Easter carrot cake recipe Recipe

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Our Easter carrot cake recipe makes a four-layered cake packed with fruit, nuts, and coconut. We think this might just be the best carrot cake ever!

An Easter carrot cake on a pastel blue coloured background
(Image credit: Future)
Serves10
Preparation Time45 mins
Cooking Time25 mins
Total Time1 hours 10 mins

This Easter carrot cake is a real showstopper. Using carrots and pineapple in the cake mix makes it so moist, and pecans, coconut and sultanas create a great texture.

Our Easter carrot cake is a semi-naked cake, meaning that it isn’t fully iced, leaving a little of the cake on show. This style of cake is still on trend, and also a lot less effort than icing a full cake! While there are many different Easter carrot cake decorating ideas you can try, we've used fondant icing to create mini carrots and foraged some gypsophila from the garden for a soft, spring finish to the cake.

When it comes to Easter cake ideas, an Easter carrot cake is an impressive and moreishly tasty crowd-pleaser, albeit not as traditional as a Simnel cake.

This multi-layered cake never fails to impress – we add ours as the centrepiece to our Easter table décor with a few Easter biscuits to complete the look.

You will need four 18cm sandwich tins lined with baking parchment for this recipe, but you can also bake the cake in batches if you don’t have enough tins. 

Ingredients

  • 325g plain flour
  • 125g wholemeal flour
  • 1tbsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 2tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 300g unrefined caster sugar
  • 300ml sunflower oil
  • 4 large free-range eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1tbsp vanilla extract
  • 100g each chopped pecans, desiccated coconut and sultanas
  • 300g carrots, peeled and coarsely grated
  • 432g can pineapple chunks (drained weight 260g), drained and puréed

For the cream cheese frosting:

  • 560g Philadelphia cream cheese
  • 200g butter, softened
  • 200g icing sugar, sifted

For the Easter carrot cake decoration:

  • 250g pack fondant icing
  • few drops each orange and green food colouring

Method

  1. Heat the oven to 180C. In a very large bowl, sift all the dry ingredients together. Stir in the sugar, then the oil and eggs. Mix it all together then add the remaining ingredients. 
  2. Give it all a good mix then divide equally between the cake tins (or leave half in the fridge while you bake 2). 
  3. Bake the cakes for 20-25 mins until springy and cooked through. 
  4. Leave to cool in the tin for 10 mins before turning out onto a cooling rack.
  5. To make the frosting, whisk half the cream cheese with the butter and sugar until well combined, then add the remaining cream cheese and beat together. 
  6. Use the frosting to sandwich all the cakes together, then put onto your serving plate and cover the sides and top, using a palette knife.
  7. To make the carrots for the decoration, colour two thirds of the fondant icing with a few drops of orange colouring. Knead the remaining icing with the green colouring.
  8. Take small pinches of orange icing and roll into smooth rounds, before pinching one end. Repeat until you have as many as you want. 
  9. Use a knife to create scratches in the carrots and use a toothpick to create a small dip in each top, where you’ll attach the “stalk”. To make the stalks, push the green icing through a garlic crusher. Pinch small bunches together and stick to the tops with a little water. Leave to dry before adding to the cake. 

Jane Curran is a freelance food editor, stylist, writer and consultant based in Cape Town. Former food director of TI Media & woman&home. All about food, wine (dipWSET), gardening and the Arsenal.