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Carrot and ginger cake

Updated: Tue, 3 January, 2023


Who needs another carrot cake? I do, especially when it’s a carrot, ginger and almond cake studded with preserved stem ginger and topped with a layer of cream cheese frosting, extra ginger and almond flakes.

carrot and ginger cake

Cakes? I've baked them all

Is it a sign of my proficient skills and huge baking experience that very rarely these days I stumble upon a cake recipe that makes me run into the kitchen IMMEDIATELY and check my eggs and butter stocks?

I look through recipes regularly, obviously, in weekend supplements or cookery newsletters apart from trawling competition. But unlike in the past, when there was always something I pulled out or bookmarked, not so much draws my attention these days.

I’ve baked it all, I say to jaded myself. This looks rubbish; that is an old boring staple. I’d rather go and see if you can bake a cake out of parsnips (you can). There are only so many cakes in the world and I’ve tried my hand at most.

carrot ginger cake with cream cheese frosting

The universe of cakes

That’s completely not true.

There is probably an infinite number of cakes in the world provided of course you think of all the individual examples of the species: like raspberry cheesecake, chocolate cheesecake, no bake cheesecake for instance, not just ‘cheesecake’.

And that was what caught my eye recently: a subspecies of carrot cake.

It was carrot and ginger by Skye McAlpine. Carrot cake and ginger cake – can you marry these two perfections to create an even better thing? Offspring are not always a better product than parents, so I wasn’t too sure.

carrot cake with stem ginger

Cakes and vegetables don't mix

I know all about the ‘veg belongs on a dinner plate’ objections. Some people don’t like ginger unless in a stir fry.

I’m not a huge fan of chocolate sauce for venison and I’ve never tried the Turkish chicken dessert, Tavuk gögsü but one has to be open-minded, right?

Ingredients are versatile if you let them. And carrot cakes as well as ginger cakes are totally my favourites: squidgy, wet in a good sense and open to receive frostings, raisins, nuts or chocolate.

Plus, let’s be honest: I just wanted an excuse to make good cream cheese frosting.

carrot cake with ginger and cream cheese icing

How to make the carrot and ginger cake?

Take your best carrot cake recipe and add chopped stem ginger to the batter!

Joking aside, this is a very good standalone carrot cake recipe, easily made with a standing or handheld mixer but perfectly doable with a hand whisk too.

It’s an oil-based cake which makes for a tender, moist crumb. The wet ingredients, the oil and the eggs are beaten with brown sugar until smooth.

Stirred together dry ingredients, the flour, baking powder and soda plus spices, are beaten or whisked in in three additions.

The grated carrots are added, generously, with chopped stem ginger and that’s the mix ready for the oven.

carrot ginger cake batter

Cream cheese frosting

I always feel deprived when it comes to cream cheese frosting since The Weather Man ‘is not keen’ (translation: he hates the stuff).

So whenever I get a chance, I make double the amount and eat any unused frosting with a spoon. I don’t really, but that’s the extent of my craving for it aptly described.

The frosting is spread over just the top of cooled cake, after the time-honoured English tearoom tradition: sandwiching cake with frosting is for Victoria sandwich, everybody knows that. Also, that would call for the frosting to be renamed to filling, and that’s just hassle.

Daintily decorated with almond flakes and some reserved, preserved ginger slices, it’s as delightful in taste as it is in looks.

frosting the cake

More carrot cake recipes

I keep coming back to this recipe as it’s undeniably the best for everybody’s favourite tearoom classic, carrot cake.

Ultimate recipe for fancy carrot cake with lemon cream cheese frosting. Dan Lepard's recipe for moist, spiced carrot cake with orange and pistachios, a special carrot cake.

Venetian carrot cake, Nigella Lawson’s recipe for gluten free carrot cake with pine nuts. A simple tart-like carrot cake with no frosting but a handful of boozy raisins thrown into the batter.

More ginger cake recipes

Ginger cake with marmalade or jam filling and maple syrup glaze. My ginger cake with stem or crystallised ginger pieces and maple syrup icing is a perfect holiday or pre-holiday cake and it’s stupidly easy to bake.

Old fashioned Yorkshire parkin is a sticky, glorious cake full of ginger and spice, treacle and golden syrup, thoroughly traditional for the Bonfire Night.

Sticky pear and ginger cake: it is dark, moist and spicy like gingerbread cake, with juicy chunks of pears and crunchy pecans scattered over the sticky syrupy surface.

ginger carrot cake with cream cheese frosting

Carrot and ginger cake

Servings: 12-14Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Rating: (2 reviews)


  • For the cake:
  • 200g (1cup) soft brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 200ml (170g or 34 cup) groundnut oil
  • 135g (1 cup) plain flour
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 66g (23 cup) ground almonds
  • 200g (2 cups) grated carrots
  • 66g (23 cup) stem ginger, chopped
  • For the frosting:
  • 100g (7 tbsp) unsalted butter, softened
  • 100g (1 scant cup) icing sugar
  • 200g (1 scant cup) cream cheese
  • zest grated from 1 lemon
  • flaked almonds, for sprinkling
  • extra stem ginger, sliced thinly, for decorating


1. Preheat the oven to 170C/325F/gas 3. Butter a round 20cm (8 inch) cake tin and line the bottom with parchment.

2. Beat the sugar, oil and eggs with an electric mixer until smooth and glossy.

3. Sift the flour with the soda, baking powder, cinnamon and ginger into a separate bowl and add to the oil mix in three goes, beating continuously. Scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula, add the ground almonds, carrots and stem ginger and fold into the batter with a spatula until well combined.

4. Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 50-55 minutes until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Remove onto a wire rack and cool in the tin.

5. While the cake is baking, make the frosting. Beat the butter and the icing sugar with and electric mixer or a wooden spoon until fluffy.

6. Add the cream cheese and lemon zest and stir it with a hand whisk until very smooth; the electric mixer might overbeat and curdle the frosting.

7. When the cake is cold, turn it out of the tin. Spoon the frosting over the top and spread with a palette knife. Sprinkle with almond flakes and decorate with ginger slices. Chill in the fridge before serving.

Originally published: Sun, 10 March, 2019

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Your comments

Anna @ CuisineFiend
Hi Muzo - I'm delighted to hear that about Tavuk gögsü! I'm sure to try it, as I say I'm open minded especially about food. Thank you for the tip about Istanbul and for your lovely comment.
2 years ago
Hello Anna The cake looks delicious and try it not so courageous thing i think :)) But i can say you miss a delicous dessert not to trying tavukgogsu.As a person could not eat the chicken ,once i ate it not knowing it contains chicken breast minced into thin micromini peaces .I loved.Even after i ve learned i still eat .If you go to Istanbul try at least at Saray Muhallebicisi or Zeynel Muhallebicisi both of them are famous for a la turca dairy desserts .
2 years ago
Anna @ CuisineFiend
Hi Chrissy - thank you, I'm happy to hear it. And orange flavoured frosting sounds like a great idea!
4 years ago
I made this cake yesterday - mainly I chose it because I had a big jar of stem ginger in the fridge and didn't know what to do with it. This is a lovely recipe, really moist cake and delicious with the lemon icing, bookmarked for the future as it's soo tasty! I ran out of icing sugar so I used caster in for the topping but it turned out just fine, next time round I'm going to try orange instead of lemon :)
4 years ago

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Hello! I'm Anna Gaze, the Cuisine Fiend. Welcome to my recipe collection.

I have lots of recipes for you to choose from: healthy or indulgent, easy or more challenging, quick or involved - but always tasty.


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