Spiced Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese and Butter Icing

Spiced Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese and Butter Icing

Spiced Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese and Butter Icing, Sea & Shore: Recipes and Stories from a cook and her kitchen in Cornwall by Emily Scott. Photography by Kim Lightbody.

Sea & Shore: Recipes and Stories from a cook and her kitchen in Cornwall

Close your eyes and think of a place where the sky meets the sea; where the weather changes from moment to moment; and where the coastline is beautifully rugged and where surf breaks on endless sandy shores. This is Cornwall. In Sea & Shore, Emily Scott brings together the magic of this beautiful part of the world, with over 80 simple and seasonal recipes for the home cook.

Sea & Shore is more than just a cookbook; it shares the connection between food, a sense of place, and storytelling. With stunning photography, it translates experience and memories into ingredients that come together as simple, rustic dishes that anyone can easily recreate at home.


Sea & Shore: Recipes and Stories from a cook and her kitchen in Cornwall is available at Amazon.com and Indigo.ca.

Spiced Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese and Butter Icing (And Not a Raisin or Nut in Sight)

Serves 8

HELLO, HELLO TO YOU. I am so happy to be here with you all. So, to begin, I have baked you a cake—my carrot cake. A favourite in our house and, of course, a classic.

There is always time for cake. I never need a reason to bake a cake—the beautiful basics of flour, butter, sugar, and eggs. The processes of melting, stirring, beating, whisking, folding and icing bring me great happiness. Whether baking an old-fashioned sponge, muffins, banana bread, pastry or meringues, there is the comfort of watching the magic happen, as my family return home and smell wafts of cake coming from the kitchen. It somehow makes the world seem okay and there is nothing more loving than cooking for family or friends.


225 ml (8 fl oz/scant 1 cup) sunflower oil, plus extra for greasing

225 g (8 oz/11⁄4 cups) soft light brown sugar

3 eggs

225 g (8 oz/13⁄4 cups) self-raising flour

1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)

1½ teaspoons ground ginger

1½ teaspoons mixed spice

1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon

7 carrots, grated (435 g/15 oz in weight)


For the icing (frosting)

175 g (6 oz) unsalted butter, softened

250 g (9 oz/generous 1 cup) cream cheese, at room temperature

200 g (7 oz/generous 1½ cups) icing (confectioner’s) sugar, sifted

To decorate (optional)

edible viola flowers

edible gold leaf or silver glitter

Preheat the oven to 170°C (150°C fan/340°F/Gas 3). Grease and line the base and sides of a round 20 cm (8 in) cake tin (pan) with baking parchment.

In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, sugar, and eggs until smooth. Add the flour, bicarbonate of soda, and spices to the bowl and mix to combine. Stir in the carrots

Scrape the mixture into the prepared pan and level out the top with a palette knife. Bake in the oven for 1 hour 5 minutes–1 hour 15 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Leave to cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then remove from the tin and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the icing, beat the softened butter in a large bowl until completely smooth, then add the cream cheese and mix to combine. Beat until smooth. Sift over the icing sugar and mix (carefully at first, otherwise there will be clouds of icing sugar) until smooth and fluffy. Taste – it should be sweet and moreish.

Cut the cooled cake in half horizontally, then use half of the icing to sandwich the halves back together. Place the cake on a cake stand or plate and spread the remaining icing over the top of the cake. decorate with violas or follow Evie’s example and have fun with edible gold and silver glitter. Glitter in the kitchen for days…

Recipe reprinted with permission from Hardie Grant Books. 

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