As a bake enthusiast I’m a real avid Bake Off fan and watch it every year. Last year, as every year was so nail bitting. I really wanted Tamal to win but unfortunately Nadiya got it. I still think that Tamal’s showstopper had a lot more skill and looked amazing compared to Nadiya’s. Anyway, I was really interested in the Carrot Cake that Ian made although I was not impressed at all with the final presentation, like…what happened? totally went wrong! Paul and Mary was so highly complimentary of his carrot cake and mentioned it was one of the best they’re tried! I thought if they liked it so much, it’s got to be something special.

I’m a real carrot cake fan ever since my dad got me in to it. I usually am known for my carrot cake and have made it on regular occasions this is the recipe I’ve used. I’ve been meaning to try this recipe for quite a while and as it was Easter weekend I thought what a great time to try it.

As for Ian’s carrot cake, I’ve never come across or have made a carrot cake using butter, most carrot cakes use oil, which I think gives it that moisture boost. 

Overall I found Ian’s Carrot Cake nice/good but I won’t go as far as to say it was aaaaaamazingly or mind blowing or the best carrot cake I’ve ever tried. I found the cake was very spiced maybe a tad too much and I do like my big flavours but I felt it lost out on the taste of the carrots. I also found the cake heavier then the cake I make as well. However it was still moist and had a nice texture. Making the carrot cake did take longer then the recipe I use as there was extra melting, zesting and juicing. But there was a few things I would add to give my carrot cake that extra flavour like the orange zest and cloves. I think for the extra work making this cake I didn’t think it was any better then the cake I make. I will be sticking to my cake but adding a few extra bits which was nice to discover.


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Ian's Colossal Carrot Cake
Serves 12
Ian Bake Off Carrot Cake
Prep Time
25 min
Cook Time
25 min
Prep Time
25 min
Cook Time
25 min
  1. 200g - unsalted butter
  2. 280g - light brown muscovado sugar
  3. 4 - eggs (large)
  4. 1 tsp - orange oil
  5. 320g - self-raising flour
  6. 2tsp - bicarb
  7. 2tsp - cinnamon
  8. ½tsp - nutmeg
  9. 2 tsp - ginger
  10. 1 tsp - cloves
  11. ½ tsp - salt
  12. 320g - grated carrots
  13. 160g - sultanas
  14. 100g - pecan nuts, toasted and chopped
  15. 1 - orange, zest and juice
  16. 1tsp - vanilla
  17. 1tsp - orange liqueur
For the glaze
  1. 1 - orange juice
  2. 50g - caster sugar
For the icing
  1. 125g - unsalted butter
  2. 250g - icing sugar
  3. 1tsp - vanilla paste
  4. 1 - capful orange oil
  5. 2 tubs (180g) - cream cheese
For the cake
  1. 1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C Fan. Grease and line two base of a 8" springform cake tins*.
  2. 2. In a saucepan melt the butter then whisk in the sugar, eggs and orange oil until smooth and well combined.
  3. 3. In a separate bowl sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda, salt and ground spices. Add the butter mixture into a stand mixer and then slowly add the flour mix until combined. Fold in the carrots, sultanas, pecans, orange zest and juice.
  4. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 1 hour, or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the middle (check after 45 minutes and cover the top of the cake with baking parchment if the cake is browning too much). Leave to cool in the tin for a few minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  5. For the glaze, put the orange juice and sugar in a saucepan and cook until the volume of liquid has reduced to a sticky glaze. Brush the top of the cake with the glaze while it is still warm.
  6. For the icing, slowly beat the butter and icing sugar together using an electric mixer. When combined, add the vanilla paste and orange oil. Continue to mix for another few minutes until light and fluffy. With the mixer on the slowest speed, add the cream cheese bit by bit until just incorporated.
  7. Set aside a quarter of the icing and add a little orange food colouring, transfer to a piping bag fitted with a basket weave nozzle. Set aside a few tablespoons of the icing, mix in the green food colouring and transfer to a piping bag fitted with a small plain nozzle. (The coloured icings will be used to pipe a carrot shape on top of the cake.)
  8. Cut the cooled cake in half horizontally and spread a third of the plain icing on the bottom layer, then replace the top. Neatly cover the top and sides of the cake with icing. Set aside to allow the icing form a crust. Transfer any remaining plain icing into a piping bag fitted with a small star nozzle.
  9. For the decorations, pipe a carrot on top of the cake using the orange and green icings. Pipe stars of the plain icing around the bottom of the cake. Decorate the sides of the cake with the pecan halves, using a little extra icing to help them stick.
  1. *I used two 8" cake tins instead of one tall 9" as I prefer to cook two smaller cakes then one big one but you can still use the 9" just adjust the cooking time to 50-60mins.