Lightly-spiced carrot cake with ricotta frosting

Jun 16, 2023
Spiced carrot cake with ricotta frosting. Source: Getty Images

With light spices and a generous layer of sweet vanilla ricotta frosting, this recipe will easily win you over. It’s a much healthier — but still simple to bake — version of the classic carrot cake, and is also gluten-free, so it’s perfect for anyone with intolerances! The cake will keep for up to three days in an airtight container in the fridge.

Serves 10



  • 3 1/2 cups almond meal
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 2 tsp gluten-free baking powder
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup macadamia oil
  • 1/2 orange, juiced and zested
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 500g carrots, grated
  • 1/3 cup pumpkin seeds (pepitas), toasted
  • 1/3 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1/4 cup almonds, roasted and chopped


  • 200g firm ricotta
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • Pinch of ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 180C. Grease a 20cm-round cake pan and line with baking paper.
  2. Place almond meal, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and baking powder in a bowl and use a wooden spoon to combine. Add maple syrup, oil, orange zest and juice and eggs, and stir until well combined. Gently fold in carrot, then pepitas and walnuts.
  3. Spoon batter into prepared pan. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. If the top becomes too brown during cooking, cover with foil.
  4. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly in the pan before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  5. For the icing, whisk ricotta, maple syrup, cinnamon and vanilla in a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment until combined. Add 2 tablespoons water and continue whisking until smooth.
  6. To spread icing on top of cake, use a spatula. Sprinkle with roasted almonds before serving.

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