Carrot Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Icing and Walnuts
Updated: Apr 26, 2021
My favourite carrot cake recipe for a light, fluffy, and moist carrot cake with perfectly zesty cream cheese icing!
For the cake:
2 1/2 cups packed freshly grated carrots
1 cup caster sugar
1 cup packed soft brown sugar
1 1/3 cup canola oil
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
3 cups plain / all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground mixed spice
For the lemon cream cheese icing:
2x 250g bars cream cheese (room temperature)
100g unsalted butter (room temperature)
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups icing (powdered) sugar
3 tbsp milk
3 tbsp cornflour / cornstarch
1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
1 lemon’s zest, divided
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
Preheat oven to 155C fan-forced or 175C / 350F. Grease 2 round cake tins lightly with butter or oil and line with baking paper.
In a stand mixer, add the carrots and two sugars then mix on medium speed until the mixture becomes very wet; around 4 minutes. Pour in the oil and beaten eggs then mix for a further minute or until smooth and slightly emulsified.
In a seperate bowl sift together the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and spices. Add the dry ingredients to the wet, then mix on low speed until only just combined and you can see no more lumps of flour; around 20/30 seconds.
Pour batter equally between each cake tin then bake in the oven until a skewer/cake-tester inserted in the middle comes out clean; around 40 to 45 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to completely cool before icing.
To make the lemon cream cheese icing: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, add the butter and cream cheese then whip on high speed until smooth and light.
Mix together the milk, salt, half the lemon zest, and cornflour then pour into the cream cheese mixture. Sift in the icing sugar and add the lemon juice then whip until a smooth and light consistency. Taste for seasoning and add more sugar if you wish!
To assemble: trim down the tops of the cake layers until even. Add one spoon of the icing to the base of your serving plate/ cake stand then add the base layer of cake. Spread 2/3 cup of icing over it then top with the second cake layer. Use the remaining icing to ice the rest of the cake and then garnish with sprinkles of walnuts and lemon zest! Please enjoy!!
If you would rather make 1 large cake, just prep 1 tin and increase baking time by 10 to 15 minutes.
Cake can be made up to 2 days in advance, just wrap firmly in cling (plastic) wrap.