Carrot & Cardamom Cake by Luis Troyano

  • Total Time

    1h 35m
    • Prep Time

      1h 0m
    • Bake Time

  • Serves

  • Skill Level

  • Dietary Needs

    • Vegetarian

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This delicious recipe is taken from Great British Bake Off 2014 Finalist, Luis Troyano's recipe book; 'Bake it Great', published by Pavilion. "This is the daddy of all cakes as far as I’m concerned.  It is said that the carrot cake dates back to medieval times and was originally known as a carrot pudding. Carrot was used as a sweetener in Britain when sugar was hard to come by. Nowadays sugar is also used, but the carrot gives the cake an amazingly moist texture. My two-layered version includes raisins and a mixture of different spices in the sponge mix. It is completely shrouded in a cream cheese frosting, and topped with candied walnuts and pecans." Recipe photography by Clare Winfield


  1. This recipe requires two 23cm/9 inch non-stick springform cake tins, greased and lined with non-stick baking parchment.

  2. Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan/ 320°F/gas 4).

  3. Squeeze out any excess liquid from the carrots and place them in a bowl. Stir in the raisins and set aside.

  4. Crack open the cardamom pods and crush the seeds to a powder, using a mortar and pestle. Set aside.

  5. Weigh your empty mixing bowl and make a note of it. Put the eggs and both sugars into the bowl and whisk for 4–5 minutes until thick and the whisk leaves a thick ribbon trail when lifted out.

  6. Add the corn oil, vanilla and orange zest, and beat well for a minute.

  7. Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger and cardamom. Gradually add this to the cake mixture, beating well between each addition until well mixed. Don’t overwork the mixture. Fold in the grated carrots and raisins, using a large metal spoon, until evenly mixed.

  8. Weigh your bowl again and subtract the weight of the empty bowl. Divide the mixture evenly between the two prepared tins by placing them on your scales when pouring it in. Place both tins in the oven on the same shelf. Bake for 30–35 minutes. Check the cakes after 30 minutes: a skewer inserted into the centre should come out completely clean and the cakes should have shrunk away from the sides slightly.

  9. Leave the cakes to cool in the tins for 10 minutes, then remove and place on a wire rack to cool completely.

  10. To make the candied nuts, place the sugar and water in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Tip in the nuts and simmer for 15 minutes. Line a baking sheet with non-stick baking parchment. Using a slotted spoon, lift the nuts out and place them on the baking sheet to dry.

  11. To make the cream cheese frosting, place the cream cheese in a large mixer bowl and whisk until fluffy. Add the icing sugar and whisk until well mixed and smooth. Pour in the cream and whisk until it becomes thick yet spreadable. Take care not to over-whisk, or it could split.

  12. To assemble the cake, place one of the sponges on your serving plate or cake stand. If it has a slight dome, place it upside down and it should flatten. I don’t trim the tops of cakes like this as we can easily hide the dome with the filling and decoration. However, feel free to do so if you want to.

  13. Spread an even layer of the cream cheese frosting, about 1cm/½ inch thick, over the sponge. Place the second sponge gently on top. Using a palette knife, spread the remaining frosting around the sides and top of the cake to cover it completely. (If you put it on a cake turntable, you can make a really cool swirl pattern using the tip of your palette knife and spinning the cake while you move the knife slowly towards the centre.)

  14. Using a fine sieve, give the cake a really light dusting of cinnamon, then place the candied nuts on the top in a concentric design. Keep this cake refrigerated. It will keep for 2 days.

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