Using wholemeal spelt flour and almond meal in place of white flour gives this lovely cake an earthy, nutty flavour and more textured crumb. An excellent addition to your carrot cake repertoire!






Skill level

Average: 3.1 (37 votes)


  • 1¼ cups (175 g) wholemeal spelt flour
  • 2½ cups (300 g) almond meal (ground almonds)
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of (baking) soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • ⅔ cup (120 g) brown sugar
  • 3 cups (420 g) grated carrot (about 3 carrots)
  • ½ cup (125 ml) maple syrup
  • 3 eggs lightly beaten
  • ⅔ cup (160 ml) light-flavoured extra virgin olive oil


Ricotta icing 

  • ¾ cup (180 g) fresh firm ricotta
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


  1. Preheat oven to 160°C (325°F). Line a 22cm round cake tin with non-stick baking paper.
  2. Place the flour, almond meal, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, cinnamon, mixed spice and sugar in a big bowl and mix to combine with a spatula.
  3. Add the carrot, maple, eggs and oil and mix until it’s all well combined.
  4. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin, scraping the bowl with a spatula, and bake for 1 hour or until cooked when tested with a skewer.
  5. Wearing oven gloves, carefully remove the cake from the oven. Allow to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, before flipping it onto a wire rack to cool completely. 
  6. To make the ricotta icing, place the ricotta, vanilla extract and maple syrup in a medium bowl and, using a whisk, mix together until smooth. Makes 1 cup. Spread the cooled cake with the ricotta icing to serve.  


For this icing, use the firmer fresh ricotta that you buy from your supermarket deli. If you want your icing super creamy, simply pop the ingredients in a food processor or blender and whiz until smooth.


Carrot cupcakes

  1. Divide the carrot cake mixture between 20 x ½-cup-capacity (125ml) muffin tins lined with paper cases in step 4 (see recipe, above). Bake for 25 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer. 
  2. Wearing oven gloves, take the cupcakes from the oven and carefully move them onto a wire rack to cool completely. Spread the cooled cakes with 2 x quantities ricotta icing (see recipe, above). Makes 20. 


This recipe is from Donna Hay: Basics to Brillance Kids on SBS Food (Channel 33). Stream episodes via SBS On Demand