You don’t need to buy a cake mix to prepare a moist carrot cake. This Italian Orange & Carrot Cake recipe will show how easy it is to make it from scratch! Also called ‘Ciambella Arance e Carote‘ — one slice of this flavorsome treat will not be enough!
You get a bit of fruit and vegetable in every bite, and in a typical Italian way, this orange carrot cake recipe does NOT contain butter — it uses olive oil instead.
Delicious? Soft? Moist? Yep, check all those boxes, and add that it’s all from scratch.
It’s perfect for afternoon snacks and dessert — even light enough for breakfast!
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- Olive oil – I suggest using mild or fruity-flavored extra virgin olive oil; skip the robust or strong-flavored ones, as it might overwhelm the orange and carrot flavors of the cake.
- Carrots – it does not matter if you’re using small or large carrots; just make sure you peel, rinse, and chop them in identical sizes if they’re too big for the blender.
- Orange – you only need to use the orange peel (zest) for this Italian carrot cake recipe.
- Eggs – medium-sized ones (63 to 73 grams per piece) and at room temperature.
- Flour – you only need all-purpose flour for this carrot orange cake recipe.
- Sugar – no problem using regular, granulated white sugar.
- Baking powder, salt & nutmeg – just use your favorite brand for these baking staples.
Start making Italian carrot orange cake by preheating your oven to 180°C (350°F).
Grease your ciambella or cake pan with olive oil or butter and dust some flour on it as well.
Sift and mix flour, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg.
Combine the chopped carrots and olive oil in a stand blender.
Pulse and mix until you get a smooth puree.
Mix the eggs and sugar in a medium to large mixing bowl.
Mix until creamy.
Add the orange zest and pureed carrots with olive oil.
Mix and combine evenly.
Add the sifted dry ingredients and continue mixing until just combined.
Pour the cake batter into your prepared cake pan.
Use a rubber spatula to even the top (if needed).
Tap your pan on the countertop to lessen air bubbles.
Place the cake pan in the oven for forty to forty-five minutes or until the top has turned golden.
Set aside to cool down a bit.
Slice and serve your Italian orange and carrot cake with a dusting of powdered sugar, if desired — enjoy!
- Do not skip the greasing and dusting of flour for your cake pan, especially if using a ciambella pan.
Trust me; it makes a huge difference when you remove the carrot orange cake for serving.
- Use zest from two medium-sized oranges if you cannot find a large one.
- Mild, fruity-flavored olive oil is best for this recipe. Avoid the robust, bold ones — they will overpower the flavor of the carrots and oranges.
- Use no more than 1 & 1/3 cups of the carrot and olive oil mixture. If you use more, the carrot orange cake will be bit wet and dense.
The creamy blend of carrots and olive oil provides the cake with more moisture than just grating the carrots and adding the oil separately.
However, you have to ensure you only add a little.
You need to add no more than 1 & 1/3 cups of the carrot mixture to the cake batter for this recipe. So, please keep that in mind. 🙂
So how about it? Give this Italian orange and carrot cake recipe a try this weekend!
NOTE: Lastly, this recipe was initially published in August 2018. Photos are now updated, a video has been added, and the recipe has been edited to provide clearer instructions.
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Italian Orange and Carrot Cake Recipe
- 3 medium carrots (about 279 grams), peeled, roughly chopped
- 3/4 cups extra virgin olive oil
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 large orange, grated zest
- 1 & 1/2 cups flour
- 3 tsp baking powder
- pinch salt
- pinch nutmeg
- powdered sugar, optional
Prepare the Equipment:
- Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F).
- Grease your pan with butter or olive oil, and dust it with some flour.
Prepare the Cake Batter:
- Using a medium-sized bowl, sift flour, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg.
- Combine carrots and olive oil in a blender. Pulse/blend until you get a bit of a creamy texture.
- In a large bowl, mix eggs and sugar until creamy.
- Add the blended carrots and oil mixture. Add the orange zest and continue mixing.
- Add sifted dry ingredients and mix to combine evenly.
Baking Italian Carrot Cake:
- Pour batter into greased and floured cake pan.
- Place pan in the middle of the oven for 40 to 45 minutes or until the top has turned into a golden color.
- Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
- Take the Italian orange and carrot cake from the pan.
- Sprinkle with powdered sugar and decorate with dried orange slices (if desired).
- Slice and serve.
- Cook’s Tip #1: Make sure you grease your cake pan and dust it with some flour (or breadcrumbs). It helps in removing the cake before serving.
- Cook’s Tip #2: Go with the mild, fruity flavored olive oil when making this orange cake recipe. The robust, bold ones will overpower the delicate flavor of the cake.
- Cook’s Tip #3: Do not forget to check that you are using no more than 1 & 1/3 cups of the carrot and olive oil mixture. If you use more, the orange carrot cake will be slightly wet instead of perfectly moist.