Carrot & Walnut Cake

An adaptation of Ottolenghi’s recipe is a light, moist and sublime cake with rich, citrus icing and crunchy caramelised walnuts.

Prep Time
Bake Time
Carrot & Walnut Cake
  • 275g Tate & Lyle Light Brown Soft Sugar
  • 200ml sunflower oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large yolk
  • 150g carrots (peeled & coarsely grated to yield 125g)
  • 60g walnuts (roughly chopped)
  • 40g desiccated coconut
  • a zest of ½ medium orange
  • 165g plain flour
  • ½ rounded tsp baking powder
  • ½ rounded tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 level tsp cinnamon
  • 2 large egg whites
  • a pinch of salt
  • 20g unsalted butter
  • 40g Tate & Lyle Light Brown Soft Sugar
  • 75g walnut halves
  • 225g full-fat cream cheese
  • 95g unsalted butter (softened)
  • 95g Tate & Lyle Light Brown Soft Sugar
  • zest of ½ medium orange
  • 2 tsp orange juice
  • 3 tsp lemon juice
  1. Preheat the oven to 170°C/Fan150°C, 325°F, Gas Mark 3.
  2. Pour the oil into the bowl of an electric mixer, add the Tate & Lyle Light Soft Brown sugar and beat briefly until combined on a medium speed. Reduce the speed down to low, add the egg and the yolk, followed by the carrots, walnuts, coconut and orange zest.
  3. Sift together the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and cinnamon, add to the mixing bowl and briefly mix in just enough to combine, scraping down the sides. Tip into a large bowl, then wash up the mixer bowl, ensuring it is completely dry and clean. Add the whites and salt and whisk until firm peaks form. Using a large metal spoon, carefully and lightly fold in 1 spoonful of the egg white into the cake mixture to loosen it, then add the rest.
  4. Pour the mixture into the cake tin and bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 55-65 minutes until golden and risen and a fine skewer comes out clean when inserted into the middle. Cover the cake with the parchment paper after 40 minutes to stop it from overbrowning – no sooner or the paper will stick to the top. Leave the cake to cool completely in its tin then turn out onto a wire rack and peel off the paper. Cut in half.
  5. Make the caramelised nuts by melting the butter in a medium-sized non-stick frying pan over a low heat. Add the sugar and stir with a wooden spoon for about 1 minute or until dissolved. Increase the heat to moderate, stop stirring, and cook for about 3 minutes, frequently shaking the pan, until the mixture makes a light coloured caramel. Add the walnuts, stir and tip on to the parchment paper. Separate the nuts and leave to cool and harden.
  6. Next, make the icing by beating half the cream cheese, all the butter, sugar, orange zest, and orange and lemon juice together in a bowl until smooth. Add the rest of the cream cheese and beat again until light and fluffy. Sandwich the cakes together with a little of the icing, then cover the top and sides of the cake with the rest and decorate with the walnuts. Lift onto a plate and serve.