You can’t beat a classic carrot cake and this version with raisins, cream cheese and sugarpaste carrots is bound to be a winner. Carrot and raisin loaf



Forthe cake:

    • 200g (7oz) self-raising flour


    • 175g (6oz) soft light brown sugar


    • 150g (5oz) raisins


    • 2 level tsp ground mixed spice


    • Pinch of salt


    • 150ml (¼ pint) sunflower oil


    • 3 medium eggs 2


    • 50g (8oz) carrots, peeled and grated


For the topping:

    • 200g carton cream cheese


    • 3 level tbsp icing sugar


    • Zest of 1 lemon


    • Sugarpaste or marzipan carrots, for decoration, optional (see Sue’s tip, right)


    • 1kg (2lb) loaf tin, buttered and lined with a strip of baking parchment






    1. Set the oven to gas mark 4 or 180°C.


    1. To make the cake: Tip the flour into a bowl and stir in the sugar, raisins, mixed spice and salt.


    1. Beat the sunflower oil and eggs together and add to the dry ingredients and carrots, then stir until well mixed. Pour the mixture into the loaf tin.


    1. Bake the cake in the centre of the oven for about 1 hr, until it is just firm to the touch in the centre, and a skewer comes out clean after being inserted into the cake.


    1. Remove the cake from the oven and leave it to cool in the tin for about 10 mins. Turn out on to a wire rack to cool completely.


    1. To make the topping: Beat together the cream cheese, icing sugar and lemon zest. Spread the icing over the top of the cake and decorate with the sweet ‘carrots’, if liked.


How to freeze: The undecorated cake may be wrapped in a freezer bag and frozen for up to 3 months. Allow the cake to defrost before decorating it with the cream cheese topping.About carrots: We tend to think of carrots as being orange, but there are yellow, deep red and almost black varieties too. Orange carrots contain the antioxidant, beta carotene, which is essential in the diet, as the body converts it into vitamin A.Nutritional values are for maximum number of servingsFeature: Sue McMahon. Photos: Simon Pask. Props stylist: Sue Radcliffe


Nutritional information per portion



Fat 28.0g


Saturates 10.0g


Calories 523(kcal)