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Zesty Carrot Cake recipe

Zesty Carrot Cake recipe

  • Recipes
  • Dish type
  • Cake
  • Vegetable cakes
  • Carrot cake

This cake is packed full of carrots, walnuts, raisins and zesty goodness. Enjoy as is or top with cream cheese icing.

15 people made this

IngredientsMakes: 1 tube cake

  • 225g butter, softened
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 220g dark brown soft sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons grated orange zest
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 450g grated carrots
  • 200g plain flour
  • 180g wholemeal flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 115g coarsely chopped walnuts
  • 150g raisins

MethodPrep:30min ›Cook:1hr30min ›Extra time:4hr cooling › Ready in:6hr

  1. Stir together the flours, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.
  2. Cream the butter with the sugars. Beat in the eggs, then citrus zests and juices. Stir in the carrots. Beat the flour mixture into the carrot mixture. Stir in the walnuts and raisins. Pour batter into a greased and floured tube cake tin.
  3. Bake at 180 C / Gas 4 for 90 minutes or until it tests done with a skewer. Transfer to a rack to cool.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(9)

Reviews in English (9)


As this cake is printed I have to lower my usual rating. We love the citrus flavors but definitely not with the whole wheat flour. The flavors seem to age (after a day or so) much more effectively with all white flour.-14 Jun 2009

by SCFD Fire Station 6

Followed this recipe exactly and it turned out great. Will make again the next time we want a carrot cake.-28 Apr 2007


This is a wonderful cake! My 1 1/2 year old son enjoyed it as a snack. I plan to use this one as a wedding cake this summer.-03 Jul 2000


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Carrot Cake Recipe Ingredients

These key ingredients make this warm, cinnamon-spiced cake moist, light, and even a little healthy:

  1. Lots of carrots! This cake is just lightly sweet, so the carrot flavor really shines through.
  2. Whole wheat pastry flour swaps in for traditional all-purpose flour. Ground from soft wheat berries, whole wheat pastry flour has more nutrients than regular white flour, but it still yields light, fluffy baked goods. If you don’t have whole wheat pastry flour, you can use a 50/50 mix of white and regular whole wheat flour.
  3. Maple syrup takes the place of granulated or brown sugar, making this carrot cake recipe (before the frosting) refined sugar-free.
  4. Applesauce adds moisture and a little sweetness.
  5. Coconut oil steps in as a healthier alternative for butter. You can also use olive oil or vegetable oil if you prefer.

Recipe Summary

  • 1 (16 ounce) package frozen, chopped carrots
  • ½ cup light cream
  • 3 ½ tablespoons prepared horseradish
  • 1 tablespoon grated onion
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ cup melted butter
  • ½ cup crushed corn flake cereal

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Place carrots in a 9x13 inch baking dish.

In a medium bowl combine cream, horseradish, onion, mayonnaise, salt and pepper. Pour mixture over carrots.

Combine melted butter and corn flakes sprinkle over carrots.

Bake in preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until heated through.

The best ever Zesty Carrot Cake- You’ll never guess what’s in it!

  • Cuisine: British & Irish
  • Skill Level: Expert
  • Add to favorites

  • Servings : 10
  • Prep Time : 20m
  • Cook Time : 35m
  • Ready In : 55m

A few weeks ago, I was invited to Season to Taste , a foodie event organised by Unilever. The day had some exciting things happening.there was tea tasting, masterclasses and some fabulous food from different restaurants.

One thing that lingered on my memory and tastebuds was this utterly moist crumbly absolutely gorgeous carrot cake with layers and layers of taste. What caught my attention was that they told me it had mustard in it.

Now carrot cake happens to be a personal favourite of mine, so I had to try out something that was so delightful. And by God, this recipe will stand as my favourite carrot cake recipe. I shall not try another one again.

I’m sure you will like it as much as I did.


