I love a carrot cake, more when it is a bit zingy! I find a carrot cake to be quite forgiving, the chance of getting it wrong is quite low. My orange carrot cake is a family favourite and I enjoy baking it. I thought I should share this recipe with you as a distraction from the chaotic events around us.Jump to Recipe
I find baking therapeutic! Simple processes of sifting the flour and hand mixing the ingredients relax my mind. Baking is like magic, a mix of very different looking ingredients come together to give a completely different end product. The joy of watching a cake transform inside the oven is tremendous. The anticipation and eventually getting a successful bake is always a ‘Eureka’ moment for me.
Now you’ll ask me, why should I bake this orange carrot cake? Well first of all, as I said, carrot cakes are forgiving. This recipe is much easier than it looks, hence a great cake to start with if you are a beginner. Or if you love fuss-free baking as I do. Also, you do not need any special equipment, it can all be done manually using a hand mixer.
Orange Carrot Cake Ingredients
Here’s the list of ingrdients you will need for this carrot cake recipe.
- Flour: I generally use self-raising flour, you may either use plain flour or whole wheat flour.
- Grated Carrots: Freshly grated carrots is essential for this recipe and that too lots of it. They give extra freshness and moistness to the cake. You may use a box grater (like I do) or shred it in a food processor.
- Oil: Any light oil without a strong perfume will work. I have used vegetable oil, if you wish you may substitute it with avocado oil.
- Nuts: I prefer pecan nuts for my carrot cakes. Their soft buttery bite complements the crunch of freshly grated carrots. Having said that, you may use other nuts such as walnuts or hazelnuts.
- Candied peels: I have used a mix of ready-made candied peels of orange and lemon. Candied peels will give the cake a zingy freshness, again this is optional but I highly recommend you do!
- Spices: Cinnamon and nutmeg powders lifts the flavour of this carrot cake. You may freshly grate nutmeg (as I did) instead of using powder.
- Sugar: For this recipe, I’ve used light muscovado sugar. This light brown coloured sugar gives a nice golden-beige colour to the cake batter. If you do not have light brown sugar, you may substitute it with castor sugar.
- Eggs: I’ve used 3 free-range, large eggs for this recipe. You may add another if the eggs you’re using are a bit on the smaller side.
- Baking powder: Since I am using self-raising flour, I do not need a lot of baking powder. If you do not have self-raising flour you can use plain flour. Mix 2tsp of baking powder to every 150g or 1 cup of plain flour/wholewheat flour.
- Flavouring: Use vanilla extract (I’ve used Madagascan vanilla extract) and not vanilla essence. Using orange zest and juice also lifts up the flavour of this cake.
So let’s get started with our zesty Orange Carrot cake.
Orange Carrot Cake RecipePrint Recipe
Orange Carrot Cake
- For the dry mix:
- 220 g self raising flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp cinnamon powder
- 1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- For the wet mix:
- 175 g light mucavado sugar
- 180 ml vegetable oil
- 3 large eggs
- 60 g natural greek yoghurt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp orange juice freshly squeezed
- zest of 1 large orange
- 300 g grated carrot
- 140 g mix of raisins, candied orange & lemon rind and broken pecan nuts
- few pecan nuts for topping halved
- For frosting:
- 175 g icing sugar
- 2 tbsp orange juice
- Pre – heat oven to 160C (fan). Line a 9inch loaf tin with baking parchment.
- In a bowl, mix all ingredients for the dry mix-self-raising flour, baking powder, cinnamon powder, nutmeg powder, and salt.
- In another bowl, mix sugar, oil, greek yogurt and beat well with a whisk. Add the vanilla extract, orange zest, juice and mix again.
- Add the eggs one by one and beat well after adding each egg.
- Next fold in the dry mix slowly into the wet mix. Fold well until the flour pockets disappear, do not over mix.
- Now add the grated carrots, raisins, candied peels and pecan nuts. Mix well.
- Pour the cake mix into the lined cake tin. Decorate the top with pecan nuts (optional).
- Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for about 45-50 mins.
- Check if the cake is done by inserting a wooden skewer through the centre of the cake at 40 minutes. If it comes out clean, your cake is done. If not, continue to bake for another 5-10 mins and check again. My cake took about 45minutes to cook.
- Remove cake from the oven and let it cool in the tin for about 10minutes. Carefully remove the cake from the tin and let it rest on a rack till completely cooled.
- Prepare the frosting by mixing icing sugar and orange juice till its a smooth paste. Drizzle it on top of the cake and let it run down the sides. Yummy carrot cake is ready to be served with tea.
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