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Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Icing

By Chelsea Sugar
Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Icing
12 servings
  • 166 reviews

  • Difficulty Easy
  • Prep time 15 mins
  • Cooking time 45 mins
  • Serves

    3 eggs
    2 cups Chelsea Soft Brown Sugar (400g)
    1 cup Olivani Olive Oil Pure (250ml)
    3 cups grated carrots
    2 1/4 cups Edmonds Standard Grade Flour (338g)
    1/2 cup Meadow Fresh Original Milk, warmed (125ml)
    2 tsp Edmonds Baking Soda
    2 tsp ground cinnamon
    1 tsp salt
    1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

    Cream Cheese Icing
    1/2 cup Meadow Fresh Traditional Cream Cheese (125g)
    50g Tararua Butter, softened
    2 cups Chelsea Icing Sugar (300g)
    1 tsp vanilla extract
    1-2 Tbsp Meadow Fresh Milk
    Chopped walnuts, to decorate (optional)


    Preheat oven to 160°C bake.

    For a single layer cake, use a 23-24cm round cake tin (at least 6cm deep). For a double layer cake, use 2 x 20-21cm round cake tins. Grease the tin/s and line with baking paper.

    Beat eggs and Chelsea Soft Brown Sugar together. Stir in oil, then add all other ingredients. Mix well. Pour into prepared tin/s.

    Bake for 45 minutes (2 cake layers) or 55 minutes (single layer cake), until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Stand in the tin/s for 20 minutes then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Spread with cream cheese icing when cold.

    Cream Cheese Icing
    Beat cream cheese and butter together until smooth. Add Chelsea Icing Sugar, vanilla and sufficient milk to make a light fluffy icing consistency. Spread over cake/s (sandwiching layers together if applicable) and decorate with chopped nuts if desired.

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Average Rating
(167 reviews)

The owner of the new Smeg oven did not read the recipe. To do the whole cake the recipe states 55mins, which I did and the cake turned out perfect

Damn everyone loves it thank u for doing this recipe its magnificent

This recipe is fail proof! Have made it so many times for friends and family who adore it. I have had feedback from some carrot cake lovers that it's the best carrot cake they've ever had!
So easy to make and great with the addition of the good quality olive oil as the cake will never dry out or overcook accidentally
Some minor changes I make to my recipe:
1. Instead of 2 tsp cinnamon, I add 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp ground ginger, 1/2 tsp mixed spice and a healthy pinch of ground cloves
2. I decorate my cake with chopped walnuts (as suggested), poppy seeds, lemon zest and dried rose petals
Love this recipe and will make it again and again!
Have never made a Chelsea recipe that didn't turn out beautifully!

yuck the oilive oil made it taste like soap and didnt taste anything like a real carrot cake...

Great cake delicious, we added a bit of spice to give it some zing

Lovely moist tasty cake, my go to

Everybody raves about this cake when I make it

A lovely carrot cake in almost every way, except for a couple of small things, could need more spice, and that cream cheese icing was a bit sweet so much so I had to add more cream cheese.
Then there is one large problem Ie: the cook time. The cook time is up the wazoo. My new smeg oven is in perfect working order. Recipe states a cook time of 45min for a whole cake. I checked mine at 30mins and I was still wobbly under the slightly cooked crust. I cooked another 15mins still WOBBLY in the middle. An inexperienced baker would possibly take the time as gospel. My cake needed another 25 mins to cook. That’s making a huge margin of error I feel. I cooked my cake after 45mins at 4min intervals till done, I had to resist the temptation to fan assist, or up the temp a bit, so yes it really was a very time consuming exercise, so feel that others need to read this and be prepared to stand by the oven till it’s cooked. For that reason I give it a 2 as it’s essential that time is correct, not a huge difference from what’s stated. I see upon reading other reviews this is an ongoing issue by a few people. Come on guys DO BETTER.

Loving the Chelsea recipes

Does this recipe make 2 layers or just one?

