youtube pinterest twitter facebook instagram vimeo whatsapp Bookmark Entries BURGER NEW Chevron Down Chevron Left Chevron Right Basket Speech Comment Search Video Play Icon Premium Nigella Lawson Vegan Vegetarian Member Speech Recipe Email Bookmark Comment Camera Scales Quantity List Reorder Remove Open book
Menu Signed In
More Nigella recipes

Ginger and Walnut Carrot Cake

by . Featured in AT MY TABLE
Print me

Introduction

This is very different from the richly sweet, loftily layered and aerated American original. While it is in some senses far more reminiscent of an old-fashioned, slightly rustic English teatime treat, it is, with its ginger-spiked cream cheese icing — only on top, not running through the middle as well — just right to bring to the table, in pudding guise, at the end of dinner, too. Before you chop the amber dice of crystallised ginger, rub the cubes between your fingers to remove excess sugar. Then chop them finely, though not obsessively so: you want small nuggets, not a jammy clump. And, for what it’s worth, I find it easier to crumble up the walnuts with my fingers, rather than chopping them on a board.

For US cup measures, use the toggle at the top of the ingredients list.

This is very different from the richly sweet, loftily layered and aerated American original. While it is in some senses far more reminiscent of an old-fashioned, slightly rustic English teatime treat, it is, with its ginger-spiked cream cheese icing — only on top, not running through the middle as well — just right to bring to the table, in pudding guise, at the end of dinner, too. Before you chop the amber dice of crystallised ginger, rub the cubes between your fingers to remove excess sugar. Then chop them finely, though not obsessively so: you want small nuggets, not a jammy clump. And, for what it’s worth, I find it easier to crumble up the walnuts with my fingers, rather than chopping them on a board.

For US cup measures, use the toggle at the top of the ingredients list.

Image of Nigella's Ginger and Walnut Carrot Cake
Photo by Jonathan Lovekin
Ocado

(UK only)

Please note that we’ve now introduced a shopping feature with our friends at Ocado so that you can get your ingredients delivered direct to your door, if Ocado serves your area - check at ocado.com/postcode. We hope that this will make shopping for Nigella’s recipe ingredients easier. For any queries related to your Ocado shop, head to ocado.com/customercare.

Ingredients

Yields: 8-12 slices

Metric Cups

For the cake:

  • 200 grams plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 175 grams soft light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs (at room temperature)
  • 200 millilitres vegetable oil (plus more for greasing)
  • 200 grams carrots (peeled and coarsely grated)
  • 100 grams walnut pieces (roughly chopped or crumbled)
  • 75 grams crystallised ginger (finely chopped)

For the icing:

  • 100 grams unsalted butter (soft)
  • 100 grams icing sugar (sieved if lumpy)
  • 1 teaspoon cornflour
  • 100 grams full-fat cream cheese (fridge-cold)
  • 1 x 15ml tablespoon fresh ginger (coarsely grated)

To decorate:

  • 25 grams walnut pieces (roughly chopped or crumbled)
  • 25 grams crystallised ginger (chopped)

For the cake:

  • 1⅔ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ¾ cup soft light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs (at room temperature)
  • ¾ cup vegetable oil (plus more for greasing)
  • 1¾ cups carrots (peeled and coarsely grated)
  • 1 cup walnut pieces (roughly chopped or crumbled)
  • 4½ tablespoons candied stem ginger (finely chopped)

For the icing:

  • 7 tablespoons unsalted butter (soft)
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar (sieved if lumpy)
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 4 ounces full-fat cream cheese (fridge-cold)
  • 1 x 15ml tablespoon fresh ginger (coarsely grated)

To decorate:

  • ¼ cup walnut pieces (roughly chopped or crumbled)
  • 1½ tablespoons candied stem ginger (chopped)

Please note that nigella.com is not able to accept responsibility for any substitutions that Ocado may need to make as a result of stock availability or otherwise. For any queries, head to ocado.com/customercare.

Feel free to use the “swap” feature and adjust brands and quantities as needed.

Method

You will need 1 x 20cm/8 inch springform cake tin.

