Moist carrot and sultana cake

We all know you can't be eating cake every day when you're keen to shed a few pounds, but a little of what you fancy can't be all that bad. This cake is made with oil instead of butter and is super-moist, so non-dieters will love it too - if you let them have any.

Moist carrot and sultana cake

Photographer: Andrew Hayes-Watkins


Prep time
10 minutes
Cooking time
25-30 minutes
239 per serving


  • 3 medium carrots (about 250g total unpeeled weight)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 100ml sunflower oil, plus extra for greasing
  • 100g soft light brown sugar
  • 200g self-raising flour
  • 100g sultanas
  • Finely grated zest of ½ large well-scrubbed orange
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp grated nutmeg
  • 1½ tsp baking powder
  • For decoration: 2 tsp icing sugar and grated zest of ½ well-scrubbed orange


  1. Preheat the oven to 190°C/Fan 170°C/Gas 5. Grease a 23cm round loose-based cake tin with a little oil and line the base with baking parchment. Peel the carrots and grate them with a medium-fine grater – you should have about 200g of grated carrot.

  2. Beat the eggs in a large bowl with a large metal whisk. Add the sunflower oil and sugar and whisk until well combined. Stir in the grated carrot, then add the flour, sultanas, orange zest, spices and baking powder. Stir together until just combined. Pour into the prepared cake tin and smooth the surface.

  3. Bake in the centre of the oven for 25–30 minutes or until the cake is well risen and feels springy to the touch. It should be just beginning to shrink back from the sides of the tin. Leave to cool in the tin for 5 minutes then turn out and remove the lining paper. Leave to cool fully on a wire rack then transfer to a serving plate.

  4. Sift the icing sugar over the cake and scatter grated or pared orange zest on top. This cake will keep well in the fridge for up to 3 days.

  5. For a special occasion, you could add a cream cheese topping to this cake. Simply spread the cake with a 200g tub of light (medium-fat) soft cheese. Sprinkle with the grated orange zest and finish with sifted icing sugar. Don’t forget that you’ll be adding a few extra calories.