Dairy-free Carrot cake

Everyone loves a good moist carrot cake. I learned this recipe whilst still at chef school and have loved it ever since. I can’t claim it as my own but I play around with the ingredients now and then. Add nutmeg or mace if you wish, swap the raisins with cranberries or dates and even try grate in a little bit of raw beetroot if you’re feeling adventurous.

This recipe doesn’t use butter but rather olive oil. Besides being better calorie wise it also has a more robust flavour than you’d get with butter. The icing has cheese and butter though, if you’re avoiding all dairy then rather make a simple icing with margarine and icing sugar. The ratio is 1 part margarine to 2 parts icing sugar (e.g. 100g butter + 200g icing sugar)

Courtesy: rasamalaysia.com


  1. Raisins – 125g
  2. Extra virgin olive oil – 140ml
  3. Eggs – 2
  4. Sugar – 190g
  5. Orange juice – 30ml
  6. Cake flour – 250g
  7. Salt – pinch
  8. Baking powder – 6g
  9. Bicarbonate of Soda – 3g
  10. Ground cinnamon – 4g
  11. Ground ginger – 2g
  12. Ground cardamom – pinch
  13. Pecan nuts (chopped) – 60g
  14. Peeled, grated carrots  – 250g

For the Icing:

  1. Full Fat Cream Cheese – 227g
  2. Butter – 113g
  3. Icing sugar – 2 cups
  4. Maple syrup – ¼ cup


  • Preheat oven to 170⁰C.
  • Soak the raisins in warm water to soften for 10 minutes and then drain.
  • Mix oil, eggs, sugar and juice together.
  • Sieve the flour into a bowl with the salt, baking powder, bicarb of soda, spices and nuts.
  • Add the raisins and carrots to the flour mix and then add the wet ingredients.
  • Pour the cake mix into a greased baking tin to ¾ full and bake for 40 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack.
  • Cover in the cream cheese icing and decorate with toasted flaked almonds.

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