Carrot-pecan cake with maple syrup and orange buttercream

Carrot-pecan cake with maple syrup and orange buttercream

Bake and Decorate
Laura Edwards

This moist cake rose to prominence in the 1970s and remains hugely popular. The flavours in the buttercream are a wonderful complement.

For the cake


Quantity Ingredient
175ml sunflower oil, plus more for the tin
60g pecan nuts, chopped
200g self-raising flour
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
pinch salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated
175g light muscovado sugar
3 eggs, lightly beaten
250g carrot, finely grated
1 orange, finely zested
50g unsweetened desiccated coconut

For the buttercream

Quantity Ingredient
40g pecan nuts, chopped
80g unsalted butter
60g icing sugar, sifted
2 tablespoons maple syrup
150g unsalted cream cheese
1 orange, juiced

To decorate

Quantity Ingredient
Daisy and sunflower cupcakes
or Mini tiered cakes


  1. Preheat the oven to 160ºC.
  2. Oil a 23 cm diameter, 7.5 cm deep, round tin and line the base with baking parchment.
  3. Scatter the pecans – both for cake and buttercream – on to a baking sheet and roast in the oven for about 5–10 minutes, shaking once and watching carefully so they don’t burn, then measure out, separate and set aside the amounts needed for the cake and buttercream.
  4. Sift together the flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg into a large bowl. In an electric mixer – or in another large mixing bowl with a handheld electric whisk – slowly beat together the oil and sugar for a minute or so until smooth, then gradually add the eggs, beating well after each addition. Using a large spoon, gently fold in the carrot, zest, pecan nuts and coconut then, finally, the flour mixture.
  5. Pour the batter into the tin and bake for 1 hour or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Cool in the tin for a few minutes, then turn out on to a wire rack to become completely cold.
  6. Meanwhile, make the buttercream. Beat the butter, icing sugar and maple syrup until really light and fluffy (this could take 5 minutes). In another bowl beat the cream cheese until smooth, then fold it into the butter mixture. Finally, add the orange juice. Spread over the top of the cake and scatter with the pecan nuts.
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