon Rolls. Here’s why:

  • Pre-measured into easy to use packets
  • There’s no ‘prooving’ required, so you don’t need to wait for it to bubble up
  • Reduces the proving time by 30-60 minutes in total
Cinnamon roll dough

What does ‘prove’ mean?

This is where the dough is left in a warm place to rest and rise before shaping and then again before baking. During this rest period, yeast ferments the dough and produces gases, causing the dough to rise. 

How many times do I need to prove the dough?

For this pecan cinnamon roll there are two proving stages:

  • First prove: this takes place before the dough is rolled out and shaped into rolls.
  • Second prove: this takes place once the dough is shaped into rolls and before they’re put in the oven.

Below you can see the size difference the second prove made to the shaped cinnamon rolls.

Why didn’t my dough rise?

There are a number of reasons why this could have happened:

  • Check the sell by date on the yeast packet. Allinson’s Time Saver Yeast tends to have a longer shelf life than fresh active yeasts, but it could be the case that if the yeast is too old it won’t work its rising magic. 
  • The milk was too hot or too cold. I know, tricky right! Too hot and the milk will kill the yeast, too cold and it won’t have the heat it needs to bloom. Next time, use a thermometer to make sure the milk temperature is exactly 40°C/110°F.
  • Your mixing bowl was too small. The dough needs plenty of space and room to grow. If the mixing bowl is too small it will tear the dough and stop it from rising. 
  • The dough didn’t rise in a warm place. Yeast loves to be warm and cosy, so avoid placing it in a cold spot or where there could be a cold draft coming through. You need to let the dough in the warmest part of your home. This could be in the bathroom, by the radiator, next to your computer, or in a proving drawer if you’re lucky enough to have one! Find the perfect place and call it your proving spot for here on out
Pecan Cinnamon Rolls with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

How to freeze pecan cinnamon rolls

Want to save some for later? Or, worried you won’t be able to resist eating them all!? Here are two freezing options:

  1. Freeze before baking: after the first prove, roll the dough up with the filling and slice the cinnamon rolls. Then either wrap individually in clingfilm or place in a baking tin and cover with clingfilm, then place in the freezer. When you’re ready to bake, let the dough defrost in the fridge, then continue with the normal process… second prove, bake and frost! 
  2. Freeze after baking either plain or frosted: first let the pecan cinnamon rolls cool to room temp. Then wrap individually with clingfilm or cover the baking tin, and place in the freezer. When you’re ready to eat them, defrost in the fridge, then bake at 170°C (fan oven) for 10 minutes so they’re fresh and warm. 

6 tips for making pecan cinnamon rolls

  1. Be careful not to overheat the milk. Yeast is very particular when it comes to temperature. It’s a living thing and is killed off at temperatures higher than 60°C/140°F. The ideal temperature for your milk is 40°C/110°F. The best way to test the temperature is to use a thermometer like this one. You can pick one up for a couple of pounds and will be surprised how often you will end up using it for things like caramel, jam and bread. Alternatively, test the temperature by dipping your finger into the milk, it should feel like warm bath water and shouldn’t be too hot to touch. 
  2. If the dough is sticky, add 1 tbsp more flour. The dough should be smooth and springy to the touch. If it feels wet and is sticking to your mixing bowl of hands, add 1 tbsp more flour to bring it together. 
  3. Yeast loves to be warm. Help to dough rise by laying a warm tea-towel over the mixing bowl and then place it in the warmest space in your home. I leave the dough to prove on a shelf above a radiator in my home. 
  4. Take before and after photos during the proving process. You want to dough to double in size during the proving process, so taking a photo before you leave the dough to prove, and then an after photo once the proving time is up, will help you judge the difference in the size. I love sharing the before and after snaps on my Stories too, it’s so satisfying seeing the difference.
  5. Rub the butter and cinnamon sugar into the dough. This may be a little messy but it’s important to make sure the filling is worked into the dough and is well combined. Not only will this improve the appearance of the cinnamon rolls, but also the flavour will be more buttery and the texture more soft. 
  6. Roll the dough really tight. This will make sure the cinnamon rolls hold their shape and have that signature swirl when you slice them. 

