Donna Hay carrot cake with cream cheese frosting

14 May

The Hungry Mum - Donna Hay Carrot Cake 1

Hip hip hooray! It was recently the Hungry Mum’s mum’s birthday (or, the Hungry Nonna as she likes to be known. FYI she’s not Italian, just an Italian nonna wannabe!)

The extended Hungry family gathered for breakfast recently at a cafe near the Hungry Nonna’s home, and after eggs and toast and coffee and pancakes were consumed it was cake time!

Carrot cake has long been one of mum’s favourite cakes and everyone loves cream cheese frosting so this was the birthday cake.

I also made a chocolate marsala cake as it is a family favourite so there was cake aplenty #HappyDays

This is Donna Hay carrot cake with cream cheese frosting is recipe from ages ago and it works every time. If you have a food processor I suggest grating the carrots that way as it will be much quicker than doing it by hand on a box grater.

I removed the sultanas from Donna’s original recipe as I am not a fan of sultanas in cakes – except for pound cakes and I reduced the amount of brown sugar in the cake and the icing sugar in the cream cheese frosting.

And the little carrots on top? They were real carrots, planted by seed by Miss7&9 and harvested by Miss9. They added such a cute touch, and mum loved them.


¾ cup brown sugar

¾ cup vegetable oil

3 eggs

1½ cups plain flour

1½ teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon bicarb soda

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon ground ginger

2½ cups grated carrot (about five carrots)

½ cup chopped pecan

cream cheese frosting:

250g cream cheese, softened

90g icing sugar, sifted

1½ tablespoons lemon juice

The Hungry Mum - Donna Hay carrot cake 2


Preheat oven to 180C and grease and line two, 20cm round cake tins with non-stick baking paper and set aside.

Place flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, cinnamon and ginger in a medium size bowl and use a fork to combine and aerate the ingredients.

In bowl of electric mixer with the beater attachment mix together sugar and oil until combined.

Add eggs, one at a time, and beat well.

Scrape down sides of bowl with a spatula then fold in the flour mixture.

Using a spoon stir in carrots and pecans until just combined – don’t over-mix.

Scrape into the two tins then bake for 21-ish minutes – you may have to cook for a bt longer but test with a skewer first.

Leave in tins for ten minutes then remove from tins and cool on wire racks.

Meanwhile make the cream cheese icing: in bowl of food processor blitz icing sugar to remove any lumps then add diced cream cheese and lemon juice. Process until smooth – about 1 minute.

When cakes are totally cold place one cake on serving platter then top with some of the icing and place second cake on top, then use spatula to cover top. We left our sides naked as I love that look but you can cover yours with frosting if you wish.

Hungry Mum Donna Hay Carrot Cake3


42 Responses to “Donna Hay carrot cake with cream cheese frosting”

  1. tinywhitecottage May 14, 2015 at 1:49 am #

    Lol! Love the photograph! As well as love your decoration on your carrot cake. Cute little carrots. 🙂 I love carrot cake! Happy Birthday!

    • thehungrymum May 14, 2015 at 3:35 am #

      The teeniest tiniest carrots ever! Hehehe 😉

  2. trishlee75 May 14, 2015 at 2:44 am #

    Gorgeous! Thanks for posting!

  3. Sarah Bélanger May 14, 2015 at 5:24 am #

    So cute!! Love the real carrots. Brilliant!

    • thehungrymum May 14, 2015 at 7:22 am #

      ta! Thought it was quite inspired, myself 😉

  4. Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella May 14, 2015 at 6:46 am #

    Happy Birthday to the Hungry Mum’s mum! And I love that they are real carrots. I took a closer look and thought “wow they really did an amazing job with the fondant/marzipan!” 😛

    • thehungrymum May 14, 2015 at 7:11 am #

      Thanks 😉 I wouldn’t even know where to begin making marzipan +anything+

  5. Hungry Nonna. May 14, 2015 at 9:43 am #

    Thank you, The fresh tiny carrots on top really were the icing on the cake!
    It was delightful and delicious!

    • thehungrymum May 16, 2015 at 4:04 am #

      hope your birthday was as beautiful as you x

  6. Laura (PA Pict) May 14, 2015 at 2:14 pm #

    Fab photograph! I had carrot cake as my wedding cake.

    • thehungrymum May 15, 2015 at 5:54 am #

      hey, good choice of wedding cake! It is so moist and it is a flavour that people remember.

