Moist Carrot Cake Recipe

Here is the best moist carrot cake recipe that we could find.  It is moist, with a slight orangey tang. The topping is creamy, sweet and citrusy, but not at all greasy. 

We served this to some friends of ours whose children don't like carrot cake. They all came back for seconds.....

I love carrot cake in the Autumn in particular. It reminds me of autumn leaves with its beautiful rich orangey-brown colour.

This carrot cake is good to freeze prior to topping, so if you do grow your own, or a friendly neighbour gives you a bag of fresh carrots, make a batch of carrot cake for the freezer.

I have tried to modify this moist carrot cake recipe to make individual carrot cake buns.  However, it doesn’t really work very well.  I think a carrot cake needs to be a full size cake to maintain its moisture level.

It is important for the carrots and the dried fruit to be as fresh and juicy as possible in order to keep the cake moist.

If you think your raisins have been in the cupboard for rather a long time, either ditch them and replace them with nice plump juicy ones, or try refreshing them by soaking them in orange juice overnight.

Finally, this carrot cake will keep well for a few days in an airtight container. In fact it is better left for a day before eating.


Moist Carrot Cake Recipe

Level: easy
Time: 1 1/2 hours
Makes 12-16 servings

For the Cake

225g (1 1/4 cup) plain flour
generous 3/4 tsp baking powder
1 3/4 tsp baking soda
pinch salt

OR
225g (1 1/4 cup) self-raising flour
1 tsp bicarbonate soda

AND
85g (1 scant cup) pecan nuts
1 medium orange
115g (3/4 cup) raisins
1 rounded tsp ground cinnamon
175g (1 cup) soft dark brown sugar
175ml (3/4 cup) sunflower oil
3 eggs
280g (2 cups packed) grated carrots

For the Frosting

75g (1/3 cup + 1 tbsp) unsalted butter
75g (1/3 cup + 2 tbsp) icing sugar or powdered sugar
150g (3/4 cup) full fat soft/cream cheese
1 1/2 tsp lemon juice
zest of 1 1/2 oranges


  • Pre-heat the oven to 210F, gas mark 1/4.

  • You will need a 9" round cake tin or 8" square cake tin, oiled and the base lined with baking parchment.
  • Put the pecan nuts on a baking sheet and bake them for about 5 minutes or so.  When they are done, chop them coarsely and set aside.  Increase the oven temperature to 325F, gas mark 3.

  • Grate the orange and keep the zest on one side for later.  Squeeze half the orange and add to the raisins.  Leave them to soak while you make the rest of the cake.

  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the sugar and oil using an electric mixer, or a large balloon whisk.

  • Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.

  • Mix together the flour, bicarbonate of soda and cinnamon and fold this mixture into the sugar/oil/egg mixture.

  • Fold in the raisins (including soaking juice), nuts, carrots and saved orange zest.

  • Put the whole lot in the prepared tin and bake for about an hour. The cake is done when a skewer comes out clean.

  • Allow the cake to cool completely before topping with the frosting.

  • Beat together the butter and icing sugar.

  • Add the cream cheese, lemon juice and orange zest and mix well.

  • Spread all over the top of the cake and leave it fairly rough. It looks better than if you smooth it out.

    You could halve this moist carrot cake recipe and bake it in a 4" by 8" loaf tin. It's nice to be able to cut slices off a cake like this.

Serve with

I like carrot cake on its own for an afternoon snack with a cup of tea.

Sometimes we bake this moist carrot cake recipe as part of an autumn afternoon tea spread, in which case, I would serve it with pikelets.

As for tea to serve with carrot cake I would recommend Earl Grey as its delicate perfume works well with carrot cake.  Or alternatively the smoky aroma of Lapsang Souchong works very well with carrot cake.