Pecan Cinnamon Rolls with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

Soft and fluffy Pecan Cinnamon Rolls topped with maple cream cheese frosting. Warming flavours and a buttery texture, these cinnamon rolls are simply irresistible!
Prep Time 40 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Proving Time 1 hr 30 mins
Total Time 2 hrs 30 mins
Course Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine Baking
Servings 8 Rolls

Ingredients
  

For the dough

  • 180 ml Full-fat milk
  • 1 packet Allinson's Time Saver Yeast
  • 50 g Granulated sugar
  • 1 medium Egg at room temperature
  • 1 medium Egg yolk at room temperature
  • 60 g Unsalted butter melted and cooled
  • 460 g Strong white bread flour plus more for dusting
  • 1 tsp Salt

For the cinnamon sugar filling

  • 60 g Unsalted butter soft at room temperature
  • 130 g Light brown sugar
  • 3 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 large Orange Zest only
  • 100 g Pecans roughly chopped

For the maple cream cheese frosting

  • 100 g Unsalted butter soft, at room temperature
  • 200 g Icing sugar
  • 100 g Full-fat cream cheese cold from the fridge
  • 3 tsp Maple syrup
  • 3 tsp Fresh orange juice use the same orange that was zested for the filling

Instructions
 

Start by getting everything prepped

  • Place a tea towel on a radiator to warm up ready for the proving stage.
  • Gather all your ingredients and prep them accordingly e.g. melt the butter for the dough, chop the pecans for the filling etc.
  • Line a large baking tin with greaseproof paper. Depending on the shape and size of your baking tin, you should be able to fit 8-10 cinnamon rolls inside. The baking tin I used was a white ceramic roasting tin that is 12×8 inches in size.

Now make the dough

  • Measure the milk into a jug or bowl and microwave for roughly 40-60 seconds. The milk needs to be 40°C/110°F to properly activate the yeast. No thermometer? No problem. Test the temperature by dipping your finger into the milk, it should feel like warm bathwater.
  • Pour the warm milk into a large bowl of an electric mixer. Haven't got an electric mixer? Just use a normal large mixing bowl.
  • Sprinkle the yeast on top of the milk and let it rest for 1 minute.
  • Add the melted butter, sugar, whole egg and egg yolk. Use a wooden spoon to mix the ingredients together.
  • Now add the white bread flour and salt. Use your wooden spoon to work the mixture into a rough dough.
  • Attach a dough hook and your mixing bowl to your electric mixer. Turn the speed up to medium and knead the dough for 8 minutes. No electric mixer? Just tip the dough onto a floured surface and knead by hand for 10 minutes instead. The dough should be smooth and springy to the touch.
  • Lift the dough out and lightly brush the inside of the bowl with oil. Place back inside and cover with clingfilm and a warm towel.
  • Place the bowl in a warm part of your home (I put mine next to a radiator) and leave to prove for roughly 45-60 minutes until the dough has doubled in size.

Roll the dough out

  • Once the dough has doubled in size, it's time to roll it out.
  • Lightly flour a worktop and rolling pin. Roll the dough out into a 14×9 inch rectangle.

Add the filling

  • Use your hands to rub the softened butter into the dough, leaving a 1 cm margin around the edge of the dough.
  • Stir the light brown sugar, cinnamon and orange zest together in a bowl. Scatter it on top and again use your hands to rub it into the dough.
  • Scatter over the chopped pecans and lightly press them into the dough.

Roll the dough up

  • Starting from the 9inch edge, tightly roll up the dough into a log shape.
  • Use your hands to squish the sides together so the roll is compact.
  • Use a sharp knife to cut off roughly 1-inch of excess dough from each end. The ends tend not to have as much filling or be as neat.
  • Now cut the roll into 1-inch sections, you should get between 8-10 cinnamon rolls in total.
  • Place the cinnamon rolls in your lined baking tin. Depending on the shape and size of your baking tin, you should be able to fit 8-10 cinnamon rolls inside*. Remember they will need space to rise during the second proving stage.
  • Cover the baking tin with cling film and a warm towel, and leave to prove for another 30 minutes. They should double in size again.
  • Meanwhile pre-heat your oven to 170°C/350°F (fan assisted).

Bake the cinnamon rolls

  • Bake in the centre of your oven for 20-25 minutes until slightly golden brown around the edges. It's best to underbake cinnamon rolls so they're still soft and fluffy inside. Remove and leave to cool for 10 minutes.

Final step… the cream cheese frosting!

  • In a large bowl, beat the butter until soft, pale in colour and lump-free.
  • Sift in the icing sugar, add the maple syrup and orange juice. Beat until smooth and combined.
  • Mix in the cream cheese until the frosting is smooth.
  • Spread the frosting over the cinnamon rolls and tuck in straight away**. Enjoy!

Notes

*Leftover cinnamon rolls? Check out the ‘How to freeze cinnamon rolls’ section in the main blog post.
**Cinnamon rolls are best when they’re fresh and warm from the oven. If you have leftovers you can freeze them (see notes in the main blog post) or store them in the fridge for up to 2 days. 
Keyword Bread flour, Butter, Caster sugar, Chocolate orange, Cinnamon rolls, Eggs, Maple syrup, Pecans

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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

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