Classic Carrot Cake with Sugared Pecans

classic carrot cake with icing and pecansEvery birthday as far back as I can remember I have been given the choice of what cake to have for my birthday. As most of you can probably relate to it came out of the traditional Women’s Weekly Birthday Cake Book. As I got older I would mix and match different elements from the cakes – this shape, with this colour icing, and these decorations. Please. And my mum would always oblige and produce the most amazing cake, true to the book.


Cake is a food groupEvery birthday I offer my husband the choice of whatever cake he would like for his birthday. Previously, he asked for this baked white chocolate cheesecake which I made with pistachios and a pomegranate syrup and a chocolate collar. It was pretty amazing. Anyway, this birthday he requested a carrot cake. So, not being one to do things by halves, I made a layered carrot cake with a cream cheese icing and sugared pecans.


I think this carrot cake would be the perfect centre piece cake for Easter this year, because, well, carrots, bunnies and all that jazz. Or you could save it for a special someone’s birthday or make it just because. You know it has a vegetable in it, and some fruit, so it is basically healthy (did you get the sarcasm in that?!).

Classic Carrot Cake Recipe

carrot cake slice on plate

Ingredientsgrating carrot for carrot cake

300g (2 cups) self raising flour
265g (1 ½ cups) brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
4 eggs
250ml (1 cup) sunflower oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
360g carrots, peeled and finely grated
110g (2/3 cup) sultanas
60g (½ cup) pecans, chopped

Ingredients for Carrot Cake


  1. Preheat oven to 160C fan forced. Grease and line 2 x 20cm round cake tins
  2. Sift flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and sugar into a bowl and mix to combine.
  3. Place the eggs, oil and vanilla in a bowl and whisk to combine.
  4. Add the egg mixture to your flour mixture and stir until smooth.
  5. Add your carrot, sultanas and pecans. Mix to combine.
  6. Divide the mixture between your 2 tins and bake for 30 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean.
  7. Leave in the tin for 5 minutes before turning onto a wire rack to cool completely.

slice of carrot cake

Cream Cheese IcingCarrot Cake Recipe


50g unsalted butter, softened
250g cream cheese, softened
160g (1 cup) icing sugar mixture
1 tablespoon lemon juice


  1. Beat the butter and cream cheese for 10 minutes or until pale and creamy.
  2. Add the icing sugar and continue beating for a further 5 minutes or until pale and fluffy.
  3. Add the lemon juice and beat for a further 2 minutes.
  4. Spread half the icing on top of one cake and sandwich the second cake on top and spread the remaining icing on top.

Sugared Pecanscarrot cake and coffee


60g (½ cup) pecans
50g (¼ cup) caster sugar
1 tablespoon water


  1. Place pecans, sugar and water in a bowl and toss to coat. Put over medium heat in a non stick pan and cook for 7 minutes until caramelised.
  2. Place on a baking tray lined with baking paper to cool.
  3. Once cooled, roughly chop and sprinkle on top of icing to finish your cake.

practically healthy carrot cake

Do you choose your own birthday cake each year?
Are you a carrot cake fan? 

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