Carrot Cake is the perfect all year round flavour. It has spices to make it warming and comforting or it can be served with cream cheese and fruit to make it light and summery. This Carrot Cake Traybake may look basic, but it can be dressed up or down to make a delicious table centre piece, or a functional but delicious cake for a snack.
I remember when I first was given a slice of Carrot Cake. It was during the 80's when the F Plan Diet was all the rage, and eating fibre was something my Mum was living her life for. Carrot Cake, by it's very nature of having carrot's in it had more fibre, so that was what she made.
I was very sceptical about how it was going to taste. I had this feeling that it was going to taste healthy in some way. Was it going to be nutty and dry and a bit like rabbit food? I couldn't have been more wrong! It was delicious! And really not healthy at all or like rabbit food.
I have been a fan ever since. I have tweaked this recipe to not only be easy to make, but also be extra tasty and versatile. Carrot cake can take on any event and be a star. I have made carrot cake wedding cakes and also made them to eat at home with a cup of tea.
Carrot Cake Ingredients
Carrot Cake is dairy free up to the point that you frost it. The fat content in the cake comes from oil. I use rapeseed oil, but any low flavour oil can be used including sunflower or vegetable. I wouldn't use Olive Oil as it has too much of it's own flavour and may clash with the other flavours in the cake.
Carrot Cake should be rich in spices. I use both cinnamon and ginger. But you can use a mixed spice, and maybe some nutmeg. Trully whatever takes your fancy.
I like to include walnuts in my carrot cake traybake for added creamy crunch. I add them at the end and hand mix them in. These are optional and can be missed out or if you prefer pecans they can also be used.
Another optional ingredient that I don't use is raisins or sultanas. I have heard of people using them to add sweetness. Again, it's totally up to you.
Pro-Tip - Frostings and Fillings for Carrot Cake
The classic frosting for Carrot Cake is Cream Cheese frosting. The slight sourness of the cream cheese pairs beautifully with the caramel sweetness of the cake. However, cream cheese is cheese, and therefore needs to be kept refrigerated. This may mean its not suitable if your cake is going to be a centre piece that's going to be left out for several hours.
As an alternative Vanilla Buttercream is pretty good. However, I have also used orange buttercream before. I have even bought Cream Cheese Emulsion to add to plain Buttercream. Cream Cheese Emulsion is a condensed flavouring to give buttercream a cream cheese taste. Any buttercream can be left out of the fridge so it ideal for celebration cakes.
I also have a post for Cream Cheese Frosting that you could check out.
Carrot Cake Traybake Recipe
- 1 Mixing Bowl or Stand Mixer
- 1 Vegetable Grater
- 1 Disposable tray (I used 32cm x 20cm) but an 8" or 9" Square tin will work
- 200 ml Oil I used Rapeseed. See full post for alternatives
- 200 gms Light Brown Sugar
- 2 Large Free Range Eggs
- 200 gms Plain Flour
- 1 tspn Baking Powder
- 1 tspn Bicarbonate of Soda
- 1 tspn Cinnamon See full post for alternatives
- 0.5 tspn Ground Ginger
- 200 gms Grated Carrots
- 75 gms Walnut Pieces Optional
- Preheat your oven to 160c fan, 180 c, 350f, GM4
- Grease and line your baking tin. If you are using a disposable tin there is no need to line it, just grease it well.
- In a mixing bowl (or stand mixer) mix the oil and sugar
- Add the eggs and mix well
- Add the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, cinnamon and ginger and mix through
- If you are using a stand mixer, remove from the mixer as the rest needs to be mixed by hand
- Add the carrots and walnuts and mix through until well combined
- Pour into your baking tray and bake for 30-35 minutes or until a cocktail stick placed in the centre comes out clean
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin for 10 minutes.
- Remove from the tin and transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool fully. If you are using a disposable tin, allow it to cool fully in the tin