RECIPE: Spiced carrot cake with cream cheese icing

TV chef Justine Drake uses coconut, pineapple and spices to liven up a teatime favourite. This easy recipe can also be used to make muffins

01 October 2017 - 00:00 By Justine Drake
Spiced carrot cake.
Spiced carrot cake.
Image: Supplied

Makes: 1 large cake or 12 muffins


240g (2 cups) cake flour

10ml (2 tsp) bicarbonate of soda

5ml (1 tsp) baking powder

5ml (1 tsp) salt

15ml (1 tbsp) ground cinnamon

5ml (1 tsp) allspice

5ml (1 tsp) ground ginger

150g (375 ml) brown sugar

250ml (1 cup ) vegetable oil

3 eggs

5ml (1 tsp) vanilla extract

500ml (2 cups) grated carrot, about three large carrots

250ml (1 cup) desiccated coconut

100g pecan nuts or walnuts, chopped

1 x 440g can crushed pineapple, drained


230g cream cheese

60g butter, softened

300g (2 cups) icing sugar

Zest of one lemon, orange or grapefruit


1. Preheat oven to 180°C.

2. Grease a deep Bundt pan, 2 x 21cm sandwich pans or 12 muffin cups.

3. Combine the flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, salt and spices.

4. Make a well in the centre and add sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla. Mix until smooth.

5. Stir in carrots, coconut, nuts and pineapple.

6. Pour into your chosen pan and bake for 50-60 minutes for the large cake, 40 minutes for the sandwich pans and 20 -25 minutes for the muffins. Note that the centre may sink a little.

7. Remove from the oven and allow to cool before icing.

8. To make the icing, cream the cream cheese and butter together until smooth. Add the icing sugar and zest and beat until just creamy, but don't overbeat as it may become runny.

Tip: The best way to keep spices really fresh with optimum flavour is in the freezer.

For more delicious recipes, catch Justine Drake on 'Just Cooking' on SABC 3 (DStv channel 193) on Tuesdays at 8.30pm.