Spiced Carrot Cake

Carrot cake…because carrots are in season and they are ‘healthyish’, aren’t they? Well, I think so. I discovered a gorgeous recipe on food52 which I continue to make with a few tweaks – namely upping the spices.

I made this for a party, frosted it with lemony cream cheese and decorated it with glazed carrot ribbons and mint that were part carrot, part candle. Sooooooooo so delicious, and a great way to use seasonal produce.

Nigeria’s 1st Seasonal Produce Calendar

Begin with some cake.




Slather lemony cream cheese over the top, palette knife and all. I like to frost just the top and let it scallop wildly down the sides.


And then, I lay – very carefully, candles and ribbons of glazed carrots.


And top with the mint ‘wick’…


The result fills my heart with pleasure – I feel accomplished. 


At the ‘party’, it sported a single candle.


Before I cut into wedges and served.


It was delicious. The cake is soft, spiced, warm…the cream is citrusy and fresh, sweet and cool. I love, love, love it. And I’ve began to build on its success – like in my Agbalumo Carrot cake.

I hope you enjoy the recipe. Do you have a favourite carrot cake? Please share xxx

Spiced Carrot Cake
A spiced cake that celebrates the season of sweet, juicy, orange carrots. Adapted from a Food52 recipe - some ingredients changed: I add fresh and ground ginger, as well as switching the order of some steps in the making. I've halved the original recipe which makes two cakes. My version makes 1.
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5289 calories
797 g
748 g
221 g
53 g
83 g
1771 g
2685 g
620 g
3 g
119 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving
Calories 5289
Calories from Fat 1947
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 221g
Saturated Fat 83g
Trans Fat 3g
Polyunsaturated Fat 23g
Monounsaturated Fat 96g
Cholesterol 748mg
Sodium 2685mg
Total Carbohydrates 797g
Dietary Fiber 19g
Sugars 620g
Protein 53g
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Cream Cheese Frosting
  1. 1/4 cup butter
  2. 220gm cream cheese
  3. 2 cups icing sugar
  4. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  5. Zest & Juice of 1 lemon
  6. A pinch of salt (optional)
Glazed carrot decoration
  1. 1 cup of granulated white sugar
  2. 1 - 2 carrots, peeled then sliced into ribbons
  3. Fresh mint leaves
  1. 2 cups carrots, shredded
  2. 1 cup plain flour
  3. ½ cup self-rising flour
  4. 1 teaspoon baking powder
  5. 1 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger
  6. ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  7. ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
  8. ½ teaspoon cinnamon powder
  9. ¼ teaspoon salt
  10. Zest & juice of 1 orange or tangelo
  11. 6 tablespoons/ 3/8 cup vegetable oil
  12. 6 tablespoons/ 3/8 cup yogurt, plain
  13. 6 tablespoons/ 3/8 cup granulated white sugar
  14. 6 tablespoons/ 3/8 cup brown sugar
  15. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  16. 2 eggs
Cream Cheese Frosting
  1. Cream butter and cream cheese
  2. Add icing sugar and mix well
  3. Finish with vanilla, lemon est and lemon juice - to taste. If using, add the salt now
  4. Refrigerate till ready to use
Glazed carrot decoration
  1. In a pan, combine 1 cup sugar and 1 cup water and heat on medium to low heat
  2. Once the sugar dissolves, add the carrots. Stir to separate the ribbons
  3. Let cook till carrots glisten, about 3 - 5 minutes
  4. remove from the heat
  5. Remove the ribbons on to plate and let cool for decoration
  1. Grease and flour a 9" cake pan.
  2. In a bowl, combine the dry ingredients - flours, baking powder, ginger, cardamom, cinnamon and salt. Add carrots and orange zest and toss to coat.
  3. Combine the wet ingredients - yogurt, oil, orange and tangelo juice. Whisk till well combined
  4. In a bowl – with a mixer & paddle attachment or a whisk, beat sugar and eggs until light yellow and frothy. Add vanilla extract.
  5. Into the egg mixture, fold in flour mixture alternating with yogurt - oil mixture in 2/3 additions. I start and end with the flour mixture like this: flour mix - yogurt oil mix - flour mix - yogurt oil mix-flour mix.
  6. Fold in/ stir until just combined
  7. Preheat oven to 180 deg C. Pour batter evenly into the pan and bake in the centre of the oven until golden, about 50-60 minutes.
  8. Allow to cool completely then frost with Cream Cheese Frosting and decorate with glazed carrots
Adapted from Food 52
Adapted from Food 52
Kitchen Butterfly https://www.kitchenbutterfly.com/


  1. Noooooooo!!! It got cut *holds my hands to my chest* I’ve been thinking od doing a carrot cake again and I want something lemony too. I’ve just been scared of trying out a recipe that’d be a waste of time. This looks really good. Even though I haven’t figured out how to get or improve the ribbons, I’ve checked this into my “to bake” list.

    Thanks for the inspiration!

    • Ha ha – yes it did. Thank you very much!

      The ribbons are easy – use a potato/ vegetable peeler to ‘shave’ off strips along the length of the carrot…and voila…you’re halfway there.

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