This carrot and orange cake is an easy Italian recipe made with carrots, orange juice, and almond flour.
Although this is probably one of the easiest cakes you’ll ever make, its flavor is absolutely outstanding.
Check out our best vegan cake recipe collection!
What to expect
Carrot and orange cake, also known in Italy as "torta alle carote", o "torta Camilla", it's a super simple breakfast cake made with blended carrots, orange, and almond flour.
The cake itself is light, with a soft and moist crumb. The almond flour gives it a gentle nutty taste and together with the carrots and oranges you have a refined and delicate combination of flavors.
It’s a more Mediterranean flavor palette than the classic carrot cake, and we absolutely love it for a quick breakfast or as a light mid-afternoon snack with a cup of tea.
And the best thing is that you can easily transform this cake into muffins or little baked donuts.
As you'll see here, this Italian carrot cake uses blended carrots instead of grated carrots and uses orange flavor instead of cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg.
While this might seem a little unconventional for those living outside of Italy, oranges and carrots together are an incredible match, and they make this cake light, fresh, and simply delicious.
Ingredients and substitutions
- Flour: half all-purpose, half whole wheat.
- Almond flour: the flavour and texture of almond flour go really well with the moist carrots and the orange juice. If you don't have almond flour, you can just take some almonds and blend them finely till you get almond flour.
- Sugar: we like to use brown cane sugar but you can replace that with any other sugar. If you want a sugar free version, you can use date paste. We show you how to do that below in the "variations" chapter.
- Baking powder: to help the cake get taller.
- Orange juice and orange zest: we use both zest and juice of an orange. Orange and carrot flavour goes super well together.
- Almond milk: perfect for this cake as it recalls the almond flavour.
- Vegetable oil: choose an oil with neutral flavour. We use sunflower seed oil.
- Powdered sugar: to sprinkle on top.
First, preheat the oven to 170C or 340F and line a cake pan with parchment paper. I also brush the sides of the pan with a little oil.
We are using a 22 centimeter or 8” springform pan, the one that opens on the side.
To a bowl, add 250 grams or 1⅔ cup of flour. I like to use half all-purpose flour and half whole wheat flour.
Then add in 60 grams or ½ cup of almond flour, 16 grams or 1 full tablespoon of baking powder, and 120 grams or a little more than half a cup of brown sugar. You can add up to 150 grams or ⅔ of a cup of sugar for a more decisive taste.
Whisk to combine the dry ingredients and set aside.
To a blender, add 250 grams or 9 ounces of peeled and chopped carrots, the grated zest of an orange, preferably organic as we are eating the zest, then cut the orange in half and squeeze its juice.
Add 60 grams or ¼ cup of freshly squeezed orange juice to the blender.
Now add in 80 grams or ⅓ cup of almond milk, 40 grams or 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil (I use sunflower oil), and blend till you get a smooth texture, almost like a carrot smoothie.
Add the blended carrots to the dry ingredients and mix with a spatula until the dry ingredients absorb the liquids.
Here too, try to mix only for as long as necessary to combine the ingredients, without overmixing.
Transfer the cake batter to the cake pan, level it off with a spatula, then bake at 340F or 170C for about 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Take it out of the oven and let it cool down completely, again it will take at least 3 hours, then if you like you can sprinkle it with some powdered sugar on top.
Sugar-free carrot and orange cake
To make a sugar-free cake batter is actually super easy. All you need to do is to replace the sugar with the same quantity in weight of pitted dates or date paste.
For example if the recipe calls for 5 ounces (150 grams) of sugar, then you'll need 5 ounces (150 grams) of pitted dates.
Add pitted dates to the blender with the carrots, then blend till you have a smooth liquid.
Add the liquid to the dry ingredients, then proceed as instructed above. This torta alle carote made with date paste is naturally sweet thanks to the dates.
Carrot and Orange Muffins
With the same cake batter, both the one with sugar and the sugar-free one, you can make muffins.
To make muffins, transfer the carrot cake batter to a muffin pan lined with muffin liners. You can make up to 12 muffins with our quantities.
Bake them in a preheated oven at 170 celsius or 340 Fahrenheit for about 18 minutes. They are so naturally delicious, soft, and moist.
We love those as a quick breakfast on the go or as a snack. They are quite healthy and nutritious too, thanks to the dates and the carrots.
Carrots and orange Donuts
But our favorite way to use this sugar-free carrot cake batter is by giving it a donut shape. To do this you’ll need a donut baking pan.
Brush it with oil, then transfer the batter to a pastry piping bag and fill in the donut pan.
Don’t add too much batter in the pan, I actually added a little too much here, then bake the donuts in a preheated oven at 170 celsius or 340 Fahrenheit for about 13 to 15 minutes, depending on how big your donuts are.
Those little donuts are irresistible, they are perfect to take with you during the day, and they are also super kids friendly although there’s zero sugar.
Keep this cake at room temperature for up to 5 days, ideally under a cake dome, or in a food-grade plastic bag.
You can also freeze the cake (or the muffins and the donuts) and thaw in the microwave.
By now, you've probably figured us out; we're big fans of plant-based desserts! If you are too, take a peek at our easiest vegan cake recipes:
- Vegan lemon cake
- The easiest vegan orange cake
- Vegan coffee cake
- The softest vegan chocolate cake
- 5-ingredient brownie cake
- Blueberry lemon pound cake
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Italian carrot cake
- spring form pan or cake pan 8" or 9" - 22cm to 23cm
- 1⅔ cups flour half all-purpose, half whole wheat
- ½ cup almond flour
- ¾ cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 9 ounces carrots
- ¼ cup orange juice
- 1 orange grated zest
- ⅓ cup almond milk
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon powdered sugar to sprinkle on top
- Preheat the oven to 340F or 170C. Line a cake pan with parchment paper.
- To a bowl, add the flour (half all-purpose, half whole wheat), almond flour, sugar, and baking powder. Whisk to combine and set aside.
- To a blender, add peeled and chopped carrots, grated orange zest, then the juice from the same orange, almond milk, and vegetable oil. Blend till you have a smooth liquid.
- Add the liquid to the dry ingredients and mix with a spatula till combined. Do not overmix.
- Transfer the cake batter to the cake pan and bake for 35 minutes at 340F (170C) or until a toothpick inserted in the cake comes out clean.
- Let cool down completely - that is for at least 3 hours - before sprinkling with powdered sugar, slicing, and serving with a cup of tea or coffee.