Claire Clark's triple-layer go-large, all-American version of the humble carrot cake is packed with moist Californian raisins and sweet coconut. Each layer is a couple of inches thick, with half an inch of frosting between them and more on the top.


  • 250g/9oz wholemeal flour

  • 25g/1oz baking powder

  • 11/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

  • 125g/41/2oz desiccated coconut

  • 5 medium eggs

  • 250g/9oz muscovado sugar

  • 185ml/61/2fl oz vegetable oil or canola oil

  • 500g/1lb 2oz carrots, grated

  • 125g/41/2oz Californian raisins

  • For the cream cheese frosting

  • 125g/41/2oz cream cheese

  • 375g/13oz icing sugar, sifted

  • 250g/9oz unsalted butter, at room temperature

  • a capful of vanilla extract

  • For the marzipan carrots

  • 250g/9oz white marzipan

  • orange food colouring

  • green food colouring

  • a little icing sugar for dusting


  • 1.

    Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4. Grease a 25cm/10 inch deep, round springform cake tin and line the base with baking parchment.

  • 2.

    Sift the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg together, then stir in the coconut so it does not clump together. Using an electric mixer, whisk the eggs, sugar and oil together until the mixture becomes pale and has doubled in volume. Gently fold in the dry ingredients, being careful not to overmix and lose volume. Finally fold in the carrots and raisins. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and bake in the centre of the oven for about 40 minutes, until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin.

  • 3.

    Meanwhile, to make the frosting, simply beat all the ingredients together until pale and fluffy. Cover and set aside.

  • 4.

    To make the carrots, you need to colour two-thirds of the marzipan orange and the remaining third green. Add the colouring to the marzipan a drop at a time and knead it in well. If the marzipan becomes sticky, 

  • 5.

    Knead in a little icing sugar. Keep the marzipan wrapped in cling film to prevent it drying out while you are making the carrots. Roll a small ball of orange marzipan between the palms of your hands to make an elongated cone. Mark this with a knife to give the impression of a carrot. With a very small amount of green marzipan, make a thin, tapering line. Lay this piece over the top of the cone and press down firmly in the middle to give you 2 green pieces standing upright (see picture). Repeat to make 10 carrots (or enough for the number of people you want the cake to serve).

  • 6.

    Turn the cake out of the tin and, using a long serrated knife, slice it into 3 layers. Sandwich them together with the cream cheese frosting and spread a third of it over the top. Decorate with the marzipan carrots.

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