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Delia Smith's low fat carrot cake is 'quick' and 'easy' and bakes in 35 minutes – recipe

Carrot cake, which contains grated carrot, has become a popular dessert and usually contains sultanas, spices and orange zest.

The delicious cake is often topped with a cream cheese frosting and can be made in different forms – either as muffins, a loaf cake, a sandwich cake or a sheet cake.

Carrot cake is usually a high-fat, sugar dessert that contains hundreds of calories. However, Delia Smith’s version claims to be “low fat” and takes between 35 and 40 minutes to bake.

Delia said of the recipe: “I have been making carrot cake for years, and each time it seems to improve with a little tinkering here and there.

“A few years ago I attempted a low-fat version rather reluctantly, not believing it was possible.

“Now I have to admit it’s become one of my favourites. It’s also one of the quickest, easiest cakes ever.”

How to make Delia Smith’s low-fat carrot cake


  • 6 oz (175 g) dark brown soft sugar, sifted
  • 2 large eggs at room temperature
  • 4 fl oz (120 ml) sunflower oil
  • 7 oz (200 g) wholemeal self-raising flour
  • 1½ level teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
  • 3 rounded teaspoons mixed spice
  • grated zest 1 orange
  • 7 oz (200 g) carrots, peeled and coarsely grated
  • 6 oz (175 g) sultanas

For the topping:

  • 9 oz (250 g) Quark (skimmed-milk soft cheese)
  • ¾ oz (20 g) caster sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 rounded teaspoon ground cinnamon, plus a little extra for dusting

For the syrup glaze:

  • juice ½ small orange
  • 1 dessertspoon lemon juice
  • 1½ oz (40 g) dark brown soft sugar


1. Firstly, pre-heat your oven to gas mark 3, 325°F (170°C).

2. Then, whisk the sugar, eggs and oil together for two to three minutes in a bowl using an electric hand whisk.

3. Next, sift in the flour, bicarbonate of soda and the mixed spice before stirring it all together. Fold in the orange zest, carrots and sultanas. Once combined, pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake in the middle of the oven for 35 to 40 minutes or until it’s well-risen and feels springy to the touch.

4. While the cake is cooking, make the topping by mixing all the ingredients in a bowl until it’s light and fluffy. Cover the topping bowl in clingfilm and chill for a few hours. Then, make the syrup glaze by whisking together the fruit juices and sugar in a bowl.

5. When the cake comes out of the oven, stab it all over with a skewer and spoon over the syrup evenly. Allow the cake to cool in the tin. Once it has cooled, remove it from the tin and spread the topping over. Finish with a dusting of cinnamon.


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