Donna Hay’s Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Icing

Photo courtesy of Donna Hay

Do you ever get a craving for a good carrot cake? This one-layer carrot cake recipe from Donna Hay hits the spot! It’s filled with the usual delicious and warm spices, like ground cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg, but it’s also made with almond meal and has shredded coconut, slivered almonds, and dried currents folded into the batter along with the shredded carrots. The luscious and tangy cream cheese icing is the perfect topping and accompaniment to this sweet medley of flavors.

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Icing
Serves 8–10
  • 5 large eggs (250 grams), at room temperature
  • 1½ cups (265 grams) light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon (4 grams) vanilla extract
  • ½ cup (125 grams) vegetable oil
  • 3½ cups (420 grams) almond meal (ground almonds)
  • 1 teaspoon (2 grams) ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon (2 grams) ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon (5 grams) baking powder
  • 2⅔ cups (320 grams) grated carrot (about 3 carrots)
  • 1 cup (75 grams) shredded coconut
  • ½ cup (70 grams) slivered almonds, toasted
  • ½ cup (80 grams) dried currants
  • Cream cheese icing (recipe follows)
  1. Preheat oven to 160°C (325°F). Line a 24cm round springform tin (see Note) with non-stick 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, almond meal, 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. 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. Run a small knife around the edge of the cake and remove the tin. Place on a cake stand or plate and spread with the icing to serve.
You can use a 9- or 9½-inch springform pan.

Pro tip: We baked our cake for 1 hour and 5 minutes.

Cream Cheese Icing
  • 250 grams (9 ounces) cream cheese, chopped
  • ⅓ cup (55 grams) icing (confectioner’s) sugar mixture, sifted
  • 1 tablespoon (15 grams) lemon juice
  1. 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.


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