carrot cake tray bake


When I was developing the recipe for my Carrot Cake Tray Bake, I knew I was going to name it after my Great Aunt Biddy – not because it was her recipe but because it was definitely inspired by her memory!



Carrots and I have had love/hate relationship since I was very young and when I say young I mean since I was able to eat solid food!

My Mum told me carrots were the first solid food I was weaned on and I absolute hated them, especially when I was growing up.  My Mother’s boiled carrots were the stuff of nightmares (sorry Mum) and she boiled them and incorporated them into EVERY dinner,  insisting that they were very good for us, so good they “could make you see in the dark”  – do you remember that saying?

I didn’t care about seeing in the dark, I just hated carrots and this caused major arguments at the dinner table, not just with me but with my other siblings too.  I lost out on so many desserts because I flatly refused to eat them and my mother had a rule “no carrots – no dessert”.

Nothing was ever going to change my mind until the fateful day I met the most delicious slice of cake I ever tasted it – the story goes like this:-

I was about nine years old and was attending a family occasion, I think it was my Mother’s ’s Uncles funeral and we were back at his house afterwords for tea & sandwiches.

I was under strict instructions from my mother to behave and be extra polite! All of sudden I heard her mutter “oh my god  she’s coming this way” – She turned out to be my Great Aunt Biddy someone whom I had never met & who turned out to be my Mother’s godmother and what’s more my mother was terrified of her.  I looked up and saw this very tall stern looking elderly lady approach. The first thing I remember about her was her “funny voice” which turned out to be a very strong New York accent. She made a comment about how tall I was and that hopefully “I would eventually grow into my face”  I didn’t know what she meant but I did notice my mother’s cheeks going a bit red. I day dreamed a bit while they were chatting but perked up when I heard the word CAKE.

“Have you tried my award-winning Carrot Cake , I made it especially for today it’s won 5 Blue ribbons you know” I didn’t know and I didn’t bloody care! I looked at my Mother in disgust and determination – there was no way in hell I was eating a crumb of her carrot cake no matter how many blue ribbons it won!!!.

As Aunt Biddy headed away to get her cake  my mother whispered in my ear “ You will eat every bit of that cake and what’s more you will tell her it was the most delicious cake you ever tasted.” “I will not”  I replied.  My mother knew by the look on my face she was facing a losing battle on this one , so she resorted to every parents last resort BRIBERY. If you eat ALL the cake I will buy you that doll on the way home”, she said  “That Doll” was the brand new Sindy Doll in a wedding dress complete with veil and shoes. (I was always a Sindy Girl never a Barbie one lol ).

 I had been begging for this doll for months now and was told I would have to wait till Christmas which was still 6 months away.  “Ok”, I said.  I would have done absolutely anything to get my hands on that doll.  I heard footsteps approach and closed my eyes – “there you go” the funny voiced lady said,  “I brought you an extra big slice”. I felt my mother wince beside me. I opened my eyes expecting to see, I don’t know, something maybe covered in boiled carrots. To my utter surprise I saw a slice of delicious looking cake with a lots of icing on top but-not one boiled horrible orange carrot in sight. I took a bite and it was so yummy and sweet , it was amazing. I demolished it in seconds and said nothing to my Mother who gave me a big smile and a little wink 

My Mam did stick to her word and she bought my the new Sindy Doll on the way home, and I don’t know whether it was her “guilty conscience”  but I never has to eat her boiled carrots again much to the disgust of my brothers. To this day she still thinks I hate carrots, but I’ll let you into a secret I LOVE carrots now,  in my stir fries, roasted in the oven with honey and especially in cake.  I even eat them raw , but please don’t ever tell my mother!!!


So in honor of my Great Aunt Biddy may I present to you my delicious Carrot Cake Tray Bake.


carrot cake tray bake


It’s so easy to make, I have even managed to get 2 mashed bananas in there.  So you’re getting your fruit and veg in a slice of cake lol.

It also has a very secret ingredient, an absolutely gorgeous liquor called Liquor 43.  It’s one of my favorite liquors.


liquor 43


It’s a Spanish liquor that use to make a very delicious coffee called a Barriquito and you’ll find it in Tenerife, one of the Canary Islands.   I always make sure to pick up a bottle every time I’m in Tenerife on holidays.  This in my humble opinion even beats our own Irish Coffee.

Best of all this coffee only cost 2 euros!!!



Liquor 43 is so delicious, even on its own over ice. It taste of cinnamon and spices so is the perfect addtion to Autumn bakes


Don’t worry you can substitute the liquor with Orange or Apple juice in the recipe, it will be still just as yummy.




carrot cake traybake


carrot cake tray bake




Prep Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Category: Dessert/Bake

Yield: 9-10

Calories per serving: 400 CAL

carrot cake tray bake

A really delicious tea-time treat, it works really well as a tray bake and is just as delicious as its big sister the Carrot Cake.


