apple carrot cake

January 2022


  • 2 (260g) red apples (we used Fuji), peeled, quartered and core removed
  • 250g light brown soft sugar
  • 100g currants
  • Juice & finely grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 100ml sunflower oil, plus extra to grease
  • 2 eggs
  • 250g carrots, peeled, coarsely grated
  • 1 tbs grated root ginger
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 200g spelt flour


  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 50g light brown soft sugar


  • 150g unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
  • 300g pure icing sugar, sifted
  • Very finely grated zest of 1 lemon & a good squeeze of juice


  • 1.
    Place the apples in a medium saucepan with 50g of the sugar, the currants and the lemon juice and set over a medium heat. Cook, stirring regularly for 8-10 minutes or until you have a compote that is bubbling, silky and thick. Spoon the compote into a bowl to cool.
  • 2.
    Meanwhile, lightly grease a 20cm cake pan (about 7-8cm deep) and line with baking paper.
  • 3.
    Heat the oven to 170°C.
  • 4.
    Pour the oil into a large bowl, add the remaining 200g sugar and the eggs, and beat with a whisk until pale and fluffy. Fold in the apple and currant compote, along with the lemon zest, grated carrot, ginger, cinnamon and a pinch of salt. In a separate bowl, stir the baking powder into the flour, then fold this gently through the wet ingredients in the bowl to form a batter.
  • 5.
    Scrape the batter into the prepared cake pan and level the top a bit. Loosely cover the top of the cake pan with a piece of foil to stop the cake getting too dark during baking. Bake for about 1 hour, then remove the foil and bake for a further 20 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. (Bake for a further 10 minutes and test again, if necessary.) Remove from the oven and leave in the pan.
  • 6.
    For the drizzle, set a small saucepan over a medium heat and add the lemon juice and the sugar and bring to the simmer. As soon as the sugar has dissolved, remove the pan from the heat. Prick the cake all over with a thin skewer and drizzle the syrup over while the cake is still warm.
  • 7.
    While the cake is cooling, make the icing. Place the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment and whisk (alternatively, use a large mixing bowl and an electric whisk or hand whisk) until the butter is light and pillowy. Add half the icing sugar and continue to whisk until thoroughly combined. Then, add the remaining 150g icing sugar, along with the lemon zest, and beat some more. Finally, add the squeeze of lemon juice to soften the mixture to the desired consistency.
  • 8.
    Remove the cake from the pan and use a palette knife to spread the icing over the top and sides in a relatively even layer, but don’t worry if it’s a bit thin in places. Decorate with a few orange calendula petals, if using.