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Carrot cake topped with cream cheese buttercream and decorated with sugar carrots.

Easy Carrot Cake

A delicious spiced carrot cake filled with raisins and topped with smooth cream cheese buttercream.
Course Dessert
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 12 people
Calories 487kcal
Author Charlotte Oates


For the carrot cake sponge

  • 3 large eggs
  • 225 g carrots
  • 250 g self-raising flour
  • 200 g brown sugar I use soft light brown sugar, but this cake also works well with dark brown or muscovado sugar
  • 225 ml vegetable or sunflower oil
  • ¾ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground mixed spice
  • 150 g raisins
  • water to soak the raisins

For the cream cheese buttercream

  • 100 g butter soft at room temperature
  • 100 g icing sugar
  • 200 g cream cheese
  • ¼ tsp vanilla extract

To finish

  • 12 sugar carrots


Make the carrot cake

  • Pre-heat your oven to 180°C/160°C fan.
    Line two 20cm round sandwich tins with greaseproof paper or reusauble baking liners.
  • Place the raisins (150g) into a bowl and cover them with water.
  • Coarsely grate the carrot (225g).
  • Whisk together the oil (225ml sunflower or vegetable oil) and brown sugar (200g) until combined.
  • Whisk in the eggs (3 large) until combined. The mixture will lighten in colour and look glossy.
  • Sift in the self-raising flour (250g), bicarbonate of soda (¾ tsp), ground cinnamon (1½ tsp) and ground mixed spice (½ tsp). Fold them into the other ingredients.
  • Drain the raisins and add them and the grated carrot to the cake mixture. Fold them into the other ingredients.
  • Split the cake mixture between the two pre-prepared tins. Use the back of a spoon or a spatula to spread the mixture evenly in the tins.
  • Bake for 35-40 minutes until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean. Once baked, remove the cakes from the oven and leave them to cool in their tins for 10 minutes, before removing the tins and placing the cakes onto a wire rack to cool completely before decorating.

Make the cream cheese buttercream

  • Cut the butter (100g) into cubes and beat until soft.
  • Add the icing sugar (100g) and beat it into the butter until soft and fully combined. I usually add my icing sugar 1 heaped tablespoon at a time to avoid it flying everywhere.
  • Add the cream cheese and beat it into the other ingredients. I prefer to beat in the cream cheese by hand with a wooden spoon a few tablespoons at a time rather than using an electric mixer as I find it easier to combine it evenly.

Build your cake

  • Place the bottom layer of your sponge onto your serving dish.
  • Add half of the cream cheese buttercream and spread it evenly across the cake with a palette knife or the back of a spoon.
  • Add the second sponge.
  • Spread the remaining buttercream across the top of the cake, again with a palette knife or the back of a spoon. I've used the tip of my palette knife to make a swirl starting from the outside edge of the cake and working inwards.
  • Finally, finish your cake by arranging your sugar carrots around the edge.


If you have a question about this recipe then please take a moment to have a look above the recipe as I've tried to include the answers to as many carrot cake FAQs as I can there. 
If there's still something you'd like to know then please let me know in the comments.


Calories: 487kcal | Carbohydrates: 49.9g | Protein: 5.2g | Fat: 29.2g | Saturated Fat: 8.5g | Fiber: 1.6g | Sugar: 35.4g