  • 150g sultanas
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 150ml vegetable oil
  • 1 banana, mashed
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 medium carrots grated
  • 170g plan flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 75 g chopped walnuts or pecans
  • 100ml of 43 liquor or just use apple/orange juice or maybe another fruit liquor such as orange or even peach!
  • 100g very soft butter
  • 300g soft cheese
  • 100g icing sugar, sifted
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Chopped walnuts for decoration


  • Place the Liquor/orange or apple juice in a bowl and soak the sultanas for an hour or two.
  • Preheat the oven to 180C/350f and line an 18cm square cake tin with baking paper.
  • In a large bowl, mix together the oil and sugar (will look gloopy), add in the banana.
  • Using an electric whisk, whisk it all together until there are no lumps., then add in the eggs and whisk lightly.
  • Stir in the carrots, walnuts and soaked sultanas INCLUDING all the lovely liquor and juice.
  • Mix the together flour, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon.
  • Add the dry ingredients (the flour mix) to the wet mix, add the vanilla and mix gently. (Best use a wooden spoon for this)
  • Pour the mix into the prepared baking tin and bake in the oven for for 40- 45 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean.
  • Leave to cool in the tin for 10 mins minutes, before removing to cool on a wire rack, while you make the frosting
  • Spread the icing over the cooled cake , sprinkle some chopped walnuts on top and cut into squares.
  • Decorate with some fondant carrots (optional)


The total time includes the soaking of the sultanas 😉





carrot cake pin



For my overseas readers I have included  a conversion tool below !!  You can use it to convert grms to cups etc.

[wolframalphawidget id=”c89b912ed6db557256eeb4ccdfd2fc8b” theme=”red”]


Make sure you check out my FACEBOOK BAKING PAGE for more easy baking treats.

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  • Joanna @ Everyday Made Fresh August 14, 2017 at 8:43 pm

    Carrot cake is one of my favorites! I think I’ll make this the next time we have a family get together.

    • Karyn August 14, 2017 at 9:58 pm

      I promise you your family will love it Joanna😁

  • Stephanie August 14, 2017 at 9:57 pm

    Wow, what a cake! It looks so moist and flavorful. Yum!

    • Karyn August 14, 2017 at 10:10 pm

      Thanks Stephani. Its a very easy and delicious bake😘

  • Pam Wattenbarger August 14, 2017 at 10:26 pm

    Carrot cake recipes remind me of my dad. He always loved carrot cake. It was his favorite dessert.

    • Karyn August 15, 2017 at 9:28 pm

      I love recipes that bring back memories..I call these taste memories..x

  • Adriana Lopez Martn August 15, 2017 at 3:52 am

    Oh lord carrot cake is my favorite and then topped it off with Licor 43 I’m in love!

    • Karyn August 15, 2017 at 9:29 pm

      Lol..the liquor 43 takes it to another level Adriana😍

  • Veronika August 15, 2017 at 12:57 pm

    This is exactly what I had for my birthday last week) Love carrot cakes!!!

    • Karyn August 15, 2017 at 9:27 pm

      It’s one of my favourite cakes too Veronika!

  • Christine - Jar Of Lemons August 15, 2017 at 2:33 pm

    Obsessed with carrot cake! These look so delicious. Perfect for any occasion or having guests over!

    • Karyn August 15, 2017 at 9:26 pm

      Yes I agree carrot cake is very adaptable..perfect birthday cake

  • Marisa Franca @ All Our Way August 15, 2017 at 4:23 pm

    I do love carrot cake and your looks much more than that!! So moist, it’s filled with nuts — oh my I would eat a huge slice and nobody would have to buy me a doll. I would like a new tripod though. 😉

    • Karyn August 15, 2017 at 9:24 pm

      Thanks Marissa😁 I have a new camera on my Santa list this year x

  • Anvita August 15, 2017 at 9:23 pm

    I love carrot cake. Although I am a tea totter other wise, I don;t mind using a little in recipes that involve cake 🙂

    • Karyn August 18, 2017 at 11:01 pm

      HI Anvita .. me too especially in fruit cakes!

  • Sue Elliott August 24, 2017 at 7:51 am

    I made this yesterday & a huge success everyone thought it was fantastic. One question Katryn my carrot could be seen I think it wasn’t grated fine enough but when I tried the smaller grater it went all mushy. Thank you Karryn for another lovely recipe. X

    • Karyn August 24, 2017 at 7:27 pm

      Hi Sue 😉 Thanks so much for taking the time to comment. I really appreciate that. I’m so glad that you liked the recipe! As for the carrots.. I just used an ordinary box grater and grated the carrot. I didn’t let it go too mushy It could be still seen through the cake. xx Karyn

  • Anne May 24, 2018 at 2:49 pm

    I just love that you included Licor 43! It’s a favourite of mine as well and I always have a bottle on hand! Will definitely pick that up for my next carrot cake. Have you ever tried Spanish Milk? Licor 43, milk and cinnamon on top – lovely cold during summer and very yummy warm in winter 🙂

    • Karyn May 25, 2018 at 6:46 pm

      Hi Anne;) thanks for taking the time to comment, delighted to hear someone loves Licor42 as much as me lol.. your tip for the hot milk is amazing I look forward to trying that out x Karyn


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