Carrot cake

Carrot cake

Havuçlu kek

Steven Joyce

Cakes are much loved in Istanbul and patisseries dot the city, selling anything from gaudily decorated, brightly coloured towers with multiple tiers, to simple treats full of spices and nuts. One afternoon – while trying to find the famous market in Beşiktaş – I bought a couple of wedges of carrot cake to keep me going. This is my version and it always takes me back to that hot afternoon (the market was worth seeking out, too).


Quantity Ingredient
200g plain flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons ground almonds
3 eggs
150g caster sugar
150ml vegetable oil
175g carrot, finely grated
75g currants, soaked in boiling water for 10 minutes
60g walnuts, roughly chopped
1 1/2 lemons, finely zested
icing sugar, to dust (optional)
5-6 tablespoons plain turkish or greek-style yoghurt, to serve


  1. Grease an 18 cm springform cake tin. Preheat the oven to 180˚C. Sift the flour, salt, baking powder, nutmeg and cinnamon together and stir in the ground almonds.
  2. Mix the eggs, sugar and oil together in a bowl and whisk vigorously until foamy and doubled in volume.
  3. Add the carrot, currants, walnuts and the zest of 1 lemon and stir gently. Then, fold in the sifted dry ingredients.
  4. Pour the batter into the cake tin and bake for 50 minutes until the cake is golden on top, shrinking slightly from the edges of the tin and the centre springs back when lightly pressed. Remove from the oven and cool in the tin for 30 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Dust the top with icing sugar, if using. Mix most of the remaining zest with yoghurt, keeping a little back to garnish and serve with the cake. Sprinkle the last of the zest over the yoghurt.
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