Moon Bakes: Zingy carrot-cake traybake recipe

The beauty of this simple carrot-cake traybake recipe is that it can be made by children – with adult supervision, of course – while the very young ones can just ‘help’!  


Carrot cake is always popular in coffee shops, but often comes in belt-busting slices that are way too large for a healthy lifestyle. This very easy traybake recipe can be enjoyed by adults needing a sugar rush, or children needing smaller portions. The beauty of traybakes is that they can be cut into any size that suits the occasion!

This all-in-one recipe uses oil instead of butter or soft spread and is therefore easier to mix. So if you don’t have a mixer to hand, or your children can’t yet use one, they can just tip the whole lot in a big bowl and mix perfectly successfully (if slightly messily) by hand. The cream cheese topping can be left plain, or forked into swirls by older children, or the younger ones can be let loose with the sprinkles jar. The result might look rather like a rainbow-colored sandstorm, but small people will have a lot of fun doing it!


Makes about 20 servings



For the cake:
– 200ml light olive oil or vegetable oil
– 225g light brown soft sugar
– 4 eggs
– Finely grated zest and half the juice of of 1 large orange. Hold back a little zest for the topping
– 2tsp ground cinnamon
– 1tsp mixed or pumpkin-pie spice
– 225g self-raising flour
– 1tsp bicarbonate of soda
– 200g coarsely grated carrot
– 125g sultanas
– 25g chopped walnuts or pecans

For the topping:
– 200g sifted confectioner’s sugar
– 150g full-fat cream cheese – do not use low-fat
– 50g softened butter
– Remaining grated zest from the orange
– 1 tsp vanilla extract
– Sprinkles, extra nuts or toppings of choice



Preheat the oven to 170C/325F (150C/300F fan). Lightly grease and line a 20.5 x 30.5cm (8 x 12in) baking tin. 

For the cake:
1. Tip the oil, sugar, eggs, orange juice, cinnamon and mixed spice into a large bowl and whisk until combined.
2. Sift the flour and bicarbonate into the batter and mix until smooth. Add the orange zest, carrots, sultanas and walnuts and stir.
3. Pour into the tin, tipping and smoothing with a palette knife to get it level. Bake for 45min or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
4. Leave to cool in tin for 10min, then lift on to a wire rack and leave to cool completely.

For the frosting:
1.Beat the confectioner’s sugar, cream cheese, butter and vanilla extract in a large bowl with a wooden spoon or electric whisk until smooth.
2. Spread onto the cake and decorate.
3. Cut into servings and enjoy!



Quick and easy banana muffin recipe
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– Date, almond & fig energy balls
– Carrot, ginger & turmeric smoothie
– Easy-to-make spinach & pineapple smoothie
– Mango, kale & lemon detox smoothie

Tell us what you think…

Did you enjoy this recipe, or have a recipe of your own to share with MCC members? We’d love to hear from you. Send us a message in the comments below and we’ll be in touch.


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