Carrot Loaf Cake recipe

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A freezable and portable carrot loaf cake with nuts and sultanas, made in a 900g/2lb loaf tin. Finished with an orange glaze (instead of cream cheese icing) and optional candied orange peel.

  • Prep30m
  • Cook50m
  • Total1h 20m

My favourite carrot cake recipe makes a lovely, big square cake but it’s neither freezer friendly nor particularly easy to transport. I’ve turned it into a loaf, swapping cream cheese icing for an orange glaze so now it’s freezable and portable; no tin needed, just good quality baking paper and string.

I hadn’t realised that a 20cm square cake fits perfectly into a 900g/2lb loaf tin so now I’m planning coffee loaf cake and maybe even a Victoria Sponge. Cake in loaf form just feels like less effort plus it’s nice to give someone cake without them needing to return the container to you.


Store at room temperature for up to three days. Slice before freezing.

I sometimes use golden caster sugar if I can't be bothered to de-clump my soft brown sugar.

If you want to make a smaller loaf, these Carrot, Orange and Sultana Breakfast Muffins will fit into a 450g/1lb tin.


Carrot Loaf Cake

  • Prep30m
  • Cook50m
  • Total1h 20m
Serves: 12


Carrot loaf cake

  • 3 large room temperature eggs
  • 175ml sunflower oil (plus more for greasing)
  • 175g soft brown sugar (or golden caster sugar)
  • 200g self-raising flour
  • 75g sultanas
  • 75g pecans or walnuts, roughly chopped
  • zest from 1 large orange
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • heaped ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 200g carrots, grated (roughly 2 large carrots)

Orange glaze

  • 1-1½ tsp orange juice
  • 50g icing sugar, sifted

Candied orange peel (optional)

  • 1 orange
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • ½ tsp water

You will need

  • a 900g/2lb loaf tin


  1. Preheat your oven to 180°C (160°C fan). Line a 900g/2lb loaf tin with greaseproof paper and generously grease the sides with sunflower oil.
  2. Cake: In a large mixing jug or bowl add 3 large eggs, 175ml of sunflower oil and 175g of soft brown sugar. Whisk until combined.
  3. In a large bowl, add 200g of self-raising flour, 75g of sultanas, 75g of chopped pecans and/or walnuts (total weight, not 75g each), the zest from 1 orange, 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon, heaped ¼ teaspoon of ground nutmeg, 1 teaspoon of baking powder, ½ teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda and a pinch of salt. Mix until combined.
  4. Give the egg mixture a whisk before pouring it into the centre of the dry ingredients. Stir in 200g of grated carrots and mix until no dry bits of flour remain, then pour the batter into the prepared cake tin.
  5. Transfer to the oven and bake for 40-50 minutes. I check the cake after 30 minutes, rotate it and loosely cover the tin with foil otherwise the top browns too much. The cake is done when a skewer comes out clean (50 minutes in my oven).
  6. Once the cake is ready, allow it to cool in its tin for 1-2 hours before turning out onto a rack.
  7. Orange glaze: Mix 1 tsp of orange juice with 50g of sifted icing sugar. Adjust the consistency with more orange juice if needed then drizzle over the cake.
  8. Candied orange peel (optional): Use a speed peeler or zester to remove the skin from 1 orange. Add to a small saucepan along with 1 teaspoon of sugar and ½ teaspoon of water. When the sugar starts to bubble and the zest turns transparent, remove from the heat, leave to cool a little then top the cake with the zest.

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