Carrot cake

Carrot cake

I’ll let you in on a little secret; up till not so very long ago I always thought that carrot cake wasn’t real. That it didn’t really exist other then in a stupid joke that I heard when I was a kid. The joke was about a bunny going to a bakery asking for a carrot cake, which they didn’t have. He came back every day asking for that same cake, until the baker felt sorry for the bunny and made him one. So the next time the bunny came and asked for the carrot cake he proudly said that yes he had made it especially. At which the bunny looked at him and said; ‘Do you hate it as much as I do?”


Admittedly a very very bad joke really but it sort of stuck with me. And the fact that it was a cake with vegetables in it, had me convinced that it was an actual joke and not real.


I’ve never told anyone about this until now. Of course I’ve known for a couple of years now that carrot cake is in fact a very real thing. My mistake is probably also due to the fact that I don’t think it is very popular here in the Netherlands or maybe I just haven’t seen any. Fact is that up until yesterday I had never tasted one! It was just one of those things that didn’t occur to me to make. But when I wanted to try out our new oven yesterday and I ‘bumped’ into this recipe on the Good Food website which was a makeover to make it more healthy I figured it was a sign.



So the very first thing out of our brand new oven is this carrot cake. And I can tell you now that I will definitely be making it a few more times! This is good, seriously good. I haven’t checked against a regular carrot cake recipe why this one is considered to be more healthy apart from the fact that it uses wholemeal flour instead of plain flour and the frosting is made of cream cheese combined with quark which gives it a lovely acidity.


And am I glad to be back cooking and baking! I seriously missed it!

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Carrot cake

Prep Time: 30 mins
Cook Time: 1 hr
Total Time: 1 hr 30 mins
Servings: 16


  • 1 medium orange
  • 140 g raisins
  • 125 ml rapeseed oil I used sunflower oil as I couldn't find rapeseed
  • 115 g wholemeal flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder plus a pinch
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 heaped teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 140 g dark moscovado sugar
  • 280 g carrots finely grated
  • 2 eggs
  • 115 g self raising flour


  • 100 g light soft cheese I used philadelphia light
  • 100 g quark
  • 3 tablespoons icing sugar sifted
  • 1/2 teaspoon orange zest grated
  • 1,5 teaspoon lemon juice


  • Heat oven to 160C/fan 140C/gas 3. For the cake, finely grate the zest from the orange and squeeze 3 tbsp of juice. Pour the juice over the raisins in a bowl, stir in zest, then leave to soak while you make the cake. Lightly oil and line the base of a deep 20cm square cake tin. Mix the flours with 1 tsp baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and cinnamon.
  • Separate one of the eggs. Put the white in a small bowl and the yolk in a large one. Break the remaining whole egg in with the yolk, then tip in the sugar. Whisk together for 1-2 mins until thick and foamy. Slowly pour in the oil and continue to whisk on a low speed until well mixed. Tip in the flour mix, half at a time, and gently stir it into the egg mixture with a rubber spatula or big spoon. The mix will be quite stiff. Put the extra pinch of baking powder in with the egg white and whisk to soft peaks.
  • Fold the carrot, raisins (and any liquid) into the flour mixture. Gently fold in the whisked egg white, then pour into the tin. Jiggle the tin to level the mixture. Bake for 1 hr until risen and firm or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin 5 mins, turn out onto a wire rack, peel off the paper, then leave until cold.
  • To make the frosting, stir the soft cheese, Quark, icing sugar and orange zest together - don't overbeat. Stir in the lemon juice. Swirl the frosting over the cake and cut into 16 square. This cake is even better if left well wrapped for a day or two before icing and eating. Will keep up to 5 days uniced in an airtight tin, or in the fridge if iced.


The nutritional values above are calculated per portion. The details are based on standard nutritional tables and do not constitute a professional nutritional advice.

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