This is my favourite carrot cake recipe ever! It's so fluffy and delicious, perfect amount of carrots. Definitely try this recipe it's my go to

It was easy enough and described what you needed to do well

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Possibly the best carrot cake I’ve ever tasted.

Super moist with a smooth texture.
Took much longer to bake than recipe advised (but maybe due to a crap oven)

The recipe is easy and simple and the cake is so delicious together with the icing on top my family

Made this a month ago and the entire family loved it, have been asking for another ever since - delicious!!

really good comes out beautiful every time, love this recipe use it all the time.

Love it so easy and tastes great

I have been making this cake for years. I’ve never had a bad cake yet.

Super moist and delicious, and I have made it many times, highly recommend

Super moist and delicious, and I have made it many times, highly recommend

This Cake was easy to prepare left it in the oven for 50 minutes to come back to it cooked on the top but just like the normal batter on the inside still dripping wet! Will NOT use this recipe again.

Really yummy and simple to make. Easy for kids to join in too!

Good recipe, was moist and tasty.

Love this carrot cake making another when girls are home from kura.


This is my first ever time making a carrot cake and this recipe is awesome! Straightforward to make, it came out perfectly! I baked mine for 50 mins in fan bake mode (160) in a 23cm square cake tin. It is so yummy and the cream cheese icing is too! :)

Can I use gluten free flour?

it was a great recipe but i think it had a bit to much carrot in it

It was so moist it was basically uncooked! I left it in for 35 minutes.

Loved this cake. Used recipe for a birthday cake.
Cake was so moist and tasty. Would make it again

Loved this cake. Used recipe for a birthday cake.
Cake was so moist and tasty. Would make it again

Made this cake for the first time came out moist delicious was very impressed height this tops all the cakes I've ever made I'm making it again tonight thank you Chelsea
5 star rating

This recipe is great. Simple and tasty. My husband really likes the cake. Especially in the evenings with tea. Thanks. There is also a good recipe here I recommend

very good

First time making a carrot cake and like everyone needed to cook it a wee bit longer, I also added 2 teaspoons of ground ginger and 2 teaspoons of cinnamon, hubby said it was the best carrot cake he had ever had and requested one for is up and coming birthday. Yum yum.

Good recipe, but replace olive oil with canola or something less strong tasting and cook for around 70 - 75 minutes.

Delicious cake and icing! I substituted one cup of sugar with coconut sugar and it was still delish! Easy recipe that was a hit for a birthday party!

The carrot cake had a bit too much oil.
But it is fine!

Have made this a few times. Always absolutely beautiful but definitely need to cook for 1 hour 30 min at least at 160 degrees

Best carrot cake I have ever had
Great recipe
Thanks Chelsea

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I made this cake for my daughter’s birthday recently and it was amazing! It was surprisingly easy to make and the only thing I forgot was the milk in the icing but it was perfect without it. Will definitely add to my recipe favourites. Thanks Chelsea x

I have used this recipe again and again. I love it. Can you please tell me if I can make the cake vegan by replacing the eggs with flax eggs? Would be useful to know for a vegan option.

CHELSEA SUGAR: Hi there, we haven't tested this option but think it should work ok!

Made this cake on Saturday for my dad’s birthday - absolutely yum. Used a different recipe for the cream cheese frosting though. Made two batches for a layered cake. Will make again. Thanks for the recipe!!

Made this cake for the first time and came out very well. I reduced little bit of milk as the batter was becoming watery. but was soft and nice.

5 stars great recipe every time I make it turns out great

Amazing, worked really well. Perfectly moist!
Thanks Chelsea.

Recipe made a 20cm cake and a standard loaf , took a bit longer to cook, however an awesome result, both cakes topped with lemon cream cheese icing. Definitely baking this again.

'Flavourful'? What an awful word. It's American. Do you see that Union Jack in the top left corner of our flag? Flavoursome.

This is a great recipe but it made a lot more batter than i expected. I made 24 cupcakes and a loaf so i would half the recipe if i use this recipe again.

