This easy carrot and walnut cake recipe is my go-to afternoon snack. This carrot cake is delicious. It’s moist, delicately spiced and the addition of lemon buttercream as a topping just adds a lovely zing.
If anyone knows if pre-grated carrot exists though, please tell me. I absolutely hate grating the carrots!
Nutmeg, cinnamon and ginger add a hint of warmth to the carrot cake and I love how the walnuts taste. Here’s the recipe for this easy carrot and walnut loaf cake, topped with zingy lemon buttercream.
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Carrot and Walnut Loaf Cake
- 170 grams light brown sugar
- 170 grams Stork or unsalted butter
- 200 grams self raising flour
- 3 medium eggs
- 200 grams grated carrot (approximately 2 medium carrots)
- 50 grams chopped walnuts
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 0.5 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 0.5 teaspoon ground mixed spice
- 0.5 teaspoon ground ginger
- Preheat the oven to 175ºC. Grease a 2lb loaf tin and line with greaseproof paper.
- In the mixing bowl of a stand mixer (or large bowl, if you don't have a stand mixer), cream together the Stork and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Crack the eggs in another bowl or jug and add them to the mix, one by one. Mix until well incorporated.
- Add the flour, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and mixed spice and mix until just incorporated – don't overmix.
- Fold in the carrots and chopped walnuts.
- Bake the cake for 45-50 minutes, checking after 35 minutes to make sure it's not too brown on top. If it starts to brown too much, pop some foil over the top of it to protect it. You'll know when the cake is cooked as a skewer will come out clean. As every oven is different, baking times can vary.
- When the cake is cooked, remove from the oven and leave to cool in its tin for 5-10 minutes. Turn out from the tin and leave to cool completely on a wire rack.
- While the cake is cooling, make the buttercream.
- In the bowl of your stand mixer (or a large bowl if you want to use a hand mixer) put the butter and icing sugar. Mix on a slow speed to start with (otherwise you'll end up with a cloud of icing sugar everywhere) then gradually increase the speed until it's all mixed together.
- Using a palette knife, spread the buttercream over the top of the cake and sprinkle a few extra lemon zest bits on.
Use pecans instead of walnuts if you prefer.
Substitute some of the grated carrot for grated apple for an extra zing of freshness.
Use orange buttercream rather than lemon, or pair this carrot cake with cream cheese frosting. I like to use buttercream as it means the cake doesn’t have to be refrigerated, whereas cream cheese has a shorter timeframe for being at room temperature.
If you have a 1lb loaf tin, simply use a third of the ingredients. This will come out slightly shallower but will still taste delicious.
How Long Does This Carrot and Walnut Cake Store?
Stored in an air tight container, this carrot and walnut cake should be good for up to 5 days, and actually tastes better the day after you’ve made it as the spices have time to develop.
You can also pop it in the freezer and save for up to 3 months – simply portion up, and wrap each portion in cling film. That way you can just defrost the amount of cake you need – it should thaw out in an hour or so if left at room temperature. This is a great way to get ahead if you want to make this cake for a party – make it beforehand and pop it into the freezer. I wouldn’t refreeze any leftovers if you did this.