Food & Drinkrecipes

Izy Hossack’s Carrot Cake

by Kristina Gill

UK-based teen food blogger Izy Hossack never ceases to amaze me with her energy to be a full-time student as well as dedicate time to beautiful photography and recipe development for her blog, Top With Cinnamon. On top of studying and blogging, she has even turned Top With Cinnamon into a cookbook (she’s only 18!).  Izy has taken a break from her book promotion to share a recipe with us for a delicious classic carrot cake with cream cheese frosting (one of my absolute favorite cakes in the world!), which will be perfect with a cup of tea as the cool autumn weather rolls in. –Kristina

About Izy: 18-year-old Izy Hossack comes from a family that’s passionate about food and has encouraged her to pursue her interest in cooking from a young age. She started her blog Top With Cinnamon at the tender age of 15 as a way of documenting her favorite recipes and her burgeoning talent in food photography and styling. Her site has been a huge global success and won the Saveur Best Food Blog Awards 2014 for Editors’ Choice Best Baking & Desserts Blog and she has over 69,000 Instagram followers (@topwithcinnamon ). She is a regular guest blogger and contributor on the most popular food and drink sites. Top With Cinnamon is her first book.


See how to make a classic carrot cake after the jump!


Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs
2/3 cup vegetable oil (or any neutral oil)
  • 1/3 cup plain yogurt (low fat is fine)
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp grated nutmeg
  • 1 tsp orange zest
1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 cups coarsely grated carrot
1/2 cup desiccated or shredded coconut
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup raisins

for the frosting:

  • 1/2 cup desiccated or shredded coconut, for decoration
  • 1/3 cup softened butter
  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 to 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar

To make the cake

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease and line two 8-inch cake tins. 
In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, eggs and oil until smooth. Add in the yogurt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, orange zest and salt. Whisk again until smooth. Stir in the carrot and coconut with a spoon, then add the flour, baking powder, baking soda and raisins to the bowl. Use the spoon to toss the raisins in the flour on the surface so they are slightly coated (this will stop them from sinking in the cake batter). Stir everything together until smooth.  Divide the cake batter evenly between the lined tins then bake for 20-30 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Turn the cakes out onto a cooling rack, remove the tins and paper liners, then leave to cool completely before frosting. Once cooled, level any domed cake layers with a serrated knife.

To make the toasted coconut (for decoration)

Heat a small skillet on high until hot. Turn the heat down to medium-low then add about 1/2 cup of desiccated coconut. Toast it, stirring often until it starts to turn an orangey-gold color. Immediately remove from the heat and tip out onto a plate.

To make the frosting

Cream together the butter, cream cheese and vanilla until smooth. Gradually beat in the 1 1/2 cups of powdered sugar. If the frosting seems too runny, slowly beat in some more powdered sugar until it has a spreadable consistency.

To frost the cake

Place one cake layer upside down on a large plate. Spread about 1/3 of the frosting over the surface of the cake. Place the second cake layer on top of it (also upside down) and push down on it slightly. Place the rest of the frosting on the top of this layer and spread it out to the edges, then down and around the edges of the cake. Whilst the frosting is still wet, press the toasted coconut onto the edges of the cake.



Why Izy loves this recipe: Although carrot cake feels like a springtime dessert to me, in the UK we actually get carrot crops growing in the autumn! I’d always assumed the whole Easter carrot cake thing was due to seasonality but once I thought about it, the flavours (and colours!) of carrot cake are so autumnal. In these months of nonstop pumpkin spice baking it’s easy to forget that that same mixture of flavours belongs to the carrot cake, too. The comforting warmth of the cinnamon and ginger is ideal to cuddle up with on these nippy evenings.


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