Recipe: Carrot, Orange and Ginger Cake

Looking for something sweet, but trying to be good this January? Try this healthy alternative by Mercy Fenton
Recipe: Carrot, Orange and Ginger Cake
Carrot, Orange and Ginger Cake, by Mercy Fenton. Picture: Dan Linehan

This delicious cake won’t quite fit into any strict New Year regimes, but it might be a healthier alternative to chocolates or cream cakes. It’s loaded with carrot, delightful crystallized ginger, and orange zest. It is moist and keeps well, so will certainly get you through a few visitors. By all means halve the recipe and bake in a loaf tin for an easier-cutting, smaller cake.

Carrot, Orange and Ginger Cake with Lemon Icing


5 cups (1.25 L) grated carrots

125 gr finely chopped crystallized ginger or stem ginger in syrup

Zest of one orange finely grated.

625gr cream flour

1 tbsp. Baking powder

1 tsp. Bread soda

1 tsp. Salt

1 tsp. Ground ginger

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

250gr butter, at room temperature

375 gr soft light brown sugar

4 free range eggs

2 tsp. Vanilla essence

150 ml milk


  • Preheat oven to 180˚ C. Spray or lightly oil two 9-inch round spring form tins.
  • Line the bases with a disk of parchment paper.
  • Grate carrots using a food processor.
  • Finely chop ginger.
  • Grate peel from orange.
  • Place flour, baking powder, bread soda, salt, cinnamon and ginger in a bowl then sieve.
  • Sprinkle in orange peel while stirring.
  • Place the butter, sugar and orange zest in a large mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer until light creamy.
  • Gradually add the eggs beating in after each addition, and then add the vanilla and chopped ginger.
  • Don’t worry if it seems curdled. Beating on low, gradually add about a third of the flour mixture.
  • Beat until just mixed, followed by half the milk.
  • Repeat additions, ending with flour.
  • Sprinkle chopped ginger and stir to distribute. Stir in carrots.
  • Divide batter between the cake tins.
  • Spread as evenly as possible to sides of pan. To remove air pockets, bang pans on counter five to six times.
  • Bake until the cakes seem set when lightly tapped, 30 to 35 minutes.
  • Place on a baking rack to cool. After about 15 minutes, turn cakes out of pans and cool completely on racks. It’s best to bake cakes a day ahead of icing and leave at room temperature overnight.

Lemon Icing

300gr icing sugar

40gr butter

4 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

2 tsp. boiling water


  • On low speed initially, beat the butter and icing sugar with lemon juice in the bowl of an electric mixer.
  • Once the icing sugar is incorporated increase the speed and beat until light and fluffy.
  • Finally add the 2 tsp. boiling water and beat again.
  • Assembly:
  • Put together once completely cooled
  • Keep a smooth bottom layer for the final top layer of the cake.
  • Spread one layer with roughly 1/3 of the icing, then top with the second layer of cake with the even base face up.
  • Use the remaining icing for the top and sides of the cake, spreading evenly. Using a hot dry pallet knife will help.
  • You may have some left over, depending on how thickly you want to spread the icing.
  • Leave plain or decorate with a few slivers of crystalized ginger, or some toasted or dipped almonds.

If you would like to contact Mercy email

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