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Carrot Cake Slices -Cream Cheese Frosting

8 square carrot cake and cream cheese topped square cake pieces with pecans, on a white rectangular plate, on a wooden table, blue tablecloth, sunflowers, oranges and orange flowers.
Carrot Cake Slices are a smaller scale version of my classic Carrot cake, as a single layer, with smaller slices, perfectly matched with an orange cream cheese frosting, with/without pecans.  Perfect for Easter & Spring simple baking, or for a quick week night dessert, that can be ready in an hour.

Carrot Cake Slices

With Orange Cream Cheese Frosting


1. Simple To Make/No Knowledge Required

2. Quick to make, 1-Bowl Recipe

3. No Special Ingredients/Equipment Required

4. A Classic & Well Loved Cake

5. Easily Customized

6.Tasty, Light Cake 

7. Fail-proof Recipe

8. Thorough Instructions & Process Photos

9. Recipe in Grams, Ounces & Cups

Labelled ingredient bowls for carrot cake.

Notes On The Ingredients

The Carrot Cake Slices are made up of a simple sponge made from eggs, oil (no butter), spices, flour, Baking Powder & of course carrots. The frosting is simply made from icing/powdered sugar, small amount of butter, cream cheese & orange zest &/or extract.


This recipe uses medium to large size UK eggs, but please note that the approximate equivalent is Large to Extra Large sizing in the U.S.

Labelled pics of bowls for orange cream cheese frosting.

Vegetable Oil

I tend to use vegetable oil for this cake, but any neutral tasting oil will be fine and melted coconut oil would even work.

Choice Of Flour

My recipe works using UK Self-raising Flour, as well as for Plain/All Purpose flour and I have included how much additional Baking Powder to add if using the later.

Small bowls of spices for carrot cake.

Mixed Spice

Mixed Spice is similar to US Pumpkin Spice. It’s basically cinnamon (about 50%), ginger, cloves, pimento & ginger in the one I use.  But recently I also started adding nutmeg too.  


I like to use freshly grated nutmeg, but you can use ground nutmeg too.

If you would like to learn more, go to Differences Between UK & US Baking Ingredients.

High overhead shot of a wooden table with tea coffee, plates, flowers and carrot cake squares served.

Tin Size & Recipe Yield

This recipe is best made in a 23 x 23cm (9″ x 9″) square cake tin. You would be fine using a 20 x 20cm (8″ x 8″) round tin, but I wouldn’t recommend making in a larger tin as the cake will be too shallow. If you want to make in a large or smaller tin size, you can check out my articles on how much to increase or decrease the recipe by. Here’s my How To Increase A Recipe article, or try my How To Reduce A Recipe article.

Using A Round Cake Tin

Note if you want to bake in a 9″ round tin, you could reduce the recipe, but it would be fine to leave as is and just have a little thicker depth to the cake. For using an 8″ round tin, I would recommend reducing the ingredients by 39%. For how to do the calculations, see my articles above, or my How To Reduce Recipes Video, with worked examples in grams, cups & measuring spoons.

Close shot of a half eatten carrot cake slice, with cream cheese frosting and large pecan, showing fluffy texture.

Recipe Yield

This recipe will make 16 square pieces, about 2″/5cm wide. Alternatively, you can cut the cake into 4 strips and then in 3, to make 12 longer ‘slices’. Or, divide into 5 strips and then into 1/3 to make 15 long thin slices.

My Classic Carrot Cake recipe as a bundt cake –

Classic Layered Carrot Cake

Try the original carrot cake in a 2, 3 or 4 layers form. Again with the great orange cream cheese frosting & decorated for Spring. Go to Classic Carrot Cake recipe.

Overhead shot of a cream cheese frosted carrot layer cake, with mini eggs on top and pastel coloured Easter decorations surrounding it.
Shot of fondant carrots without greens and titled fondant carrots.

How To Make Fondant Carrot Cake Toppers

Want to make your own hand-made edible fondant carrots to top your carrot cakes? Let me show you how easily these can be made and with no special tools or mould required. You need orange & green fondant, (or white and some food colouring). really simple process, and includes my step-by-step photo tutorial. Just remember to make them smaller if using on this smaller cake.

Go to my Fondant Carrot Cake Toppers Tutorial

collage of readers carrot cakes in different styling


Here’s some recent photos of reader pics of their Carrot Cakes using my recipe – feedback page to be added soon.

Carrot cake photo collage made by my readers (Andrea, Diana, Sally, Shona, Victoria & Alison)

For more ideas, see my Carrot Cake Day article, that shows different ways to make the classic Carrot Cake recipe, including Gluten Free Bundt Carrot Cake.

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DIFFICULTY LEVEL: Super easy, Beginner

Rating: 1 out of 5.