Made this / carrot cake for the first time. Was a complete winner!!! Thank you

So easy to make and quick! Smelled so good cooking even the dog was drooling. 100% recommend

I hope to make this for our Garden Group. Can it be cooked in a square tin and how large? Could it serve more than 12 people? I'm trying to work out how many I'd need to make!

CHELSEA SUGAR: Hi there, yes you could cook this in a square tin (20cm would be about right). We think you could stretch it to 16 serves, cutting 4 x 4 from the square cake, but they would be quite small pieces. Enjoy!

Simple, quick, and delicious. Thoroughly recommended!

I've made this cake twice and about to make it again as muffins. It is delicious! It did take longer to cook for me both times, but once it is cooked, it is amazing! Cream cheese icing is also delicious. Winner from me

Loved, thank you awesome icing.

Love love the recipe, one of a kind

My dad loves carrot cake so I made this for his birthday he loved it!! Thanks Chelsea!

Wait so for the icing do you use sufficient milk or oil? cause in the ingredients it says oil but on the method it says milk?????
CHELSEA SUGAR: Hi there, sorry about that! It is milk - we have updated the recipe now.

I think it's a great recipe

Love them all and my family, no favorites. All yummy.

It was an amazing first carrot cake for me :)

This cake was an amazing. My first carrot cake.

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Very easy, lovely and moist.

This is the most delicious carrot cake I’ve ever had!

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This was my first time ever making a carrot cake and man this was a huge success, added dried apricots cracked walnuts and saltanas on the icings yum!

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Amazing! Comes out perfect everytime I always make with a food processor think this carrot cake recipe.

My family and friends absolutely loved the carrot cake! This recipe is easy to follow and awesome end product. I haven't tried this icing recipe though - I use my own version of cream cheese icing.

My go to. It comes out beautifully everytime!

Tasted great - only problem was the icing - I've never made a cream cheese icing - the ingredients state oil, the method states milk!
Cooked in 50 mins. Yum.
Suggest typo is fixed re the icing.

I LOVE this cake! It was a big hit with my whole family and super easy to make! The part that took the longest was carrot-grating but that’s probably just me! The only thing I have to say was it took about 1h 20m instead of 1h to bake but that’s not a big deal. This is the best carrot cake recipe I’ve used in a long time! Thank you Chelsea!

Cake took forever to bake, recipes does NOT specify the oil and does NOT specify whether walnuts are chopped or not, the cake was fine but the recipe was not.

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I love this.

How many days does it last in a container?
Chelsea Sugar:
The cake will keep for 2-3 days.

First time baking a carrot cake and it came out perfect! Needed an extra 20 mins to fully cook properly but no complaints. I'm going to make another one tomorrow :)

Easy to make and so delicious to eat :-)

Check your cake at 55mins as I've made this twice now and it's not cooked through. I put tin foil over it and fan baked at 160 for 10 mins, job done.

So easy to make, nice and moist and keeps well. I have made this 3 times during the past 3 weeks as it is a household favourite. Turned out perfect every time.

First time making a carrot cake from scratch! Turned out delicious and so moist! Would definitely make again.

This is the first time I made a cake in my life. It came out perfect just like one buy from a cake shop. I did not have walnut use pistachio instead. This is 5 stars recipe.

First try was a success!

Just made this delicious cake. I wasn't too sure if it was plain or self raising flour but it came out great, edges were a bit crispy because I forgot about it, I added just under a cup of icing sugar to the caramilk cream cheese & wow so good!!!

First carrot cake I've made and it turned out great.

Easily one of the worst recipes I’ve ever used. Despite following all instructions, cakes came out under cooked. Would strongly recommend a minimum of another 20-30 minutes for a properly baked cake.

Amazing cake 10/10 !!! I doubled the amount of walnuts and chopped some to have a variety in size throughout the cake and added more chopped walnuts on top. Was a crowd pleaser in my family and will definitely add this to my cook books !!

Have made this several times. Comes out perfect every time! This time I changed out flour to gluten free and used coconut sugar instead! Very nice indeed!

Can you make this in a loaf tin rather than a cake tin?
Chelsea Sugar:
Yes, you can provided the loaf tin is large enough.

