It’s been a while since I posted a recipe for cake. The truth is, the overload of frostings, fondants, and other forms of “perfect” cakes (let’s not even get started on cupcakes) have absolutely turned me off. I don’t like a cake (or anything edible, for that matter) that does not allow a natural ingredient to shine. I hate biting into a cake and then getting thoroughly disappointed at its lack of cake-ness. All I can taste is refined sugar, artificial flavouring, and an aftertaste of synthetic colour.

I woke up this morning with an intense craving for carrot cake. Only, I didn’t want it to be a celebration cake–I didn’t want it too sweet or slathered with indulgent cream cheese frosting. I just wanted a simple, toothsome, flavoursome cake that would go with coffee . So here it is, a deliciously dense, honestly flavoured carrot cake that works as a treat for diabetics and as an everyday coffee accompaniment. Skip the marmalade if you want to go completely sugar-free or use an artificial sweetener of your choice.

Diabetic-friendly Carrot Cake

Diabetic-friendly Carrot Cake


  • 1 large carrot, peeled and grated
  • Grated zest of one orange
  • Juice of one orange
  • 6 tablespoons rice bran or other other vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon orange marmalade
  • 1 teaspoon grated jaggery or coconut/raw sugar (optional)
  • 1 handful of chopped walnuts
  • 1 small handful of raisins
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup wholewheat flour (I use a flour that has a good percentage of bran; you can add a tablespoonful of bran extra if yours is too fine)
  • 1/2 cup ground almonds
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder


  1. Preheat the oven to 150 degrees centigrade. 
  2. In a mixing bowl, place the grated carrots, orange zest, orange juice, oil, eggs, marmalade, jaggery (if using), cinnamon powder, raisins, and walnuts. Beat lightly using a spatula until well combined.
  3. Tip in the almond flour, wholewheat flour, and baking powder. Fold gently. Add a splash of milk or juice to achieve a batter-like consistency, a tad thicker than a standard cake batter.
  4. Pour into a greased and lined baking pan (I used a 7 inch square tin) and smooth the top.
  5. Bake for 35-45 minutes until golden brown on top and when a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
  6. Serve with tea.

Note: A sprinkling of icing sugar or a light smear of marmalade or cream cheese/hung yogurt infused with a little orange zest would be great for a special occasion. 

Diabetic-friendly Carrot Cake