January 9, 2013

Italian Carrot Cake Recipe

By In Recipes

I’m more a Nigel or Hugh FW man than a Nigella lover; but there she was in a seemingly endless run of her programs one afternoon. Playing in the background, really, as I sipped on a glass of Port and read the Hobbit on my Kindle. As Smaug flew over Long Lake down to a fatal coupling over Esgaroth I caught mention of the ‘original’ carrot cake; hailing according to the pouting lips of Nigella, from Italy.

A scrabble under the sofa and a pen and note book are retrieved to record this interesting sounding recipe. Two large carrots… grate by hand, not in a machine as this makes them too wet… 150g caster sugar… 125ml olive oil but not extra virgin “too grassy”… ok got all that… whisk in 3 eggs, add a teaspoon of vanilla, add the ground almonds… Ok, how much? I ask. Nigella ignores me. How rude I thought. But then she is on the telly and I’m lounging on the sofa spilling vintage port over a note book.

Oh the joys of YouView, where you can rewind live programs. I listen intently but no, Nigella steadfastly refuses to divulge the quantity of the ground almonds she adds to the mix. I assume this is a purposeful ploy to get all to buy her book
… but not me, oh no. Not falling for that one! No sir-ree.

As it happens I have all the ingredients in the store cupboard. A miracle in itself. And I cobble together from various opened packets – don’t look at the use by dates! – just under 250g ground almonds. Which seems about right to me, based on other ground almond type cakes at any rate. I therefore rustle up a version of Nigellas Italian Carrot Cake and hope for the best. The result is rather tasty.

Photos: Italian Carrot Cake

Italian Carrot Cake Recipe

Italian Carrot Cake Recipe

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Italian Carrot Cake Recipe

The 'original' Carrot Cake recipe comes from Italy; this is a version adapted from a Nigella TV show.


    Main Ingredients
  • 2 Large Carrots grated, moisture drained
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 125ml ordinary olive oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 250g ground almonds
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • Pinch nutmeg
  • half a lemon zest and juice
  • 75g golden sultanas
  • 60ml golden rum
  • handful of pinenuts
  • Cream
  • 250g double cream
  • 2 tsp icing sugar
  • 2 tbsp rum


  • Oven to 180C. Line and grease a 23cm springform cake tin.
  • Soak the golden sultanas in the rum (Nigella heated hers).
  • Grate the carrots and drain off/squeeze out any access liquid.
  • Lightly toast the pinenuts in a dry pan. allow to cool.
  • Whisk together the sugar and olive oil until creamy.
  • Continuing whisking and add the vanilla, the eggs and nutmeg.
  • When combined fold in the ground almonds, the carrots, the sultanas and soaking rum, lemon zest and juice.
  • Pour mixture into the tin, scatter over the pinenuts and bake for 30-35 minutes.
  • Once cooked allow to cool a little before removing from the tin.
  • For the cream whisk until stiff peaks and add the icing sugar and rum. I believe Nigella used mascarpone cheese rather than double cream.

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  1. bellini January 18, 2013

    Since travelling to Italy late last year I am obsessed with making cakes made with almonds, no flour, olive oil. This is a must try.

  2. Lauren February 1, 2013

    This looks really delicious. I have never really been a big fan of carrot cake but this one I think I can actually like. I should definitely try making this one for my friends who do love this flavor.

    • Andrew February 1, 2013

      This is totally different from the American version – no sickly frosting on the top for a start! I really like it (but I also like the American version too 🙂 )

  3. Hip Hop Shop June 22, 2013

    I love carrots cake, and this one looks really taste 😉


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