The Humble Carrot Cake

The Humble Carrot Cake

I am a lover of list making and since Thursday this week, I have made lists of all the things I have to do this weekend (all in my little notebooks that my Sydney girls gifted me for my birthday) and then it hit me — I am an obsessive list maker. I make lists within lists and then some!

Seriously guys – I think I have a compulsion to make lists for the sake of making them. It is my way of procrastinating when I know I should be planning my wedding instead of baking. Put the spatula down Lynnette and walk away! There is one thing that in my opinion doesn’t ever have to be complicated. CARROT CAKE!

Carrot Cake | in
A mini carrot cake for one

Carrot Cake | in happenstance.comCarrot Cake | in

This cake is light, moist, crumbly and beautifully spiced. The delicious carrot and pineapple gives a natural sweetness that is not overbearing and works beautifully with a simple cream cheese frosting. In my books, a simple cake that tastes this good is a winner.

I got this particular cake recipe from a colleague of mine, Aleisha a few years ago when we worked on a film together. She kindly shared with me her grandmother’s recipe and it is seriously one of the most uncomplicated, beautiful and delicious carrot cakes I have ever eaten.

I rate all cakes and desserts I bake by how quickly or how much H can eat in one sitting. H ate half of this cake in less than 15 seconds. That has to mean something. I have made this carrot cake several times now and the result is always delicious. I made a double layered cake for H’s sister as a thank you/birthday gift, I made two mini cakes for H and myself to enjoy later in the day too.

Carrot Cake | in

I would highly recommend baking the carrot cake and letting it sit in the fridge overnight and bring it back to room temperature to really enjoy all the aromatic spices and the natural sweetness of the cake at its best.

What are you up to this weekend? Why not bake a Carrot Cake? You won’t regret it. (Recipe below)

Have a great weekend!

x lynnette signature small





Carrot Cake | in

Recipe from Aleisha’s Grandmother, adapted by Lynnette L. @inhappenstance

Printable recipe HERE



Yield: 1 x double layer carrot cake

  • 2 cup plain flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 ½ tsp bicarbonate soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 1 ½ tsp all spice
  • 1 cup of packed light muscovado sugar (or 1 ¾ cups of raw sugar)
  • 1 cup of vegetable/coconut oil
  • 4 room temperature eggs
  • 3 cups of grated carrot (approx. 4 medium carrots)
  • 400g crushed/blitzed pineapple (lightly drain juice but keep it moist)
  • Optional: chopped walnuts


  • 400g cream cheese (brick style) softened
  • 3-4 cups icing sugar (add as required)
  • ¼ tsp lemon juice
  • 115g softened unsalted butter
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp cream (if required)


  • Preheat oven to 140 degrees
  • Prepare and grease with coconut/vegetable oil, 2 x 23cm/9inch round baking tins
  • In a large mixing bowl, add all dry ingredients (sift flour, spices and sugar) and give it a good mix
  • Add the eggs and wet ingredients (oil & pineapple) and mix with a spatula/wooden spoon until well combined
  • Split mixture between both pans and place cake in center of oven and bake for 35 – 45mins
  • Check with 10 mins left with skewer (cake is cooked when light crumbs but no wet mixture appear on skewer)
  • Let cake sit in tin for a further 10 – 15 minutes before removing from tin
  • Allow 1-2 hours to cool before icing
  • Beat softened cream cheese and butter together for 5 minutes until soft and combined
  • Add vanilla extract, lemon juice and 1 cup of icing sugar and beat for a further 2 minutes
  • Add 2 cups of icing sugar and beat till mixture is smooth and combined
  • Taste icing; add a pinch of salt to taste if it is too sweet
  • If mixture is too thick and not spreading, add some cream to it and beat for 1-2 minutes till mixture is smooth


  • Claudia Brick

    September 22, 2015 at 9:45 pm

    Carrot cakes are the best, and I love how moist and delicious yours looks, especially with the addition of crushed pineapple and walnuts! (and oh my goodness, the notes app on my phone and laptop is completely chock full of all these half finished notes that I still like to have around..its tragic, really!!)

  • Lynnette Lai

    September 23, 2015 at 9:31 am

    Thanks Claudia! Your carrot cake looked amazing too! This cake is definitely not very dark but it is super delicious. The pineapple is really an inspired addition. I want to add pineapples in everything 🙂 I totally feel your pain — I have so many recipes I want to try and not enough time in the day to do it. 🙂 Love your blog by the way, beautiful photography and great ideas for yummy meals and treats. x

  • abdel achir

    November 6, 2015 at 12:12 am

    I can't wait to make this delicious looking carrot cake! check my favorite recipes for dinner here :