Do you crush the walnuts before putting them in the cake?
Chelsea Sugar:
It depends what texture you would like to achieve. You can add them whole, crushed, chopped roughly or chopped finely.

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What kind of flour should people be using would it be self raising.
Chelsea Sugar:
Please use standard flour for best results.

First time baking this cake. As I have a gas oven and followed instructions, cake wasn't moist and slightly burnt on bottom. Going to try again till i succeed...

This is the best cake ever, a family fave and so simple.

First time making any type of cake, it came out very nice. The actual cake was moist and tasty with the icing being sweet but still can taste the cream cheese.

I'm not sure what I did to this recipe. It had 55 minutes cooking and was uncooked and weighed a ton. Really dissapointed, what can I have done wrong?
Chelsea Sugar:
There are a variety of reasons why this may have happened. It is best to ensure the oven temperature is correct and bake the cake until a skewer inserted comes out clean.

This is my favourite go to ,carrot cake recipe.Its lovely and moist.All my guests rave over it.

Love this cake, easy to make and totally ymmy to eat. I left the butter out of the icing tho.

Doesn't specify what kind of oil, took a risk with peanut oil and it turned out awful....also, 2 cups is waaaaay too much sugar for the icing! I put in half of that and you can't taste the cream cheese at all, just lots and lots of sugar.

A soft moist cake made by my cousin - Delicious & highly recommended

My first time making carrot cake and I don’t think you could fail with this recipe, it was delicious!!! Yum, don’t think the cake will last long around here!

Can I half the recipe.

It was nice, I wanted to make a small cake so I used a 21cm~ round tin and filled it 3/4 of the way. I used the rest of the batter to make 12 tiny cupcakes. In hindsight, it would have been better to just make one large cake, but even though it rose a lot - it still looks fine. (The cupcakes were great testers too!) I found a different recipe online for cream cheese buttercream icing, it kind of flopped but still very yummy. My mama also made this recipe not too long ago and she used a large round cake tin, which also turned out fine. My only problem is that it takes FOREVER to cool. Overall, a good recipe & I would recommend it.

This cake is yummy, however it took 1.35 minutes to cook and I had to put the fan on to raise the temp for 15 minutes. I will take the advice of one of the previous reviews and put it in my large rectangular cake tin next time. The icing I left out the butter.
CHELSEA SUGAR: You may use a 27cm baking tin to get the preferred result.

The cake was so delicious!

Great cake, very easy to make but when I took it out the over after 45 minutes it was not close to being finished. Baked for another 45 and turned out great!

Soft and supple to the touch,
Moist and moorish,
10/10 would recommend (to a friend).

Delicious and easy. We loved it.

Love it, easy to make and easy to eat! Kids love it and always moist, great to eat with or without the icing. A real hit in our family.


I am now the guy known for "very yummy carrot cakes" thanks to this recipe. Very delicious

Lovely golden brown pancakes. My children enjoyed them.

Great tasting, simple recipe. Occasionally add different spices. I whip it up all the time. Thanks for sharing.

Kids had fun and it's an easy recipe for them to follow.
Thank you Chelsea.

Easy recipe to follow. Beautiful cake!

First time I have ever made a carrot cake,recipe was easy to follow and was delicious,gave recipe to my neighbour and she loved it also.

Mine always comes out very moist, so quick and easy to make! I prefer using white sugar instead of brown as the brown made mine taste a little dense however the white sugar seemed to make it moist light and fluffy! Mine did always take tonger than 45mins and I sometimes prefer to cook on 180 if I’m in a rush over all it’s my fave carrot cake everyone loves it!

I have only just taken this cake out of the oven, and it sunk in the middle. Just to reiterate what another reviewer has already said, this cake requires a baking tin larger than 23cm to be baked in. I'll slap some icing on top, and it will be fine, I'm sure. But definitely bake this in a much larger baking tin!

I made 14 cupcakes very yummy. It took 30 mins to bake

Yummy cake and easy too. however it took 1.50mins to bake so was worried when it didn't bake in 1hr. I think more info on how and why baking time may differ should be provided.

