Spiced Carrot Cake with Whipped Honey

This carrot quick bread is perfect for a cold spring day, when you desperately need the cheer of a bright orange vegetable, but the warmth and coziness of a freshly baked good. The spices feel like winter, but the carrot nods to spring juuust enough to remind you of warm days ahead!
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This cake is inspired by the ones my parents made when I was a vegetable-hating child. I was suspicious of any hidden nutrition that might be lurking in a baked good, especially carrots or zucchini, and so I’ve taken the vegetable-adverse into account when developing this recipe. The carrots here add heft, moisture, and natural sweetness to the cake, but without ever announcing their presence too loudly. The warm spices are the perfect introduction to early fall flavors, and as promised, there’s a cinnamony, slightly salty whipped honey that comes together in a couple of minutes for those who need some extra sweetness. This cake is best warm from the oven with a hefty drizzle of that honey glaze, but, Pro Tip: it’s also exceptional on day two or three (if it makes it that long!), griddled in melted butter on both sides.

Spiced Carrot Cake with Whipped Honey

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 8


For the Cake

  • 1 small carrot halved lengthwise
  • 2 cups 250 grams all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¾ cup packed dark brown sugar
  • ½ cup 115 grams full fat yogurt, at room temperature (can substitute coconut yogurt)
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs at room temperature
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 cups grated carrots about 4 medium carrots
  • 1 tablespoon demerara sugar

For the Whipped Honey Glaze

  • 1 cup raw honey
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon


For the Cake

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9×5 loaf pan and line with parchment paper. Set aside.
  • Place halved carrot in a microwave safe dish along with ¼ cup water. Cover and microwave for 3 minutes. Remove carrot and set aside to cool slightly.
  • In a large mixing bowl, add flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt. Whisk together to combine well.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, add sugar, yogurt, oil, eggs, and vanilla. Whisk well for 1-2 minutes to fully combine. Pour onto dry ingredients, and use a rubber spatula to fold everything together. When only a few streaks of flour remain, add carrots, and mix until just combined.
  • Pour into prepared pan and arrange steamed carrot halves on top, cut side up. Sprinkle the cake evenly with demerara sugar, and bake for 45-50 minutes, or until moist crumbs are found on the end of a toothpick or cake tester. Allow to cool in pan for 15 minutes, then lift the sides of the parchment paper to remove. Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool completely.

For the Whipped Honey Glaze

  • In a stand mixer, or with a hand mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk raw honey on medium high until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes, scraping down sides and bottom as needed. Add salt and cinnamon, and whisk again until well combined.

For Serving

  • Slice cake and drizzle with honey glaze.
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