Classic carrot cake recipe by Aldo Zilli

Posted on: 10th Jun 2017 by: Aldo Zilli

These days we have so many gadgets in our kitchen that there is no excuse not to bake! This week’s book Modern Baker by Melissa Sharp with Lindsay Stark makes baking easy. It will prove to you that biscuits, cakes and bread can be nourishing and delicious. I’ve chosen the carrot cake (opposite). Don’t forget to send me photos of your bakes on Twitter @AldoZilli.



• 215ml extra virgin olive oil

• 250g coconut sugar

• 4 eggs, beaten

• 250g spelt flour

• 2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

• 2 tsp baking powder

• 2 tsp ground cinnamon

• 1 tsp ground cloves

• 1 tsp ground cardamom

• 1 tsp salt

• 125g pecans, chopped

• 500g carrots, grated

• Vanilla cashew nut icing or maple cream cheese icing

• Roughly chopped walnuts, for topping

For the vanilla and cashew nut icing:

• 150g unsalted cashew nuts, soaked for at least 4 hours but preferably overnight

• 300g full-fat coconut milk

• 2 tbsp lemon juice

• 75g maple syrup

• 1 tsp vanilla extract

• 100g coconut oil, melted

For the maple syrup and cream cheese icing:

• 2 tbsp maple syrup

• 225g full-fat cream cheese, straight from the fridge

• 2 tbsp coconut oil, melted

SERVES: 10-12  PREPARATION TIME: 20 MINUTES (plus cooling time)


Preheat the oven to 190°C/374°F/Gas Mark 5 and line a 23cm round, deep loose-bottom cake tin with baking parchment.

In a bowl mix together the olive oil, sugar and eggs until well combined.

In a second bowl combine the flour and the other dry ingredients and make a well in the centre. Add the egg and oil mixture and stir thoroughly until it is all blended. Finally, add the pecans and carrots and mix again.

Pour the mixture into the cake tin and bake for about 1 hour 20 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.

Allow the cake to cool in the tin for 10-15 minutes, then turn it out onto a cooling rack.

Once it’s completely cool, top it with either vanilla cashew nut icing or maple cream cheese icing.

To make the vanilla cashew nut icing, drain and rinse the soaked cashew nuts. Put them in a blender with all the other ingredients and blend until completely smooth and creamy. Pour into a container and chill in the fridge until firm. We usually leave the icing in the fridge overnight, but around 4 hours is fine.

To make the maple cream cheese icing, stir the maple syrup into the chilled cream cheese until completely combined.

Add the melted coconut oil and mix very quickly to prevent lumps from forming.