NEW FEATURE – new to this recipe card below, is a ‘Cook Mode’.  This is a button just before the equipment list, that you toggle on/off.  On will prevent the screen from going dark if you are looking at the recipe while baking.  A great new feature!

Carrot Cake Slices With Orange Cream Cheese Frosting

Closer shot of platter of 8 carrot cake square pieces, 4 with pecans on top of the cream cheese frosting.
Carrot Cake Slices -a smaller scale version of my classic Carrot cake as a single layer, topped off perfectly with orange cream cheese frosting
Caro @ Caroline’s Easy Baking Lessons
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Cooling Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Serving Size 16 Pieces


  • Weighing scales or measuring cups
  • Small measuring jug
  • Mixing spoon
  • Stand or Hand mixer and mixing bowl
  • Sieve
  • Measuring Spoons
  • Grater/shredder and bowl for carrots
  • Cake tin/pan – 23x23cm (9"x9") Square Tin
  • Oil, butter or lining paste for greasing tins (see notes) (see how to make Cake Lining Paste)
  • Baking/parchment paper & scissors
  • Timer or Phone Timer
  • Cooling rack
  • Cocktail stick/tooth pick
  • Baking Palette knife or butter knife
  • Bowl for making frosting
  • Hand-made Fondant Carrots – optional (go to my Fondant carrot Tutorial)


For The Cake Batter

  • 3 Eggs, medium – large (Large – XLarge US size)
  • 160 ml Vegetable Oil (5½ oz, ⅔ Cup, see notes)
  • 144 grams Light Brown sugar (4 oz, or ½ cup + 1 tbsp)
  • 192 grams Self-raising flour (5¼ oz, or 1¼ cups Plain/All Purpose Flour PLUS 1¾ tsp Baking Powder. See notes)
  • tsp Baking Powder
  • ¾ tsp Mixed Spice (Pumpkin Spice, or see notes)
  • ¾ tsp Ginger, ground
  • ½ tsp Cinnamon, ground
  • ¼ tsp Nutmeg, ground (heaped) (or ⅓ fresh grated nutmeg)
  • ¼ tsp Anise (scant) (optional)
  • 128 grams Carrots, grated (Grated/shredded weight. 3½ oz, 1 rounded cup)

For The Frosting

  • 113 grams Cream Cheese, room temperature (4 oz)
  • 43 grams Butter, unsalted, cubed, soft (1.5 oz, 1/4 stick)
  • 1 tsp Orange Extract (Plus Orange zest, optional. For other flavours see notes)
  • 225 grams Icing Sugar, sieved (8 oz, 2 cups, Powdered Sugar, approximately)


Make The Cake

  • Prepare your cake tin, by buttering/greasing well, (bottom and sides) and covering with baking/parchment paper. See Photo 1 for how to cut paper to fit a square tin nicely. For a more economical alternative to cake release spray, see my cake lining paste review, but also use paper. Or watch my quick video on how to make the lining paste at home.
    2 photo collage of paperlining a square cake tin to fit perfectly - photo 1.
  • In a large mixing bowl, add the eggs & whisk together. Next weigh in the sugar by placing the bowl of eggs on top of the scales and set to zero (TARE). And mix till combined, before setting to zero and adding in the vegetable oil. (You can set the scales to ml or use a jug). See Photo 2.
    4 photo collage of whisking eggs and brown sugar together - photo 2.
  • Place your sieve over the mixing bowl, (on top of the scales and set to zero/tare), add in the flour, baking powder & ground spices. Use the back of a spoon to rub them both through the sieve. See Photo 3 below.
  • With the mixer on low to begin with, mix all the added ingredients until they come together, with no flour visible. Alternatively mix in by hand. Add in grated nutmeg now if using. See Photo 3.
    4 photo collage of sieving over flour and spices into wet ingredients, mixing and folding in grated/shreded carrot - photo 3.
  • Finally add in your carrots and mix in by hand, just until incorporated evenly and no more. See Photo 4 below.
  • Heat up the oven to: 180c/160c Fan/350f/Gas Mark 4.
    2 photo collage of finak carrot cake batter and adding to lined square baking pan - photo 4.
  • Spoon the batter into the prepared, lined square cake tin. Spread out from the centre, into the corners, making as level as possible. See Photo 4 above.
  • Bake in the centre of the oven for about 20 -25 minutes until golden brown. Check the cake is done by inserting a wooden cocktail stick/tooth pick into the centre of the cake and if it comes out clean it is ready. Another way to check is if the cake springs back when gently pressed with a finger. The cake will also be starting to come away from the sides of the pan too. If it isn’t done yet, continue to bake for a further 2 minutes and check again. Continue until fully baked.
    Close shot of a baked carrot cake traybake/slices - photo 5.
  • If the cake colours too much on top, and still isn't fully baked, cover with some foil/aluminium. I am in the habit of turning the tin past the half-way mark, just to ensure an even bake. Be sure to use a timer and don’t open the oven until at least half-way through the baking time. See Photo 5 above.
  • Leave to cool down in the tin and on the cooling rack for about 30 minutes. After that point you can use the paper to lift the cake out of the tin to cool down quicker. If not in a hurry, leave in the tin till cooled completely, as this will help with cutting, as well as lifting out. See in Photo 5,
    Extra close shot of the sid eof the carrot cake tray bake, with paper peele doff the edges, showing the shallow depth - photo 6.
  • Once ready to frost & cut the cake, place the cake, with the paper, on top of a chopping board. If you don't want grease on your chopping board, remove the paper first, or cut on something else. See Photo 6 above.
  • If not using soon, wrap the whole cake well in cling film/plastic wrap, at room temperature, until ready to frost.

