Every afternoon, between 4-5pm, I put my feet up for ten minutes to savour a slice of something sweet with my cuppa. This slot is pretty much etched in my schedule. It allows me to catch my breath and re-charge before I get on with what I call “evening mayhem”; the dinner-bath-bed routine for my two kids. On the really crazy busy days when I’m deprived of my afternoon snack, I turn into something rather scary.

For the past few months, it’s been all about the American carrot cake, complete with decadent cream cheese frosting. I can’t remember how I got started, but boy, am I hooked. I crave it every other day, and my next slice is quite often the very last thought before I go to sleep at night.

My perfect carrot cake needs to be prudently-sweetened, amply-spiced, studded with walnuts, raisins, desiccated coconut, and saturated with shredded carrot. I’d prefer it to be baked with wholemeal flour too, especially if my kids are going to have some. Because I’m such a fuss-pot, the only way I’m going to get exactly what I want, is to bake my own. After too many attempts, this final recipe is an amalgamation of at least five different recipes, including Dorie Greenspan’s and Rebecca Rather’s.

Apart from getting a healthy dose of beta-carotene, baking this cake gives your arms a workout (only applicable if you grate the carrots by hand), and it’s a great afternoon activity for your kids. My four-year old son A, comes bounding into the kitchen every time I call for his help with baking. He carefully mixes the dry ingredients together, and is a pro at stirring in the nuts and raisins at the end. He particularly enjoys nibbling on shards of carrot when he thinks I’m not watching.

About Dawn Chia

Dawn, a lanky food-crazed lady, started out writing for lifestyle magazines, and later spent several years in banking. When not eating, she's cooking, reading about, hankering after, and writing about food. On her first date with her boyfriend (now husband), they dined at four restaurants across Singapore. He's gained 25lbs since, and their culinary escapades continue after welcoming two rotund angels. Dawn's committed to feeding them with the best, and creating lasting food memories and traditions for her family.


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20 November 2012


Hi Dawn! I’ve been really addicted to carrot cakes as well, particularly if it has beautifully shredded sweet, fresh carrots on top! If I can’t find wholemeal flour, would it be apt for me to just use another cup of plain flour instead? Thanks ahead for replying!

HI Michelle! Yes, plain flour works great. I’ve also experimented with spelt flour and all-purpose gluten-free flour, and they turned out wonderfully too.

hey dawn,

the cake looks wonderful! i’ve never attempted making carrot cake before though i love it so much. However i’d just like your opinion: would it be absolute sin to leave out cinnamon? I ‘m not too crazy about it when its part of something eg in a cake but weirdly enough im ok when its something like cinnamon toast with sugar, haha. So many carrot cakes i’ve tried OD on the cinnamon!

Hi Sylvy, this is an easy recipe because it’s just a matter of mixing everything together in one bowl. Give it a shot and see how it turns out? Cinnamon- Yes! I have had cakes with too much cinnamon in them, and they are not so yummy. Why don’t you try halving the amount to start with? Try baking the cake with only 1/2 tsp of cinnamon? Alternatively, you can substitute with mixed spice (cloves + nutmeg + cinnamon) to dilute the cinnamon flavor. I have not tried the carrot cake without cinnamon before, so I’m sorry I can’t comment on what the taste is like. Hope you find this useful!

Hi Annie, thanks for checking in. It’s 110g of plain flour and 120g of wholemeal flour. I hope the cake turns out well for you!

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