Baking is my way to de-stress. In the mist of exams, there is nothing better than creating a yummy treat and licking the bowl after you finish. It is the perfect escape. Carrot cake does just that. This recipe is very easy and extremely tasty, the perfect pre-revision treat.


100g wholemeal bread flour

150g plain flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

2 tsp mixed spice

200g caster sugar

225ml sunflower oil

3 eggs

350g carrots (grated)

75g raisins

50g chopped walnuts (optional but adds flavor and a nice crunch)


125g unsalted butter

250g cream cheese (full fat is best)

275g icing sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla essence


1. Preheat the oven to 160 degrees fan. Grease a tin. I used a 20cm loaf tin and also got four cupcakes out of it. You can also use a circular 23cm tin. It helps if you line the bottom of it with greaseproof paper, then butter and flour the sides (I have had experiences of it sticking)

2. Mix all the dry ingredients together in a big bowl and make a well in the centre.

3. Add the oil and crack the eggs. Mix well.

4. Mix in the carrots, raisins and walnuts until you have a stiff mixture.

5. Pour into the tin (and cupcake cases if using) and bake in the middle of the oven for about 50 minutes (cupcakes take around 30 minutes). An inserted cocktail stick should come out clean.

6. Take out of the tin and leave to cool.

7. For the icing: I always find that I make too much icing. This recipe makes enough to ice twelve cupcakes, however I usually make the whole batch, then freeze the left-overs (it freezes well) for next time. Beat together the cream cheese, butter and vanilla using an electric hand-whisk until smooth. Slowly add the icing sugar.

8. Spread over the cake using a palette knife. I’m not too fond on too much icing, but this is not too sweet and compliments the cake beautifully.