Really good.

The cake didn't get baked at 160 degree for more than an hour !! How long should i preheat for ? Should I bake at 160 or above?
CHELSEA: preheat oven till it reaches 160 degrees, and bake at that temperature. All ovens vary in how quickly (or how slowly) they heat up, so not sure how long your oven would take to reach that temperature.

Absolutely delicious; moist without being too oily. Made as cupcakes for a work do and the mix easily does x2 trays. These could happily be eaten on their own, but who in their right mind ever turned down cream cheese icing?

First time baking anything at all , followed this recipe cake came out perfect. Thanks!

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trying this for my mum brithday tomorrow hope she like it

I was going to make this but I can't see baking powder in the recipe, maybe that's why one of the comments stated that her cake collapsed when she took it out of the oven.

My kids love this recipe and they rarely ever enjoy carrot cake! Its also such an easy recipe to make! Recommended this recipe to my family and they love this as well.

An absolute favorite among my family, especially when I make them in muffin form!

2.5 hours at 160 C and still it collapsed in the middle as stodge!? As another contributor mentioned maybe 180 C?
Its all very well erring on the side of caution to prevent burning but I am now left with a large amount of stodge that I just can't bear to bin!
I like supporting NZ sugar but pleeeaaaasssseeeeee give me recipes that make me look good and are as per your photos.

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I found the recipe easy to follow. But when checking the cake to see if it's done after 50mind (inserting knife to check no batter) knife came out clean.. But once removed from the oven to start the cooling the cake sank to half the height.. and feels very dense.. guess the true test will be once it's eaten.. will try again

I add half a cup less of sugar always cooks quicker than stated. Make often freezes well even with the topping.

A fantastic, easy carrot cake that I've made many times and a hit in our house. The reason why people are having two issues - longer bake times than stated and an excess of icing - is because the tin size stated in the recipe is wrong. A 23cm tin will give you an incredibly tall cake that will take over an hour to bake, and needs only a small amount of icing. It will look at least twice as tall as in the picture!

To get a cake like in the picture that uses the correct baking times stated and plenty of surface area for icing, you need to use a large rectangle tin - at least twice as large as the 23cm tin stated.

I bake it in a large rectangle tin, cut it in half and freeze one half for another time. Or you could sandwich the halves together with icing to create an impressive layer cake.

I have never been good at baking.......I made 2 the first one I made I forgot to put milk in it still tasted fine..and the second one I made was the winner!!!! And everyone loved it...for the icing I used a block of Philadelphia cream cheese

Great recipe, easy to make and delicious

Well my cake cooked nicely, I had 2 peices im not fond of this carrot cake even when i added the whipped cream to it at the end it was ok i give it 6 out of 10.

Good but when I printed the recipe some of the advertising pictures obscured the end of it.
CHELSEA: Thank you for the feedback - we are working on updating the layout of our print recipe feature.

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This is a lovely easy to make moist cake! Everyone loved it! Only thing I changed was the cream cheese frosting. A bit buttery for my taste so made a butter free one.

Awesome yummy and simple recipe. I scaled it down to 1 egg, though because there's just me and my boy at home. Thank you for sharing this recipe! :)

Lovely Cake!!
Everyone loves this recipe the best!!
The only ingredient I added is a 1/4 tsp of ground cloves

Im not very good at baking so I really love this recipie! Its really easy and it turns out moist and really yummy. Yay! People are impressed when they try this . Its really nice to cut in two and put whipped cream in the middle too .

The Carrot Cake was a simple and easy "Birthday Cake". Moist and I used Philadephia cream cheese. Perfect Icing. Yum Yum.

It turned out amazing but I had to cook at 180 instead of 160 and I had to cook for an extra 20 min is that my oven or no.
CHELSEA: Hi there, the cooking times are just a guide as ovens can vary so much. We prefer to err on the side of caution to avoid burnt cakes! We always recommend using a skewer to test the cake to see if it is done or not.

