Carrot almond cake with lemon cream cheese icing

Carrot almond cake with lemon cream cheese icing

Something for Everyone
Ben Dearnley

Being on the healthier end of the cake spectrum, this cake is perfect for a children’s birthday party. The batter can also be baked as muffins, which are moist and totally delicious – just skip the icing if you wish. If you don’t have wholemeal flour on hand, that’s fine, just use regular self-raising flour.


Quantity Ingredient
4 eggs
125ml milk
185g brown sugar, (see note)
or 185g rapadura sugar, (see note)
250ml olive oil
310g carrot, grated
100g ground almonds
300g wholemeal self-raising flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Lemon cream cheese icing

Quantity Ingredient
375g cream cheese, softened
125g icing sugar, sifted
60ml fresh lemon juice
1 lemon, finely zested, plus extra to sprinkle on top (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 160ºC. Grease and line two 20 cm round cake tins with baking paper.
  2. Whisk together the eggs, milk, sugar and oil in a mixing bowl. Stir in the carrot and ground almonds. Add the flour and cinnamon, and stir until just combined.
  3. Divide the mixture between the two cake tins and bake for about 30 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cakes comes out clean. Leave in the tins for 10 minutes, before transferring to a wire rack to cool.
  4. To make the icing, use an electric mixer to beat together the cream cheese, icing sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest (if using), until well combined and smooth.
  5. To assemble the cake, trim the domed top off one of the cakes once cooled. Place the trimmed cake on a cake stand, trimmed side up, and spread some of the icing on top. Top with the second cake, dome side up, and spread the remaining icing over the top. Scatter over some extra lemon zest, if liked.


  • For a nut-free version you can replace the almonds with a ground seed mix.

Baby’s serve

  • Because this cake does have some added sugar, you should ideally wait until your baby is over 12 months before offering it to her. If you do wish to give her a little taste, you can minimise the sugar by skipping the icing.

Toddler’s serve

  • Cut up as needed, skipping the icing for a low-sugar option.


  • Rapadura sugar comes from the dried whole natural juice of the sugar cane. Because it’s not separated from its molasses content, it retains its natural nutrients. Brown sugar, on the other hand, typically has the molasses stripped out and then some of it is added back in. It also tends to be cheaper and more readily available. Nutritionally, the difference between them is not immense, but if you want a less processed sugar, rapadura is a good option. When purchasing, take note of its country of origin. It can be difficult to source local rapadura sugar, so you might prefer to choose brown to avoid using an imported product.
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