Carrot, pecan and orange cake

Serves 12-14


  • For the cake

    • 400g carrots, grated
    • 400ml vegetable oil
    • 330ml soft light brown sugar
    • 5 medium free range eggs
    • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
    • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
    • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 330g self raising flour
    • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • 130g pecan nuts, chopped
    • 100g sultanas
    • 2 large oranges, zest only

    For the icing

    • 125g butter, softened
    • 250g full fat soft cheese
    • 400g icing sugar
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


    1. Line a 23cm round cake tin with baking parchment and pre-set your oven to 170°c.
    2. In a mixing bowl, add the vegetable oil, soft light brown sugar, eggs, vanilla extract and the zest of one orange. Beat until light and fluffy, then add the grated carrots, pecan nuts and sultanas and mix again briefly.
    3. Separately, mix together the self raising flour, baking powder, salt, ground ginger and ground cinnamon, turn your mixer back on to a low setting, and gradually start adding the dry ingredients. Mix until all ingredients are fully incorporated, then pour the mix into your prepared cake tin.
    4. Bake for approximately 1 hour. Insert a skewer into the centre of the cake and if it comes out clean it’s baked. Leave to cool in the tin for half an hour before turning out, leave to cool completely before decorating.
    5. Whilst the cake is cooling, place the icing sugar, followed by the softened butter, soft cheese, vanilla extract and remaining orange zest into a mixing bowl and, on a low speed, gradually start whisking the icing. Once the ingredients are combined, turn up the speed and continue to beat until light and fluffy.
    6. Once your cake is completely cool, cut through the middle so you have two rounds. Place just over one third of the icing onto the cut side of the bottom half and use a palette knife to spread the icing evenly over the top. Place the second round, cut side down, on top, and spread the remaining icing over the top and around the sides of the cake until smooth. Decorate in whichever way you fancy!

    Why not make individual muffins?

    Follow the above method, splitting the mix between 12 muffin cases instead of one large tin. Bake for around 30 minutes, leave to cool and pipe the icing on top.