Easy to make, very easy to eat!

This is a popular cake with everyone. I love the moistness and the taste is just amazing!

First time baking and it turns out great! The only thing is the icing is a bit yellowish and do I need to keep the cake in the refrigerator after putting the icing?
CHELSEA: Hi there, we would recommend keeping the iced cake in the fridge only if the weather is really warm, otherwise it will be fine at room temperature :-)

It was fun to make, and delicious!

On the whole this is a good carrot cake recipe, I added 1 1/2 tsp mixed spice instead of the cinnamon, added desiccated coconut and sultanas, baked at 165/170 fan, it takes much longer to cook than stated at 160.

Lovely cake. Just wondering why milk has to be warmed before being added? Doesn't it just cool after being added to the mix?
CHELSEA: Warming the milk up means all ingredients are around room temperature when mixed together, ensuring a smoother batter and an even and soft textured cake.

This cake recipe is so simple. I love making this cake as it's one way of getting my non carrot eating child to eat them.
Baked tonight and used this mix as muffins. Takes half the time to cook and no hassles with cutting a cake. Thanks Chelsea Sugar team.

The cake turned out great, thanks! But my cream cheese frosting was runny and a little yellowish. Figured I put in more than 50g butter or the 2-3 tsp of milk was too much. What do you think?
CHELSEA: Hi there, if you beat the butter (softened, not melted) with the cream cheese until pale, the icing shouldn't be yellow. We recommend slowly adding the milk, mixing in just enough to give a light, fluffy consistency.

Aint that so true!! This cake takes much longer than stated, which I thought it might having had experience with denser cakes baking, my oven runs a bit hot but it still took 1 hour 10 mins.


I don't know what happened but my cake took two hours to cook! It was burnt all around it and the middle was just cooked. I followed every step exactly.
CHELSEA: Hi there, this sounds like it might be an oven issue. We recommend using a thermometer to check the actual temperature of your oven against the temperature you have selected. Also, make sure that you preheat the oven before putting the cake in, and cook the cake in the middle of the oven. It pays to check you have used the correct setting too - I once accidentally cooked a cake on the grill setting and got the same results as you are describing! Hope you have more success next time!

I have made this a few times now and it always turns out moist and delicious. This cake has turned a non carrot cake eater to an absolute carrot cake lover. Thank you for sharing this amazing recipe. I anticipate that I will be making this for years to come.

so yum and easy

The carrot cake was simple easy fun and yummy!

I added 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp ginger 1/2 tsp each of nutmeg and allspice and it was delicious!

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I loved this recipe and so did my partner. I added a tiny bit more cinnamon because I love it and it was so yummy. Im not the hugest carrot cake fan nor much of a baker but this was fail proof, to me anyways I would definitely make again!

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Everyone loved this. A little sweet but otherwise yummyyy

This was my first time making Carrot Cake, the recipe was easily to follow and my whole family really enjoyed it. I would definately make this again.

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Such a fabulous recipe!! easy to follow and the cake is AMAZING!!!

I tried the cake once and we love it! So I'm making it again. Just a question, if I'd like to make this into cupcakes, what's the temp gonna be like and for how long? Thanks.
CHELSEA: thanks for your feedback! For cupcakes, we recommend keeping the temperature the same (160˚C) and baking for 20 minutes.

This recipe is absoutely amazing, the cake is beautiful and moist and the icing is delicious!

Delicious My friend made it for my daughters birthday and everyone couldn't get enough.

takes a bit more than 10 mins to prepare but other wise its an amazing cake!

Easy to prepare and beautiful end product.

I've accidently put 2 and a half cups flour instead of 2 and 1/4 cups flour, but it still turned out great. I'm glad I didn't waste my time and money. Thanks so much for the great recipe.

I love carrot cake and this was my first try at baking it myself and it is the first and best recipe I will always use.

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This is my 'go to' Carrot Cake, it always turns out great.

Everyone loved it!

Very easy to make and very tasty. Adding 1/2 cup of raisins makes it even better :-)

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I make this quite often it's a real family favourite!

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