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Carrot and walnut cake

Cake Easy
Serves 6-8
Featured in
Ottolenghi cookbook

There are two warring camps at Ottolenghi over the vital issue of … carrot cake. Helen Goh and Sarit Packer, who are always on the lookout for new ideas and some earth-shattering recipes, like their carrot cakes dense and fruity. We prefer them light and fluffy, like this one. So far the issue hasn’t been resolved – there’s just a tense ceasefire. Watch out for the next Ottolenghi cookbook: if the balance of power shifts, you might find a totally different carrot cake.


160g plain flour
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground cloves
1 large free-range egg
1 free-range egg yolk
200g sunflower oil
270g caster sugar
50g walnuts, chopped
50g desiccated coconut
135g carrot, roughly grated
2 free-range egg whites
a pinch of salt
175g cream cheese, at room temperature
70g unsalted butter
35g icing sugar
25g honey
30g walnuts, chopped and lightly toasted


  1. Preheat the oven to 170°C/Gas Mark 3.
  2. Grease a 20cm springform cake tin and line the base and sides with baking parchment.
  3. Sift together the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and spices. Lightly whisk the whole egg with the egg yolk.
  4. Put the sunflower oil and caster sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the beater attachment and beat for about a minute on a medium speed. On a low speed, slowly add the beaten egg. Mix in the walnuts, coconut and carrot and then the sifted dry ingredients. Don’t over mix. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl.
  5. Wash and dry the mixer bowl, making sure it is totally clean, then put the egg whites and salt in it and whisk on a high speed until firm peaks form.
  6. Gently fold the egg whites into the carrot mixture in 3 additions, being careful not to over mix. Streaks of white in the mixture are okay. Pour the cake mixture into the prepared tin and bake for approximately 1 hour; it could take longer. A skewer inserted in the centre should come out dry. If the cake starts getting dark before the centre is cooked through, cover it with foil.
  7. Let the cake cool completely and then remove from the tin.
  8. To make the icing, beat the cream cheese in a mixer until light and smooth. Remove from the mixer. Beat the butter, icing sugar and honey in the mixer until light and airy.
  9. Fold together the cheese and butter mixes. Spread waves of icing on top of the cake and sprinkle with the nuts.