  7. FrugalHausfrau May 14, 2015 at 10:56 pm #

    I love carrot cake too and it looks like a lovely celebration!

    • thehungrymum May 16, 2015 at 1:30 pm #

      Well, I always knew you had impeccable taste, Ms Frau 😉 It was a lovely bday, despite the hideous service at the cafe #grrrr

  8. Gather and Graze May 15, 2015 at 12:48 am #

    Happy Birthday Hungry Nonna! What a lovely cake to celebrate with!

    • thehungrymum May 15, 2015 at 5:52 am #

      she seemed quite happy with it, I must say 🙂

  9. Fae's Twist & Tango May 15, 2015 at 2:34 am #

    Happy Birthday Hungry Nonna! Love the photo! 😀 ))) Like Nonna, I love carrot cake and enjoy reading every recipe for it. 🙂

    • thehungrymum May 15, 2015 at 5:53 am #

      Thanks Fae! I didn’t tell her that I was putting her photo on my blog – not sure what her reaction will be 😉

  10. ausfredsfruit May 15, 2015 at 4:34 pm #

    I think it is very Delicious also ! Thank you very much for sharing. Please visit my blog for some new recipes idea…

  11. derekthezenchef May 16, 2015 at 11:12 pm #

    It’s your birthday, why not go for it?!
    Have a happy one,

    • thehungrymum May 17, 2015 at 5:07 am #

      It was my mum’s bday – she did have a great day 😉

  12. dedy oktavianus pardede May 17, 2015 at 5:33 pm #

    Simply damn delicious cake!!!

  13. Traditionally Modern Food May 18, 2015 at 2:26 pm #

    Carrot cake looks yum:-) love it

    • thehungrymum May 20, 2015 at 6:24 am #

      Thanks – it seems to be a v popular cake, judging by all these comments.

  14. shenANNAgans May 19, 2015 at 4:40 am #

    That is so cool you used real carrots on the cake, I was at the farmers markets on the weekend and they had all different coloured carrots. Before this post, I totes wouldn’t have considered using them as decoration for a cake. Nice idea! 🙂
    PS: Happy Belated Birthday to the Hungry Mom’s Mom too!

  15. May 19, 2015 at 10:46 am #

    A favorite dessert – love the little carrots and the sparklers 🙂

  16. chocolatesuze May 19, 2015 at 11:27 am #

    mmm love the look of your carrot cake and happy birthday to your mum!

    • thehungrymum May 20, 2015 at 6:24 am #

      Ta! She had a great day and with Mother’s Day just a week later mum was feeling the love 😉

  17. Deblet May 19, 2015 at 7:19 pm #

    Oh my she does look excited.Love carrot cake.

    • thehungrymum May 20, 2015 at 6:22 am #

      Yes, am now officially her fav daughter – also, her only daughter 😉

  18. Justine @ Born and Bred in Brooklyn May 19, 2015 at 10:58 pm #

    Haha! I love your mom’s face in the final photo! I think it captures the moment wonderfully. Also, this cake is lovely. I love a good carrot cake 😀

    • thehungrymum May 20, 2015 at 6:11 am #

      Hehehe 😉 She follows my blog but didn’t comment on this photo – better not tell her that it is also on Pinterest 😉

  19. Amanda@ChewTown May 21, 2015 at 12:40 am #

    Happy Birthday to Hungry Nonna! I agree re the sultanas in cakes – not my cup of tea.

    • thehungrymum May 21, 2015 at 1:29 am #

      Ohmygosh Amanda – my mum would love to be adopted by your family! I find sultanas in general a waste of space #eeuurgh

  20. vegeTARAian May 22, 2015 at 7:46 am #

    Happy birthday, wannabe Nonna! I LOVE carrot cake and like you, I’d also leave out the sultanas. Love the little mini carrots on the top of the cake!

    • thehungrymum May 22, 2015 at 10:24 am #

      Awwww, ta! The little carrots looked so cute and all the kids demanded several of them 😉

  21. Joanne T Ferguson May 25, 2015 at 9:15 am #

    Happy Birthday to mum and what a priceless photo that may be laugh too!
    What a great carrot cake and the frosting looks delicious! YUM! Pinned and shared!

    • thehungrymum May 25, 2015 at 10:37 am #

      Thanks – she keeps raving about that cake! I know what I will be making for her bday next year 😉 Cheers for Pinning and sharing! Have a fab week.


  1. Weekly Favorite Food Posts | Edible Reflections - May 14, 2015

    […] Donna Hay Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting by The Hungry Mum […]

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