Donna Hay: Basics To Brilliance Kids

It's time to get baking! Donna Hay's carrot cake with ricotta icing is so delicious, it will become your new go-to dessert. Want your own serving? Try Donna's carrot cupcakes.


  • 1¼ cups (175g) wholemeal spelt flour

  • 2½ cups (300g) almond meal (ground almonds)

  • 3 teaspoons baking powder

  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1 teaspoon mixed spice 

  • 1 cup (120g) brown sugar

  • 3 cups (420g) grated carrot (about 3 carrots)

  • ½ cup (125ml) maple syrup

  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten (whisk them gently)

  • 2/3 cup (160ml) light-flavoured extra virgin olive oil

  • Ricotta icing

  • 3/4 cup (180g) fresh firm ricotta

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup


  • 1.

    Preheat oven to 160°C (325°F). Line a 22cm round cake tin with non-stick baking paper.

  • 2.

    Place the flour, almond meal, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, cinnamon, mixed spice and sugar in a big bowl and mix to combine with a spatula.

  • 3.

    Add the carrot, maple, eggs and oil and mix until it’s all well combined.

  • 4.

    Pour the mixture into the prepared tin, scraping the bowl with a spatula, and bake for 1 hour or until cooked when tested with a skewer.

  • 5.

    Wearing oven gloves, carefully remove the cake from the oven. Allow to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, before flipping it onto a wire rack to cool completely. If you want to, spread the cooled cake with the ricotta icing to serve.

  • Ricotta icing:

  • 1.

    Place ricotta, vanilla extract and maple syrup in a medium-sized bowl and, using a whisk, mix together until smooth.* (see notes)

Nutritional information

Nutritional analysis per serving (12 servings)

  • Energy 329kj
  • Fat Total 15g
  • Saturated Fat 3g
  • Protein 5g
  • Carbohydrate 44g
  • Sugar 31g
  • Sodium 242mg

Note: The information shown is Edamam's estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice.

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Tip: For the icing, use the firmer fresh ricotta that you buy from your supermarket deli. If you want your icing super creamy, simply pop the ingredients in a food processor or blender and whiz until smooth.

For more recipes like this, purchase your copy of Donna Hay's new cookbook, 'Basics to Brilliance Kids' at or from your favourite book store.

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