  • Butter- 170gm
  • Walnuts, chopped- 3 tbsp
  • Eggs- 4
  • Brown Sugar- 170 gm
  • Almonds, ground- 170 gm
  • Plain flour ( Maida)- 100gm
  • Baking powder- 5 tsp
  • Salt- 1 pinch
  • Carrots, grated- 250 gm (2 large carrots)
  • Wholegrain Mustard- 2 tbsp ( I used Maille)
  • Raisins- 3 tbsp
  • Oranges, zest, grated- 2 oranges ( 3 tbsp)
  • Lemon, zest ( 1 lemon- 1 tbsp)
  • Lime, zest ( 1 lime- 1 tbsp)
  • Ginger, grated- 1 1/2 tbsp
  • Cinnamon- 1 tsp
  • Coriander, ground- 1/8 tsp
  • Icing Sugar- 350 gm
  • Water- 2 tbsp


Step 1

Preheat the oven to 180C, Gas Mark 4. If you have a fan assisted oven , preheat to 170C Grease and flour a cake tin or 20 muffin cups

Step 2

Melt butter with walnuts in a small saucepan. Keep aside.

Step 3

Beat eggs with brown sugar in a small bowl. Use an electric mixer, Beat until foamy and keep aside.

Step 4

Mix the ground almonds, flour, baking powder and salt.

Step 5

Stir in the egg mixture lightly until just blended.

Step 6

Stir in the walnut mixture, carrots, Maille Wholegrain Mustard, raisins, grated zest ( only 1 orange), ginger, cinnamon and coriander powders.

Step 7

Pour into the prepared cake tin or the muffin cups.

Step 8

Bake for 15 minutes for the muffins. For the cake, it takes about 35 minutes.

Step 9

Check for doneness- Toothpick should come out clean.

Step 10

Cool on wire rack for 10 minutes. Then remove the cake from pan and cool completely.

Step 11

Blend the icing sugar, water and remaining 1 1/2 tbsp of orange peel in a small bowl. Spread on the cake and stand uncovered until it sets. This would take upto 2 hours. Pouring randomly over the cake gives a quirky, old worldly look.

Darko’s Zesty Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Icing

Our dessert chef Darko’s banana bread was a big hit recently so we’re going to share another of his tasty recipes today. He’s been busy making this deliciously zesty carrot cake which he’s very kindly shared the recipe for.

One of our favourite things about Darko’s recipes are the music recommendations he sends along with them, he sent on the Groove Armada BBC 1 Essential Mix 2012 to listen to when you try this recipe out so make sure to give it a listen as you bake. As an extra indulgence there’s a little rum in Darko’s cream cheese icing but if that’s not your thing the recipe will work just as well without it.


Carrot Cake

Cream Cheese Mixture

How to Make Your Zesty Carrot Cake

Preheat oven to 170 Celsius and line your baking tin with baking paper.

Chop the hazelnuts and cranberries and set aside.

Grate the carrots and apple and set those aside too.

Mix the eggs with the sugar until pale, then add oil, vanilla, juice and zest of 1 orange and 1 lemon and mix together.

Add flour and dry ingredients, mix them slowly for a minute until combined.

Add in the carrot, apple and cranberries and mix together with a spatula.

Transfer the mixture into your pre-lined baking tray.

Bake at 170 Celsius for 20 minutes, use a toothpick to check if it’s baked all the way through. Be careful not to under or overbake it.

Allow to cool fully before you add the cream cheese frosting.

Make cream cheese mixture by combining all of the ingredients, add rum and extra lemon juice to your liking.

Cover the carrot cake with the cream cheese mixture and leave it in the fridge for a few hours.

We love how easy this recipe is and how delicious the end results are. With all of the carrots involved we can even try to convince ourselves that it’s a healthy dessert option. We’d love to know if you try it, if you give it a go, we’d love to see a picture so tag us on socials with your homemade carrot cakes.


About Swathi

Welcome to Zesty South Indian Kitchen, I am Swathi ( Dr. Ambujom Saraswathy Ph.D) who loves to explore cuisines from all over the world. Whenever possible I try to to give an Indian touch to several of the world cuisine, and has weakness for freshly baked bread. I am mom to twowonderful young kids, and has a wonderful loving husband who gives a up or down vote to the food .All the recipes you see here are created by me and approved after taste-test by my family.

