It was the perfect lazy day, sleeping early and getting up late with no definite plans of what to do next. Baking was somewhere at the back of my mind but I could not exactly picture the cake I wanted. After much deliberation, it was the plain old carrot cake that outshone all others. Easy and relatively ‘healthy’, the carrot cake gets its moist and flavourful texture from the amount of freshly grated carrots that go in its making. The few changes I made to this classic were to use pecan nuts instead of walnuts and to frost the cake with whipped cream since I’m not crazy about cream cheese. After the not-so-awesome carrot cakes I sampled from different bakeries, I’m glad I made my own.



1 cup vegetable oil

1 1/3 cups packed brown sugar

3 eggs, room temperature

3 cups coarsely grated carrot

1 cup coarsely chopped nuts

2 1/2 cups self raising flour

1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

2 tsp mixed spice

100g raisins, soaked

1/2 cup icing sugar

2 tsp butter, softened

1 cup whipped cream

1/2 cup finely chopped nuts


  • Preheat oven to 180oC. Grease a deep 22cm round cake pan and line with baking paper.

  • Beat oil, sugar and eggs in a small bowl with electric mixer until thick and creamy.

  • Transfer mixture to a large bowl, stir in carrots, nuts and raisins. Sift over dry ingredients.

  • Fold in until no traces of flour remain. Pour batter into prepared pan and level surface.

  • Bake for 1 1/4 hours until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.

  • Cool in pan for 5 minutes before turning out on a wire rack to cool completely.

  • Knead butter with icing sugar to form a soft paste. Tint with orange and green food colouring and shape as carrots.

  • Cover cake with whipped cream. Cover sides with chopped nuts and decorate with carrot shapes. Makes 12 pieces.

Carrot in a Cake?