Mumma ColPanna’s Carrot Cake

Is there a cake you order *every* time you see it on the menu & if they miss the mark you think “what a waste of a slice of cake?”

My mum does and her cake of choice is Carrot Cake. Unfortunately for her, she’s found that a great Carrot Cake is hard to come by. It might be dry, it might have sultanas, it could be too much/not enough icing. These days she tends to order something differenct because, for her, there’s nothing worse than a bad carrot cake!

When I got the Masterchef Magazine (July last year) & spotted George’s Ultimate Carrot Cake I knew I had to save it for a special occasion and hope like hell that Mumma liked it! Turns out, she does. She LOVES it (minus the sultanas mind you).

Of course, being Mother’s Day and all, having afternoon tea at her place meant it was the perfect time to make her favourite Carrot Cake. It’s actually not that difficult to make, I’ll show you!

Take your sugar and eggs and whip them up.

Get your nuts ready!

Oh, don’t forget the carrots, it’s a carrot cake after all!

Now chop your nuts & grate your carrot (If you have a thermomix, this is a cinch!)

Bake it in the oven and voila, CAKE!

Now for the icing… beat the butter and add the cream cheese.

Sift the sugar, make a mess while you’re at it, I do.

Mix it all up & it’s time to ice your cake.

Then admire your handiwork… we had some lime syrup left over which we drizzled over the top, it added a nice little “sum’in, sum’in”.

Mumma ColPanna’s Carrot Cake

Adapted from George Calombaris’ Ultimate Carrot Cake, Masterchef Magazine Issue 3

Serves 12 or 1 special mum

  • 150ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 150ml grape seed oil (use light olive oil if you need to)
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs
  • 330g brown sugar
  • 3 regular (2 large) carrots, peeled & grated
  • 75g walnuts, chopped
  • 50g pecans, chopped
  • 50g pistachios, chopped
  • 300g plain flour
  • 2 t baking powder
  • 1 t bicarb soda
  • 2 t ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 t ground cumin
  • 1/2 t ground clove

Cream Cheese Icing

  • 185g butter, room temperature
  • 185g cream cheese, room temperature
  • 375g, icing sugar, sifted
  1. Preheat your oven to 180C (160 if using fan forced).
  2. Grease and line a deep 9in round cake pan, including the sides.
  3. Combine the oils & vanilla in a jug.
  4. Beat the eggs and sugar on high until the mixture is light and airy. It will have thickened as well.
  5. Change the speed to low and slowly drizzle in the oil. This should take a couple of minutes to add all the oil/vanilla mix.
  6. Turn the mixer off and add the carrots, walnuts, pecans, pistachios. Don’t mix just yet.
  7. Sift over the top the flour, baking powder, bicarb soda, pinch of salt and spices.
  8. Mix it all together until just combined using a large wooden spoon.
  9. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for  45 minutes. Cover the top with baking paper and cook for a further 20-25 minutes, when the skewer comes out clean, you know it’s done.
  10. Leave it to cool in the tin and turn out onto a plate.
  11. While it’s cooling, make the icing. Beat the butter on high until it goes pale and fluffy.
  12. Add the cream cheese and beat until it’s incorporated and the mixture is fluffy.
  13. Add the icing sugar and beat until it’s combined, but not longer.
  14. Spread the icing over the cake & serve. Feel free to sprinkle the top with additional chopped nuts.


  1. If you don’t have the right quantities of nuts, bulk it up with the other kinds, just make sure you have a total of 175g in total. Try not to skip the different nuts if you can, they definitely add to the cake!
  2. If you like, add a little citrus juice/zest to the icing, the tartness adds a little extra *oomph*

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