You don’t need to buy a cake mix to prepare a moist carrot cake. This Italian Orange & Carrot Cake recipe will show you 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!
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Other than the Italian Apple Cake, this moist carrot cake is a regular in our house.
You get a bit of fruit and vegetable in every bite, and in a typical Italian way, this easy carrot cake recipe does NOT contain butter — it uses olive oil instead.
Delicious? Soft? Moist? Yep, check all those boxes, and add in there that it’s all from scratch.
IF YOU WANT MORE CLASSIC ITALIAN DESSERTS, THEN YOU WOULD LIKE THESE POSTS!
- Carrots – does not make a difference if you use small or large ones; use whatever you have available.
- Flour – no need for cake flour; all you need is all-purpose flour (and the baking powder below) for this Italian carrot cake recipe.
- Orange – you would only be using the grated zest from the orange.
- Olive oil – use the mildly flavored ones; the robust ones might overpower the orange and carrots’ flavor.
- Baking powder – just use your favorite brand.
- Sugar – regular sugar is perfect for this recipe.
- Eggs – at room temperature
- Nutmeg – in case you haven’t tried it yet, carrots and nutmeg go well together. So I strongly suggest you don’t skip this spice.
Start by preheating your oven to 180°C (350°F) and greasing your ciambella or cake pan with olive oil or butter — dust some flour on it as well.
Sift and mix flour, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg (photo 1).
Using a stand blender, pulse, and blend the carrots and olive oil (photo 2).
In a medium to a large mixing bowl, combine the eggs and sugar, and mix until creamy (photo 3).
Add the orange zest and blended carrots with olive oil (photo 4).
Mix, then add the sifted dry ingredients and continue mixing until just combined (photo 5).
Pour the cake batter into your greased (and floured) cake pan (photo 6).
Use a rubber spatula to even the top (if needed) and 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, then serve your carrot and orange cake with some powdered sugar (optional).
- Do not skip the greasing and dusting of flour for your cake pan, especially if you are using a ciambella pan. Trust me; it makes a huge difference when you remove the 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 orange.
- Use no more than 1 & 1/3 cups of the carrot and olive oil mixture. If you use more, the cake will be a bit wet and heavy.
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 make sure that you don’t add too much.
You need to add no more than 1 & 1/3 cups of the carrot mixture to this recipe’s cake batter. So, please keep that in mind. 🙂
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.
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 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: Use zest from two medium-sized oranges if you cannot find a large one.
- Cook’s Tip #3: Go with the mild, fruity flavored olive oil when making this carrot cake recipe. The robust, bold ones will overpower the delicate flavor of the cake.
- Cook’s Tip #4: 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 cake will turn out slightly too wet.