  1. Preheat the oven to 170°C/150°C Fan/325°F and grease the sides and line the base of your springform cake tin with baking parchment.
  2. Put the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, ground ginger and salt into a bowl and fork well to mix thoroughly.
  3. Beat the sugar, eggs and oil in another large bowl until they are completely mixed together, then gradually add the flour mixture, scraping the bowl you’re beating them in to rescue and incorporate any flour clinging to the edges. At this stage the mixture may seem alarmingly stiff, but the carrots will loosen it up. So, beat in the carrots and then fold in the 100g / 1 cup of prepared walnuts and 75g / 4½ tablespoons of crystallised ginger, until everything is evenly combined.
  4. Spoon and scrape into the prepared tin. Don’t worry if it looks as if you haven’t got nearly enough batter, as the cake will rise well as it bakes. Smooth the top and pop in the oven (this is when to make the icing, see step 5) for 45–55 minutes. When it’s ready, the cake will be set and golden brown on top, beginning to shrink away from the edges of the tin and a cake tester will come out with just a few crumbs stuck to it. Transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool in its tin.
  5. As soon as the cake’s in the oven, get on with the icing. Beat the butter and icing sugar together and when creamily combined, beat in the cornflour, followed by half the cream cheese. Once that’s incorporated, beat in the remaining half. Be careful at all times not to over-beat or the icing will get too runny. Starting with the grated ginger on a plate, get out a piece of kitchen roll and, moving quickly, spoon the grated ginger into the centre, bring up the edges of the paper, holding them together to form a little swag bag, and press on it over the bowl to squeeze out the intense ginger juice. Beat this into the frosting in its bowl. Cover with cling film and refrigerate.
  6. When the cake is completely cold, take the icing out of the fridge for about 20 minutes, by which time it will have softened to a still thick but spreadable consistency. Beat briefly to help this along, and make sure it’s smooth. Unclip and release the cake from its tin, unmoulding it, and sit it on a cake stand or plate. Spread the frosting on top, swirling it a little, then sprinkle the chopped walnuts and ginger on top.

You will need 1 x 20cm/8 inch springform cake tin.

  1. Preheat the oven to 170°C/150°C Fan/325°F and grease the sides and line the base of your springform cake tin with baking parchment.
  2. Put the flour, baking powder, baking soda, ground ginger and salt into a bowl and fork well to mix thoroughly.
  3. Beat the sugar, eggs and oil in another large bowl until they are completely mixed together, then gradually add the flour mixture, scraping the bowl you’re beating them in to rescue and incorporate any flour clinging to the edges. At this stage the mixture may seem alarmingly stiff, but the carrots will loosen it up. So, beat in the carrots and then fold in the 100g / 1 cup of prepared walnuts and 75g / 4½ tablespoons of candied stem ginger, until everything is evenly combined.
  4. Spoon and scrape into the prepared tin. Don’t worry if it looks as if you haven’t got nearly enough batter, as the cake will rise well as it bakes. Smooth the top and pop in the oven (this is when to make the icing, see step 5) for 45–55 minutes. When it’s ready, the cake will be set and golden brown on top, beginning to shrink away from the edges of the tin and a cake tester will come out with just a few crumbs stuck to it. Transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool in its tin.
  5. As soon as the cake’s in the oven, get on with the icing. Beat the butter and confectioners' sugar together and when creamily combined, beat in the cornstarch, followed by half the cream cheese. Once that’s incorporated, beat in the remaining half. Be careful at all times not to over-beat or the icing will get too runny. Starting with the grated ginger on a plate, get out a piece of kitchen roll and, moving quickly, spoon the grated ginger into the centre, bring up the edges of the paper, holding them together to form a little swag bag, and press on it over the bowl to squeeze out the intense ginger juice. Beat this into the frosting in its bowl. Cover with cling film and refrigerate.
  6. When the cake is completely cold, take the icing out of the fridge for about 20 minutes, by which time it will have softened to a still thick but spreadable consistency. Beat briefly to help this along, and make sure it’s smooth. Unclip and release the cake from its tin, unmoulding it, and sit it on a cake stand or plate. Spread the frosting on top, swirling it a little, then sprinkle the chopped walnuts and ginger on top.

