Donna Hay’s carrot cake with cream cheese icing

Carrot cake with cream cheese icing is a teatime classic – and Donna Hay’s recipe is as easy as it is tasty.

From Modern Baking by Donna Hay


5 medium eggs, at room temperature
265g light brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
125ml vegetable oil
420g ground almonds
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp baking powder
320g grated carrot (about
3 carrots)
75g shredded coconut
70g slivered almonds, toasted
80g dried currants

250g cream cheese, chopped
55g icing sugar, sifted
1 tbsp lemon juice

1. Preheat oven to 160C/gas 2½. Line a 24cm round springform tin with nonstick baking paper and set aside.
2. Place the eggs, sugar and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer and whisk for 15 minutes or until thick and tripled in volume. Place the oil, ground almonds, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, baking powder, carrot, coconut, almonds and currants in a large bowl and mix to combine. Add the egg mixture and fold to combine. Transfer to the tin. Bake for 1 hour 20 minutes-1 hour 25 minutes or until just a few crumbs are attached when tested with a skewer. Allow to cool completely in the tin. Refrigerate for 2-3 hours or until firm.
3. To make the cream cheese icing, place the cream cheese and icing sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat for 5 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the lemon juice and beat for a further 1 minute or until smooth.
4. Run a small knife around the edge of the cake and remove from the tin. Place on a cake stand or plate and spread with the icing to serve.

Modern Baking by Donna Hay will be published by Fourth Estate on 18 October, price £30. To pre-order a copy for £24 (a 20 per cent discount) until 21 October, visit, or call 0844 571 0640; p&p is free on orders over £15. Donna’s TV series Basics to Brilliance Kids continues on UKTV until 26 October; to be followed by Basics to Brilliance later in the year. To mark the publication of Modern Baking, she will be in London at the end of October for events at Fortnum & Mason ( for details) and The Soho Hotel ( for details). And you can catch Donna on BBC Saturday Kitchen on 3 November.