Easy Orange-Carrot Cake


A citrusy sour cream frosting is the literal icing on this moist orange-carrot cake recipe. Cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and ginger infuse each bite of this orange cake recipe with warm flavors.

Easy Orange-Carrot Cake
Photo: David Loftus
Prep Time:
30 mins
Bake Time:
50 mins
Cool Time:
10 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 30 mins


  • ¾ cup vegetable oil, plus a little more for greasing pan

  • 1 ¾ cup light brown sugar

  • 4 large eggs (preferably free-range or organic)

  • Grated zest and juice of 1 orange (approximately 1 tsp. zest and 1/3 cup juice)

  • 2 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1 tablespoon baking powder

  • ½ teaspoon sea salt

  • ½ cup walnuts, roughly chopped

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, heaped

  • Pinch of ground cloves

  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger

  • 10 ounce carrots, peeled and coarsely grated

  • 2 cup low-fat sour cream

  • 2 - 3 tablespoon powdered (icing) sugar

  • 2 oranges


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9-inch square or 10-inch round cake pan with a little vegetable oil. Line the bottom of the pan with a piece of parchment or waxed paper, cut to fit. In a large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to mix the oil and sugar. Beat in the eggs, orange zest, and juice. Stir in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the chopped walnuts, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, ginger, and grated carrot. Mix just until combined (don't overmix, because this will affect how the cake rises).

  2. Spoon the batter into the prepared cake pan. Bake 50 minutes, or until golden. Check doneness by poking a skewer or toothpick into the center of the cake. If it comes out clean, the cake is cooked; if it's still slightly sticky, put it back in the oven for a few more minutes.

  3. Cool the cake in the pan for 10 minutes. Turn it out onto a rack to cool completely before icing.

  4. For the icing, place the sour cream in a mixing bowl. Sift in the powdered sugar and grate in the zest of one orange. Halve the orange and squeeze in the juice from one half. Whisk everything together until glossy. It will be a fairly loose consistency. Spread thinly over the top of the cake. Grate a little more orange zest on top of the cake. Slice the remaining orange and serve on the side. Makes 16 servings.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

341 Calories
16g Fat
45g Carbs
5g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 16
Calories 341
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 16g 21%
Saturated Fat 2g 10%
Cholesterol 63mg 21%
Sodium 180mg 8%
Total Carbohydrate 45g 16%
Total Sugars 29g
Protein 5g
Vitamin C 12.4mg 62%
Calcium 171.6mg 13%
Iron 1.4mg 8%
Potassium 244mg 5%
Folate, total 52.4mcg
Vitamin B-12 0.3mcg
Vitamin B-6 0.1mg

*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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