Carrot and brazil nut cake

Carrot and brazil nut cake


60 people made this

About this recipe: Scrumptious American-style carrot cake is a great way to get children to eat vegetables without even noticing. The creamy icing here is lighter in fat than a traditional one, as it uses ricotta cheese.

Norma MacMillan

Serves: 10 

  • 170 g (6 oz) self-raising wholemeal flour
  • 170 g (6 oz) self-raising white flour
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 100 g (3½ oz) brazil nuts
  • 55 g (2 oz) raisins
  • 140 g (5 oz) light muscovado sugar
  • 200 ml (7 fl oz) sunflower oil
  • 4 large eggs
  • 200 g (7 oz) carrots (about 3 carrots), finely grated
  • finely grated zest and juice of ½ orange
  • Orange ricotta icing
  • 250 g (8½ oz) ricotta cheese
  • 55 g (2 oz) icing sugar, sifted
  • finely grated zest of ½ orange

Prep:30min  ›  Cook:50min  ›  Ready in:1hr20min 

  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC (350ºF, gas mark 4). Grease a 20 cm (8 in) round deep cake tin and line the bottom with baking parchment.
  2. Sift the wholemeal and white flours and the cinnamon into a large bowl, tipping in any bran left in the sieve. Coarsely chop about two-thirds of the brazil nuts and stir into the flour with the raisins. Thinly slice the rest of the brazil nuts lengthways and set aside.
  3. In another bowl, beat together the sugar and oil with a wooden spoon until well combined. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the grated carrots and orange zest and juice. With a large metal spoon, carefully fold the carrot mixture into the flour mixture, just until combined. Do not overmix.
  4. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin. Bake for 50 minutes or until risen and firm to the touch. Leave the cake in the tin for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and peel off the lining paper. Cool completely.
  5. To make the icing, put the ricotta in a bowl, add the sugar and orange zest, and beat with a wooden spoon.
  6. When the cake is cold, spread the icing on top. Scatter over the reserved sliced brazil nuts, letting some stick up out of the icing at different angles. The cake can be kept, covered, in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Each serving provides

A, E, selenium * B1, B12, copper zinc * B2, B6, folate, calcium, iron

Some more ideas

Substitute cashew or macadamia nuts for the brazils. * Use quark instead of ricotta to make the icing. For a honey icing, mix the ricotta or quark with 1 tbsp each clear honey and icing sugar. * To make a passion cake, drain a can of pineapple in natural juice, about 227 g, and chop finely. Pat the pineapple between several sheets of kitchen paper to absorb excess moisture. Use 150 g (5½ oz) grated carrots, and stir in the pineapple with the carrots. Omit the orange juice, and use pecan nuts instead of brazil nuts.

Plus points

Wholemeal flour is a useful source of many of the B vitamins, plus iron and zinc. It also provides good amounts of fibre, particularly the insoluble variety. * Carrots are one of the richest sources of the antioxidant beta-carotene, which helps to protect cells against damage by free radicals. Most vegetables are more nutritious eaten raw, but carrots have more to offer when cooked. This is because cooking breaks down the tough cell membranes in the carrots, and makes it easier for the body to absorb the beta-carotene.

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Reviews (1)


This is a brilliant recipe! I was unsure, as it had no reviews but I desperatly wanted a carrot cake without pineapple in it to make for my mum for mother's day. This is brilliant! It's moist and flavoursome, with a perfect icing. I didn't use wholemeal, just doubled the self-raising, and I used ordinary soft cheese instead of ricotta but it tastes awesome! I'd advise to chop the nuts thinner for the mixture, unless you like large chunks. My mum absolutely loved it! I would definitely reccomend this to anyone looking to make a nice, quick and easy cake! Excellent. - 02 Mar 2013

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