8 portions. 

Skill level: Medium, 

Total cooking time: 1 hour 20 minutes, 

  • Prep time: 20 minutes (lots of time grating), 
  • Cooking time: 1 hour (max), 

Equipment used: 1 large bowl, 1 measuring jug, scales, cake tin, hand whisk, zester, 

Original recipe: (Paul Hollywood’s) Ultimate carrot cake


The only amendments I would recommend would be to make a lot more icing than specified (I doubled the quantities) plus I added a lot more icing sugar than suggested.

I’d highly recommended siphoning off a small amount of cake mix and popping this into a cupcake case (or 2) – bake for half the time of the cake and indulge for testing purposes 🙂


Carrot cake muffin

To cook:

(Original recipe in bold font)

Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan160°C/gas 4. Grease an 18cm loose-bottomed round cake tin and line the base with baking paper. Sift the flour, baking powder and spices into a large bowl. Add the sugar, zest, pecans and grated carrots, then stir until well combined. Stir in the beaten eggs and oil, then mix well – The end result will look a little like Coronation Chicken 🙂

Pour into the prepared cake tin and bake in the oven for 1 hour or until a skewer comes out clean – I baked mine for 50 minutes and it was a smidge over done. If you’re making cupcakes, cook for half the time before testing with a skewer. Then, watch them like a hawk!

Transfer to a cooling rack, leave in the tin for 5 minutes, then turn out and leave to cool completely before icing.

For the icing, beat the butter in a large bowl with a hand mixer until really soft. Add the cream cheese and beat again until well mixed. Sift over the icing sugar, add the orange zest, then beat until smooth. Store, covered, in the fridge until needed.

For the orange peel, carefully pare the zest from the orange (a tool like this would be helpful). Put the water and sugar in a saucepan and heat until the sugar has dissolved. Add the orange zest and remove from the heat. Let the zest sit in the sugar syrup until it has completely cooled.

Carefully cut the cake in half (watch our cheat’s how-to video here) then spread half the icing between the cake layers and the other half on top. Decorate with the orange zest strips.



  • 155ml sunflower oil, plus extra for greasing
  • 230g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp mixed spice
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • 230g light brown muscovado sugar
  • Finely grated zest of 1 satsuma or mandarin, plus strips to decorate
  • 100g pecans, halved
  • 260g carrots, coarsely grated
  • 3 medium free-range eggs, beaten


For the icing:

  • 50g butter, softened
  • 200g full-fat cream cheese, we recommend Philadelphia
  • 100g icing sugar, plus extra to dust
  • Finely grated zest of 1 orange


For the orange peel:

  • 2 oranges
  • 200ml water
  • 200g caster sugar


Official taste tester…