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  • Writer's pictureMaya Linnell

The great carrot cake debate

I've alternated between two carrot cake recipes for years, depending on which ingredients were in the pantry at the time, and it wasn't until I promised to share a recipe on Instagram that I realised I'd have to pick favourites.

Enter the great carrot cake taste testing competition. I think they're both fabulous, but with five voters in our household, there was a 3-2 preference for the first recipe, which I modified from a recipe years ago.

I switch between both recipes, but go ahead and make up your own mind (or do what I do and cook whichever recipe you have all the ingredients for at the time!). Enjoy!

Carrot cake with pineapple

(RHS of above picture - overall winner of our blindfolded taste test)

2/3 cup veggie oil

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla essence

124g (1/2 cup) crushed pineapple, drained*

1 1/3 cups grated carrot (approx two carrots)

80g (2/3 cup) chopped walnuts or pecans

1 1/3 cup sugar

1 1/3 cup plain flour

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 ¼ teaspoons bicarb soda

Extra chopped nuts for decorating

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius (160 degrees Celsius fan-forced)

Grease the sides and base of a 20cm round cake pan.

Stir oil, eggs, vanilla, pineapple, nuts, carrot and sugar together in a large bowl. Sift in flour, cinnamon and bicarbonate of soda. Mix together.

Bake for 1 hour 20 minutes (or until a skewer comes out clean). Cover cake with a clean tea towel and allow to cool in pan. When cake has cooled, spread top and sides with cream cheese icing and sprinkle with extra pecans.

* I've substituted pineapple for one mashed ripe banana and it works just fine too

Carrot cake v2


1 cup plain flour

1 teaspoon bicarb soda

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 cup sultanas

1 1/2 cups of grated carrots (approx two large carrots)

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

1/2 cup veggie oil

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius (160 degrees Celsius fan-forced)

Grease the sides and base of a 20cm round cake pan.

Sift flour, bi-carb soda, cinnamon in a medium bowl then set aside.

Add sultanas, carrots, sugar. Mix well.

Beat eggs and oil together with fork then add to the mixture.

Bake for 55-75 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.

Cream cheese icing recipe

60g cream cheese, softened

30g butter, softened

2 teaspoons lemon juice (fresh is best if you have it)

180g icing sugar sifted

Using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese, butter and lemon juice until light and fluffy. Gradually add sifted icing sugar and beat until icing is smooth.

Taste testers, willing and ready

1 comment

1 Comment

Margaret Wuestenenk
Margaret Wuestenenk
Oct 02, 2021

We like nigellas carrot cake recipe in our house which also has walnuts and ginger. I might try your version with pineapple in though!

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