Toasted Almond Carrot Cake with Spiced Cream Cheese Frosting

Thank you everyone for your comments on my last post. I am always grateful when you take the time to share your stories and thoughts with me. My whole vision for Thoroughly Nourished Life is to create a big kitchen table we can all gather around to share our experiences, ideas, and a few delicious treats. Every comment nourishes me – heart and soul. I will continue the ‘My Relationship with Food’ series in my next post, but for now I really wanted to share a new carrot cake recipe. I cooked this one up on Wednesday, and it was definitely a hit with my workmates – I sent the message around at 9am and by 11am not even a crumb remained!

Two layers of spice-scented cake with bites of tasted almond sandwiched together with spiced cream cheese frosting make up this must-share treat. Please enjoy.

Note: please forgive my lack of photos. I put this together after a late night at university and didn’t think about plating it up nicely.

Naked cake…

Toasted Almond Carrot Cake

Please don’t be put-off by the seemingly long ingredients list. This really is one of the simplest cakes to put together. Once you’ve popped it into the oven you will be rewarded with mouth-watering scents, and very soon after mouth-watering tastes…


  • 200 grams wholemeal flour
  • 150 grams white flour
  • 100 grams brown sugar
  • 60 grams white sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon rind
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla essence
  • 325mL milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 120 grams rice bran oil (or other tasteless vegetable oil such as grape-seed, or almond would also work well here)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 cup grated carrots
  • 1 cup raw almonds (2/3 cup for the cake, and 1/3 cup for decorating)


  1. Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F). Grease two 8-inch cake pans and line the bottoms with baking paper.
  2. Spread almonds out on a lined baking sheet and roast in the oven for 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  3. Into a large bowl weigh out the flours, sugars, salt, baking powder, spices, and lemon rind. Whisk together until well combined.
  4. In a separate bowl measure out vanilla essence, milk, eggs, oil, and lemon juice. Whisk them very well.
  5. Chop almonds into chunky pieces (this is really to taste here, I like mine as a mixture of bigger bites and smaller slivers), and measure out 2/3 cup for the cake. The remaining almonds will be for the decoration.
  6. Add chopped almonds, carrots and wet ingredients to the flour mixture. Stir together with a spoon until just combined.
  7. Divide cake mix between pans and slide into the oven. Bake for 30 minutes, or until a metal skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  8. Allow cakes to cool in the pan for 5 minutes, and then remove to a cooling rack to cool completely before frosting.

All dressed up!

Spiced Cream Cheese Frosting


  • 250 grams cream cheese, softened (You can use full or reduced fat – I myself am a full fat for frosting girl: go big or go home where frosting is concerned…)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 3 cups icing sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg


  1. In a medium mixing bowl using a hand-held mixer beat the cream cheese for about 2 minutes.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients and beat until smooth.

To assemble the cake: Place one cake layer on your cake plate (or like me, your ultra-non-glamorous Tupperware cake storer). You may need to level-off the top of the cake with a bread knife. Spread half the cream cheese frosting on top of the cake. Then add the second cake layer and spread remaining frosting on top. Sprinkle cake with remaining almonds.

Slice and enjoy!

A few other things:

  • Just discovered Trail Runner Magazine – not now but maybe someday soon…
  • I am a proud member of Team Cait for September Miles Madness! The Arty Runner Chick is a wonderful running muse of mine, and a beautiful blogger. I learn a lesson about running every time she posts – the physical, mental, and communal aspects of all us runner chicks (and runner dudes) are well-explored by this lovely lady.
  • I have to give a shout of encouragement to the ever-beautiful Julia as she heads into her first ultra-marathon this weekend! There is nothing this super-woman can’t do. Such an inspiration. 
  • A few non-running list items! I am considering celebrating our beautiful spring whether with either some strawberry and honey sorbet or some blood orange frozen yoghurt; patties are my jam at the moment so I made this spicy chickpea interpretation the other day (I’ll share the recipe soon!); and, finally, my parents are away in Europe as of today and I am super-excited (and a little jealous too) for them and I’m thinking Mum might have to guest-post when she returns!

4 thoughts on “Toasted Almond Carrot Cake with Spiced Cream Cheese Frosting

  1. oh my cream cheese heaven!! sorry, i’m an outed cream-cheese lover and the frosting kind is even better than the standard for obvious reasons. so slather some of that on a thick slice for THIS girl!! 🙂

    thank u SO much for the kind words, my dear chickpea, i want u to know all those sentiments are going right back ur way too. being able to ogle ur food, be so moved by your way with words, and laugh at ur cute quips…oh my, i can’t wait til i’m buying books with ur name on them! 🙂

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