Additional Information

MAKE-AHEAD:
The cake can be baked up to 2 days ahead. Wrap in a layer of cling film and keep in an airtight container, ice before serving. Icing can be made a day ahead and stored in an airtight container in the fridge. Remove from fridge and leave at room temperature until soft enough to spread. Store leftovers in an airtight container in a cool place for up to 5 days.

FREEZE:
Wrap un-iced cake in a double layer of cling film and layer of foil, for up to 3 months. To defrost, unwrap and put on a wire rack at room temperature for 4-5 hours. Top with frosting before serving.

MAKE-AHEAD:
The cake can be baked up to 2 days ahead. Wrap in a layer of cling film and keep in an airtight container, ice before serving. Icing can be made a day ahead and stored in an airtight container in the fridge. Remove from fridge and leave at room temperature until soft enough to spread. Store leftovers in an airtight container in a cool place for up to 5 days.

FREEZE:
Wrap un-iced cake in a double layer of cling film and layer of foil, for up to 3 months. To defrost, unwrap and put on a wire rack at room temperature for 4-5 hours. Top with frosting before serving.

Tell us what you think

What 66 Others have said

  • I haven’t made this cake in a while but decided to give it a go again this week. It is still the most delicious carrot cake I have ever had and I will keep coming back to make it again and again.

    Posted by Jolandi on 22nd January 2023
  • This cake is truly scrumptious full of texture and irresistible. Every bite was so flavoursome! I sprinkled nuggets of crystallised ginger and walnuts on the top and I shot the cream cheese through with ginger, not steps to be missed! Comes together quickly. Baked for exactly 53 minutes and turned in the oven at 35 minutes for even baking. (I have a fan assisted oven). I will certainly be making again! Thank you for sharing this deliciousness Nigella!

    Posted by DuchessDebs on 11th November 2022
  • Amazing cake to make. Made it for my husband birthday it should be yummy. Easy to follow instructions

    Posted by Kelgore on 28th October 2022
  • Truly awesome cake, seriously not had so many compliments. Scaled well as well. Made a large 23 square cm tin and the recipe is easy. It is a very stiff dough. I also found it is a cake that is better the next day.

    Posted by AMJCAustralia on 9th October 2022
  • Absolute favourite, I use glace ginger from Sainsburys in the cake and crystallised on top.

    Posted by Shelley64 on 4th May 2022
  • Absolutely amazing cake, one of the best I've ever baked! Lovely and moist and rose very well. I used stem ginger instead of crystallised and dark brown soft sugar instead of light brown. Will definitely be baking this again soon!

    Posted by baking20 on 9th April 2022
  • What an amazing recipe as always Nigella! And as ever they are versatile and adaptable. For this one, I almost halved the sugar quantity in the batter, as the ginger I found was candied and covered in sugar granules. Additionally, the ginger flavour was very strong so my cream cheese frosting was lemon - juice and zest of half a lemon. Also substituted walnuts for almonds.

    Posted by TheTea on 28th February 2022
  • This cake replaced Frog Commissary's as our absolute favorite carrot cake. Easy and incredibly delicious!

    There's enough frosting to split the cake into 2 levels and fill it too, if you like the more traditional look.

    Posted by Shelleykv on 27th February 2022
  • Loved this cake. Very easy to make and a lovely twist on a carrot cake. Will make again.

    Posted by EveSm on 17th January 2022
  • Just the best carrot cake recipe ever. With all the chopping of the ingredients it takes a little longer to prepare, but it’s a winner in our house. Well worth the effort.

    Posted by Wozzie on 15th December 2021
  • I first saw this on an episode of At My Table and I knew that I wanted to try it. It was superb! The only difference is I used cashews instead of walnuts. I'm definitely making this again and yes, I've shared the recipe with my friends too!

    Posted by LeslieDelaTorre on 15th November 2021
  • I've never cooked before, as I'm a 44 year old Irish male and, either our Mummies, or our wives cook things like this for us - normally. Anyway, it has come out very well and I salute Nigella for her fine recepie. The ginger in the cake is fiery and packs punch and it will really compliment my partner's personality as she's a firey redhead. Thanks so very much.

    Posted by Pobnew on 14th November 2021
Show more comments
Breakfast Strata