Carrot Cake (Rabbit Cake)

Carrot Cake (Rabbit Cake)

Personally I get most excited by carrots in the context of cake. Carrot Cake (or 'Rabbit Cake' as it gets called around here), is a wonderful thing, and has the added benefit of sounding like something that ought be quite good for you (Spoiler alert: It isn't).

Here's my best carrot cake recipe - Sometimes they can be a bit dense, but this version is a light, moist sponge with icing that isn't over-poweringly sweet. And if you happen to have any helpful little carrot-fans in the house, peeling and grating is a really good way of getting them involved with this recipe.

Joy's 'Rabbit Cake' Recipe

Takes: About 2 hours - but for most of that time the cake will be baking or cooling. so there's less than 30 minutes of actual 'work' going on.

Makes: A 2-layer cake which generously serves 14-16. You could alternatively bake this mixture as 24 muffins.

Storage: Keeps in the fridge for 3-4 days (must be refrigerated because of the icing). The cake part freezes beautifully without the icing, but I'm afraid the icing doesn't freeze well at all!


280g sunflower or rapeseed or coconut oil

400g caster sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

½ teaspoon salt

4 large eggs

300g self raising flour

350g raw carrot - peeled and grated (about 3-4 medium carrots)

2 teaspoons ground mixed spice

For the Icing:

350 grams full fat cream cheese

200 grams icing sugar

150 grams double cream

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

To decorate: tasted seeds/granola/Orange zest/ mixed spice (all optional)


  1. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius or equivalent.
  2. Prepare two 9-inch/20cm round cake tins by lightly greasing with oil and lining the bottoms with baking paper. 
  3. Peel and grate your carrots. Weigh out 350 grams and leave it aside.
  4. Measure the oil, vanilla, eggs, salt and sugar into a large mixing bowl and beat well with a spoon or electric mixer until it is lighter in colour and a smooth, runny consistency.
  5. Add the flour, grated carrot and mixed spice and mix them in well.
  6. Divide the mixture equally between the tins and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the cakes are firm to the touch and feel springy. Note: if you’re making muffins, this will make 24, and they’ll need 15-18 minutes in the oven.
  7. Leave the cakes to cool completely on a wire cooling rack before icing them. You can even make the cakes the day before icing/serving them to ensure they are properly cool.
  8. While the cakes are baking, make the icing (this can also be made in advance and stored, well covered, in the fridge).
  9. To make the icing simply beat all the ingredients together with an electric mixer or in a  food processor until it forms a thick, smooth, spreadable icing. Alternatively use a balloon whisk and give yourself a little work-out! Stir in some orange zest at the end if you wish.
  10. When the cakes are cool, place one on a serving plate and spread 1/2 of the icing over it. Carefully place the second cake on top and cover it with the rest of the icing. Finally scatter with granola, mixed spice and/or orange zest to decorate. Note: if you prefer a fully covered cake, use less between the layers so that you have enough to cover the sides as well as the top of the cake.