Carrot Cake Traybake

Easy carrot cake traybake full of delicious flavour from spices, orange zest and chopped walnuts. Slathered with homemade cream cheese frosting, this recipe will be a real treat for carrot cake lovers! 

What’s your favourite cake? If you asked me that exact question my list would probably be endless. I really do honestly love any kind of cake and I believe there’s definitely a cake perfect for every occasion.

Ever since I baked these Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting I’ve had my mind set on adapting the recipe into a traybake. The first time I shared this carrot cake recipe, I baked it as a layer cake, however how delicious it was I decided the original recipe needed to be made easier.

Traybake’s are perfect for times when you just don’t have the energy to put a lot of effort into decorating a cake. They’re super easy to make and the decoration can be kept as minimal as you want. As you can see from my pictures, I decided to cut the cake into squares and spread the tops with the cream cheese frosting and sprinkle over chopped pecans.

To make my carrot cake extra special I like to add ground cinnamon, ginger and freshly grated nutmeg, along with orange zest and chopped walnuts. If you don’t want to add walnuts you can swap them for a different nut like pecans or even leave them out and replace with raisins. Carrot cake is extremely adaptable so you can pick and chose whatever add-ins you want in your cake.

The cake is dairy-free, however for a dairy-free frosting/icing you could swap the cream cheese frosting for a drizzle icing. Try adding some of the juice from the oranges you zested for the cake batter and whisk the juice into icing sugar to create a drizzle icing that’s perfect for decorating your traybake.

(Serves 12-15)

Ingredients:

Carrot Cake Traybake:

150g dark or light brown sugar

150g caster or granulated sugar

300ml sunflower or vegetable oil

3 large free-range eggs, at room temperature

300g plain flour

1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg (freshly grated is recommended)

300g carrots, peeled and grated – weigh to ensure this is correct

100g walnuts, chopped

Zest from 2 large oranges

Cream Cheese Frosting: 

100g butter, softened

100g icing sugar, sifted

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

300g full-fat cream cheese, softened – I leave mine out at room temperature for an hour to soften

Method:

  1. To make the carrot cake traybake: Preheat oven to 180°C / 160 Fan / 350°F / Gas Mark 4. Line a 9 x 13-inch (23 x 33cm) tin with parchment paper.
  2. In a large mixing bowl whisk together the sugars, oil and eggs until smooth.
  3. In another bowl sift together the flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, salt and spices. Add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture a little at a time and whisk until completely incorporated.
  4. Now fold through the grated carrot, chopped walnuts and orange zest. Spread the cake batter out into the tin and bake for 35-40 minutes or until the cake is well risen and a cake tester when inserted into the centre comes out clean without any uncooked batter remaining.
  5. Leave the cake to cool in the tin for 20 minutes, then carefully transport to a wire rack and allow to cool completely to room temperature.
  6. To make the cream cheese frosting: Cream the softened butter in a stand mixer on medium speed for about 2 minutes to soften. Now add the sifted icing sugar and vanilla and starting on a low speed mix to combine. Continue to cream for 5 minutes or until really pale in colour – stop the mixer halfway through to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.
  7. Once creamed add the softened cream cheese. Turn the mixer up and whisk on high speed for approximately 2-3 minutes or until the frosting is creamy, thick and smooth. You need to use an electric hand mixer or stand mixer with a whisk attachment to make sure the frosting reaches the correct consistency.
  8. Spread the top of the cake with the cream cheese frosting or cut the cake into squares and spread the top of each piece with the frosting. Further decorate as desired. The cake will store in an airtight container in a cool place for up to 3 days, but if you’re not consuming it right away then I recommend refrigerating the cake.

Recipe Notes:

  • The weight of the carrots is based on weighing the carrots after they have been peeled and topped and tailed.
  • When adding the spices, I like to add a heaping teaspoon of each spice. This is down to personal preference as I really love the flavour the spices add to the cake.
  • This cake serves 12 generous portions or up to 15 smaller pieces.

Enjoy!

jess

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37 thoughts on “Carrot Cake Traybake

  1. Carrot cake is one of my favorites too, and nothing beats one that’s big and grand like this! It looks so moist and delicious. And is there anything better than cream cheese frosting?

  2. This looks so good! A good carrot cake is a beautiful thing. : ) I am just thinking of all the things I’ve baked in the last few years but never carrot cake. Why is that?! Clearly, I’m missing something important.

  3. Carrot cake is my absolute favourite cake! This looks amazing Jess, and the cream cheese frosting looks perfect. Such a stunning cake!

  4. Oh this is gorgeous Jess! So rich and moist looking (really not a fan of that word but can’t think of another way to describe it haha!), and the cream cheese frosting is just perfect. I agree, sometimes in carrot cake you don’t need all the nuts and dried fruit – just the cake itself with silky frosting is the best. ❤

  5. Each time I went to London I looking for the most beautiful carrot cake! Sometimes it’s very nice but not good, this one looks perfect to me and I’m sure is just a délice!

  6. Can’t wait to try the cream cheese frosting recipe for this! Just wondering how long the frosting can be left out before it’s consumed? Does it crust like regular cream cheese frosting does? Does the amount you’ve given yield any left over?
    Can’t wait to try!

    • Hi Beverley – I would recommend refrigerating the frosting in an airtight container if you’re not using it to frost the cake straight away. This amount of frosting frosts the whole cake without leaving any leftover. Hope you enjoy the recipe! 🙂

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