Our dessert chef Darko’s banana bread was a big hit recently so we’re going to share another of his tasty recipes today. He’s been busy making this deliciously zesty carrot cake which he’s very kindly shared the recipe for.  

One of our favourite things about Darko’s recipes are the music recommendations he sends along with them, he sent on the Groove Armada BBC 1 Essential Mix 2012 to listen to when you try this recipe out so make sure to give it a listen as you bake. As an extra indulgence there’s a little rum in Darko’s cream cheese icing but if that’s not your thing the recipe will work just as well without it. 


Zesty carrot cake with cream cheese icing

Carrot Cake 

2 eggs 

200g sugar 

200g oil 

220g plain flour 

200g hazelnuts 

150g cranberries 

300g carrot (grated) 

1 orange (zest and juice) 

1 lemon (zest and juice) 

1 apple 


Baking Powder 

½ teasp mixed spices 

½ teasp cinnamon 

Cream Cheese Mixture 

400g cream cheese 

140g icing sugar 

Juice from 2 lemons 


How to Make Your Zesty Carrot Cake 

Preheat oven to 170 Celsius and line your baking tin with baking paper. 

Chop the hazelnuts and cranberries and set aside.  

Grate the carrots and apple and set those aside too. 

Mix the eggs with the sugar until pale, then add oil, vanilla, juice and zest of 1 orange and 1 lemon and mix together. 

Add flour and dry ingredients, mix them slowly for a minute until combined. 

Add in the carrot, apple and cranberries and mix together with a spatula. 

Transfer the mixture into your pre-lined baking tray. 

Zesty Carrot cake mixture

Bake at 170 Celsius for 20 minutes, use a toothpick to check if it’s baked all the way through. Be careful not to under or overbake it. 

Allow to cool fully before you add the cream cheese frosting. 

Make cream cheese mixture by combining all of the ingredients, add rum and extra lemon juice to your liking. 

Cover the carrot cake with the cream cheese mixture and leave it in the fridge for a few hours. 

zesty carrot cake with cream cheese icing

We love how easy this recipe is and how delicious the end results are. With all of the carrots involved we can even try to convince ourselves that it’s a healthy dessert option. We’d love to know if you try it, if you give it a go, we’d love to see a picture so tag us on socials with your homemade carrot cakes.