Donna Hay's Food Processor Carrot Cake

January 19, 2016


Author Notes: This cake, which comes from Australian food stylist, magazine editor, and cookbook author Donna Hay is a peacekeeper between the two camps of carrot cake: those chockfull-o'stuff and those where the carrots are barely there. Here, the carrot is present in discernible flecks, neither intrusive nor invisible. The nuts contribute to—rather than disrupt from—the texture as a whole (to continue with our road image, the nuts are speed limit signs, not roadblocks). The cake is moist but not spineless; it's still got a crumb you'll need to chew. And there are no raisins.

I'd make this cake even if it necessitated standing at the counter with my box grater for 20 minutes, reducing each carrot to a little nub. But, perhaps the very best part of the recipe is that it does not, because the entire thing is made in the food processor, which happens to mix together the ingredients to just the right consistency.

The original recipe calls for "1 1/2 cups (225 grams) all-purpose flour." I used 225 grams (and, in my calculations that is closer to 2 cups than to 1 1/2 cups)—but Lauren Locke, our VP of sales, made the cake with 1 1/2 cups (and half the sugar!) with great success.
Sarah Jampel

Serves: 10 to 12
Prep time: 1 hrs 30 min
Cook time: 50 min

Ingredients

For the cake:

  • 400 grams carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 120 grams pecans or walnuts (1 cup)
  • 175 grams brown sugar (1 cup)
  • 110 grams granulated sugar (1/2 cup)
  • 225 grams all-purpose flour (see headnote)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 100 grams vegetable oil (1/2 cup)
  • 70 grams Greek yogurt (1/4 cup)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 vanilla bean, seeds of

For the frosting:

  • 250 grams cream cheese, chopped and softened
  • 1/4 cup (50 grams) fresh ricotta
  • 1/3 cup (55 grams) confectioners' sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, seeds of
In This Recipe

Directions

For the cake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Butter a 10-inch springform pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.
  2. In a food processor, process the carrots and nuts until finely chopped.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients and process, scraping down the bowl occasionally, until combined
  4. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until just cooked when tested with a toothpick or wooden skewer.
  5. Allow to cool completely in the pan before turning out and frosting.

For the frosting:

  1. Combine all the ingredients in the food processor and process until smooth.
  2. Spread the frosting over the cooled cake.

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Carrot Cake|Cake|American|Carrot|Serves a Crowd|Make Ahead|One-Bowl Baking|Dessert

Reviews (22) Questions (1)

22 Reviews

Madison T. August 6, 2018
This was hands down the best carrot cake I've ever had! I made it for Easter for my whole family and was pretty nervous because they are usually much more of a chocolate crowd, but they ate the entire cake! And then my cousin requested the cake for her birthday! In JULY! My food processor was too small too so I used it for the carrots and nuts and just mixed everything else by hand and it still came out great. Love love love this!!
 
Dindin S. April 20, 2018
Great recipe. I made 2 layers cake. The cream cheese frosting is enough to spread between and on the top of the cakes. This cake taste super yummy.
 
Rowena B. May 8, 2018
Can I ask did you make the two layers from the one recipe or did you or would you recommend doubling it?
 
Dindin S. May 11, 2018
Hi Rowena, I made 2 layers cake from 1 recipe. I used two 8-inch springforms. My carrot cake looked so cute yet simple. Too bad I can't show you the picture.
 
Jeff A. March 26, 2018
great, very moist recipe!
 
drows February 28, 2018
everything about this cake is marvelous. thank you a thousand times for publishing it :)
 
Eric H. January 29, 2018
My processor is too small. Can I make this in a mixing bowl?
 
Tokyogirl L. January 29, 2018
Thank you so much for listing the amount in metric system!! So much more precise and easy too!! Love the recipe!
 
Tatjana P. September 15, 2017
This looks easy enough but the inconsistency in measurements really makes it annoying. Please either put grams or cups, it is not easy to calculate things half way through baking.
 
SF E. January 1, 2017
I made this last night at 4pm, knowing guests were coming that evening. I had some leftover frosting from a carrot cake I'd made the week before. Plusses: this is INCREDIBLY easy, probably fun for kids. Very good taste. Fast. Looks good. Minuses: I found the texture rubbery, as did my kids. I probably over processed it, which is easy to do. I used half the sugar and all the flour recommended, as I only had candied walnuts on hand. I like to see carrot in my carrot cake, and bite down on a few walnuts now and again: if you are the same, this is not the carrot cake for you.
 
Milehighlori February 19, 2016
This was very quick to whip up. Followed all recommendations: 2 C flour, 3/4 C brown sugar, only 8 oz cream cheese and did it all in an 8 C food processor. Delicious! A great go-to recipe when you are told @ 6 pm that you need to bring in a dessert tomorrow morning.
 
Kerry G. February 17, 2016
Easy, quick to assemble, and tasty. Reduced brown sugar to 3/4 cup. I personally like chunks and texture in my carrot cake, but my kids don't, so this was perfect for them!
 
Mobar February 15, 2016
I made this last night, using processor and scale. Easy, and the result is densely delicious! Mine took a bit longer to bake, about 52 minutes.
 
Scribbles February 15, 2016
Two comments: I love Donna Hay, she is amazing! and, every cook needs a food scale - for a small investment it gives a lot back.
 
Mobar February 14, 2016
What capacity food processor please? I would love to make this, but I worry my 'standard' sized processor is too small.
 
Author Comment
Sarah J. February 14, 2016
An 11-cup food processor should be plenty big!
 
Mark C. February 12, 2016
250 g cream cheese=?
 
Author Comment
Sarah J. February 12, 2016
It's a little more than one 8-ounce block (the standard you get at the store). You can also get away with using the 8-ounce block and not supplementing (your could get 2 blocks and use the rest of that second one on some bagels!). The measurements aren't catered towards the quantities in US grocery stores because the original recipe is from Australia—sorry about that!
 
Mark C. February 12, 2016
400 grams of carrot= ???
 
Author Comment
Sarah J. February 12, 2016
If you're weighing loose carrots at the grocery store, it's a little less than 1 pound.
 
paulita52 February 11, 2016
Could you please transform this recipe into cups/ tsp etc? It sounds divine!
 
Author Comment
Sarah J. February 11, 2016
I just added in volume measurements, but please look at the headnote for a note on the flour quantity. Enjoy!