Zesty carrot cake notes

  • Use a balloon whisk attachment on a stand mixer or an electric whisk.
  • Add the sugar and oil and beat for at least five minutes until it is paler and airy, then add the eggs one at a time and beat for at least three minutes before adding the next egg.
  • While it is mixing you can prepare the tins or chop the nuts and ginger.
  • Once all the eggs are added turn up the speed and whip until pale and has some volume.
  • By mixing the cake batter this way it makes a really light and fluffy cake.
  • Sift the dry ingredients and fold in with a spatula rather than the whisk.
  • You don’t want to over mix the flour as it can build up gluten making a tough sponge. So fold in gently.
  • I used a mix of hazelnuts and walnuts
  • Extras, as well as the candied stem ginger you could add candied orange or lemon.
  • If you have a food processor then use it to grate the carrots to make things easier.
  • The cakes will be golden and a knife inserted in the centre will come out clean when they are ready.
  • I cook my layer cakes at 160c fan. This helps them rise evenly and flat so you wont have to trim any off to stack them.

Nutty Carrot Cake with Zesty Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe

In a personal quest to learn to make more and more items from scratch we began two days after Christmas using my new KitchenAid mixer to make the first of hopefully many homemade birthday cakes to come—a carrot cake with cream cheese frosting for my birthday! It was so delicious that I decided to experiment a little this time around and make one for my husband’s birthday!

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (or a combination all-purpose and whole wheat flour)
  • 2 tsps baking powder
  • 2 tsps baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 3 tsps ground cinnamon
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 ¼ cups vegetable oil (substitute ¼ cup oil for ¼ cup applesauce to reduce calories and maintain moisture)
  • 2 cups granulated sugar (or corresponding measurement for sugar substitute)
  • 3 tsps pure vanilla extract
  • Zest from ½ an orange
  • 3 cups carrot, grated (or pureed in food processor)
  • 1 cup pecans, chopped
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Prepare #2 9 inch round cake pans with Baker’s Joy or grease and flour to prevent sticking.
  3. In a large bowl or using a KitchenAid mixer & bowl, beat together eggs, oil, sugar, vanilla and orange zest.
  4. In another bowl combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon and mix. Slowly add to wet ingredients in mixing bowl until combined.
  5. In a food processor or using a hand grater, shred carrots and mix into the cake batter.
  6. Next add the chopped pecans, mix again and distribute batter evenly between the two cake pans.
  7. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. (oven temperatures vary so watch carefully to prevent overcooking)
  8. Remove from oven and allow to rest and cool for 15-20 minutes.
  9. At this time they should be cool enough to carefully turn out onto a cooling rack or other surface to finish cooling. Do not frost until completely cooled.

  • To construct cake place one round cake on a platter and spread with ¼ of frosting. Top with second round cake and use remaining frosting to cover top and sides of cake. Garnish if desired and either chill before serving or serve as is. Store leftovers in refrigerator.
  • Use more or less orange zest for additional citrus flavor.

Make sure you check out my other easy recipes! Plus if you are looking for cooking supplies, check out my Choozon Deal Club- The Kitchen Gadget Habit.

The 20 best easy cake recipes

I have a secret confession to make. I have (whisper it) yet to bake a cake. But now I have no excuse. Presenting 20 sublime, simple recipes to make you and me into a Prue or Paul. We have the buttercream of the cake-baking world: Jeremy Lee, Yotam Ottolenghi, Benjamina Ebuehi. There’s Meera Sodha’s salted miso brownies, Nigella Lawson’s birthday custard sponge, Anna Jones’s cardamom and carrot cake. There are cupcakes, sheet bakes, strawberry and cream cakes. And they are all, honestly, easy. I might have to buy an apron. It’s nearly time for tea. Ready. Steady. Bake!