Prepare The Frosting

  • Beat the soft cream cheese using a hand-held or stand mixer on med-high speed till smooth. Then add in the softened butter & beat till no longer in pieces, thick and spreadable. See Photo 7 below.
    4 photo collage of cream cheese in bowl, whiskign till soft, adding small butter cubes & final cream cheese frosting - photo 7.
  • Sieve in the icing/powdered sugar gradually, beating well in-between each addition, until smooth and spreadable but thick. You might not need all the sugar or need a touch more, you just don't want too thin or it will run off the cake. Add the orange extract &/or the zest of one orange. Mix again just until distributed. See Photo 8. You can also keep some zest to decorate.
    4 photo collage ofcream cheese frosting, adding orange extract and then orange zest - photo 8.

Decorate The Cake

  • Then simply spread the cream cheese frosting evenly on top of the un-cut cake. See Photo 9 below.
    spreading cream cheese frosting on carrot traybake
  • Slice up whatever way you would like – squares or slices. For slices, cut into 4 strips one way and then turn 180 degrees and cut again to make 16 squares. Alternatively, cut into 12 slices. Alternatively, cut after chilling the cake.
  • Add some nuts of choice to each piece of cake if you would like – half pieces or even crushed nuts. Pecans go nicely. See Photo 10 above, where I only added to half the cake. Alternatively, make your own tiny fondant oranges – go to my Fondant Carrot Cake Toppers Tutorial.
  • Place in the fridge for the frosting to firm for 30 – 60 minutes (if you can wait). BUT, if making fondant carrot topper, don't place in the fridge with the cake as they will sweat and weep.
  • Then serve as is, or with some of my home-made caramel or salted caramel sauce. Check out my Salted caramel Sauce video to accompany it.
    Wholemeal banana bread muffin with caramel sauce and hints and tips logo.
  • Store any left-overs in an airtight container (I like cake tins), in the fridge or somewhere cool. Will last about 3 days. ENJOY!


Mixed Spice – Pumpkin Spice, see notes before recipe card.
Flour – if using Plain/All Purpose Flour instead of UK Self-raising, please remember to add the 2 amounts of baking powder listed in the ingredients.  See before recipe card.
Oil – any neutral oil can be used, even Coconut Oil.  See before recipe card.
carrot cake square with cream cheese frosting and pecan piece on a white plate and more cake behind.
Eggs – Large to Extra Large size for US readers.
Freezing – They can also be frozen like this, with baking/parchment paper & then some foil/aluminium on top and placed in a food bag.
***TOP TIP – Place a sheet of kitchen paper/paper towel in with the cake before freezing and this helps absorb any moisture resulting on defrosting.
Extra Frosting Flavours – I am obsessed with Pineapple Extract by Foodie Flavours. Combined with citrus flavours it is amazing.  If you want to use it, add 20 drops, 1/4 tsp Lemon Extract,  in addition to the orange extract as listed in the ingredients.
Different Sized/Shaped Tins – please see my notes before the recipe for if wanting to use a different sized or shaped tin, as well as my reduction & increasing a recipe articles (also linked in the recipe).
For other ways to make Carrot Cake, go to my National Carrot Cake Day article.
NEW FEATURE – new to this recipe card, is a ‘Cook Mode’.  This is a button just before the equipment list, that you toggle on/off.  On will prevent the screen from going dark if you are looking at the recipe while baking.  A great new feature!

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  1. Could not trust that I made this cake so well all because of your steps and guidance thank you so much, my in-laws, appreciated me so much today because of your efforts.

    1. Thanks so much! So pleased a thorough recipe is producing success for you. Thanks for leaving feedback

  2. (5/5)

    5 stars
    Love your carrot cake and making as a traybake, makes it even easier and quicker to make

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