Irresistible Italian Carrot Cake

I love a good, healthy carrot cake! At the bakery, we make two versions of this – the American, overly sweet style with cream cheese frosting, and this classic Italian style. Let me introduce you to a wonderful breakfast or, even better, the ultimate afternoon comfort food paired with a cup of tea.

Serves: 8–10



  • 75g butter, at room temperature, plus extra for greasing
  • 100g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 orange, zest finely grated and juiced
  • 75g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 150g peeled carrots, finely grated
  • 65g chopped almonds
  • 5 teaspoons milk
  • icing sugar, for dusting

Preheat the oven to 170°C. Butter a 23cm springform cake tin and dust with flour.

Sift the flour into a bowl and add the baking powder. Set aside.

Put the butter, orange zest and juice and half the sugar into a separate bowl, and whisk together. Add the egg yolks one at a time, then the grated carrots and chopped almonds. Finally, add the flour and baking powder mixture in three additions, alternating with the milk. Do not over-mix.

Whisk the egg whites on medium speed until foamy. Add the remaining sugar and whisk to stiff peaks. Fold the egg whites into the cake mixture, transfer to the prepared tin and bake for 25–30 minutes until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin before inverting on to a plate. Dust with icing sugar before serving.


Recipe taken from The Italian Baker by Melissa Forti
Melissa Forti is the Italian Baker. In her tea room, in an idyllic medieval town near Tuscany, she bakes beautiful cakes that combine Italian traditions with her own modern twists. This book is a collection of Melissa’s favourite tarts, celebration cakes, loaves, biscuits and coffee-time treats borne out of her unique style of baking. Every recipe is a treat, taking in deliciously popular Italian ingredients like olive oil, mascarpone, almonds and stunning fresh fruit. Melissa gives perennial favourites like carrot cake, brownies, chocolate cake and cheesecake a fresh Italian makeover, and shares traditional Italian and other recipes handed down through her family. Every cake and cookie tells a story, reflecting Melissa’s travels, her passion for good food and the love of her Italian heritage.

You can purchase The Italian Baker at

Published by Hardie Grant Books.

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Zucchini and Carrot Cake
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Chocolate and Raspberry Pavlova

Amelia Theodorakis
Amelia Theodorakis
A writer and communications specialist with eight years’ in startups, SMEs, not-for-profits and corporates. Interests and expertise in gender studies, history, finance, banking, human interest, literature and poetry.
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