Recipe: Speculoos Carrot Cake

speculoos, carrot, cake, speculaas

When lacking in inspiration its always good to take a step back, go back to basics or even to have a short break. Sometimes the never ending amount of talent on my social media feeds can be a little overwhelming and off-putting. How do people even manage a full time job and to post several times through the week?

I can't remember the last time I baked a cake just to enjoy it. Rather than thinking, how can I make it different? How will I photograph it? What ideas can I get from Pinterest? In all honesty, I can't even remember the last cake I did make. 

For each family birthday I try to make a cake, something they'd like and something different each time. With work responsibilities and my brother's wedding in Finland, I've been a little delayed with these birthday bakes. So, with a little time off over the weekend, I set out to make one. I didn't worry about presentation, photographing, just on making something my Mum would love; her favourite carrot cake. 

speculoos, carrot, cake, spice, speculaas

Forgetting we're 'meant' to be in the height of summer. This weekend called for warming comfort food. For Sunday lunch we enjoyed baked red pesto chicken, roasted marrow and to finish, bread and butter pudding. A slice of this cake also went down a treat...

It was only fitting that I used Signe Johansen's Scandilicious carrot cake recipe as a base. Omitted the cinnamon and nutmeg for a speculoos spice mix to create a cake that I knew my Mum would love...even if it was a little belated.

Fuss-free with no frills, this is a good, honest, back to basics cake. No coloured frosting, layers or fiddly steps. I think this was exactly what I needed to get back in the kitchen!

speculoos, spice, carrot, cake, speculaas

Speculoos carrot cake with cream cheese speculoos frosting and walnut crumb

N.b. I used a sample of speculaas spice mix (from Amsterdam), but Dan Lepard has a recipe here.

(9" cake, serves 12, recipe adapted from Signe Johansen's Scandilicious Baking)

4 eggs
125g caster sugar
125g soft light brown sugar
200ml vegetable oil
250g plain flour
2 tsp speculoos spice mix
1/4 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
350g carrots, peeled and coarsely grated


125g butter, softened
150g icing sugar, sifted
150g full fat cream cheese
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp speculoos spice mix

Handful of crushed walnuts for decoration
  1. Heat the oven to 170 degrees and grease a 9" springform cake tin. Alternatively, use a 20 x 30cm rectangular tin.
  2. Gently mix together the egg and sugar in a mixer until the egg is broken up.
  3. Set the mixer to a medium-high speed and pour in the oil as slow as possible. It is important to pour in as slow as you can so as not to split the mix.
  4. Fold in the flour, spices, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt.
  5. Add the carrots and mix just a few times until just about incorporated.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared tin and bake on the middle shelf. When cooked, a skewer inserted into the middle will come out clean.
  7. Allow to cool in the tin for 15 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool fully.
  8. To make the frosting, beat together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add the cream cheese, vanilla and speculaas and continue to mix until smooth.
  9. Whilst the cake is cooling, pop the frosting in the fridge to firm up.
  10. To frost the cake, use a palette knife to smooth over the top and finish with a scattering of walnuts.

And for a little more inspiration:

How about Kate's carrot cake protein balls? Or in fact any recipe from her blog - yep, who knew you could make a cake out of cauliflower or peas?

Zucchini/courgettes laying around after making some zoodles/courgetti? Try Diana's zucchini bread.

Or some snack friendly, healthy berry and carrot muffins from Grace.

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  1. You know what Flankie loves? Parsnip cake. It's like carrot cake, but exotic. Will have to steal a recipe off my supplier. Other than that, cute cake! x

    1. Definitely need to try parsnip cake...I can be persuaded to make some (for research purposes) and pass some your way!

  2. Ooohh I love carrot cake! And speculoos! What a wonderful combination : )

    1. Thanks Madeline! New favourite combo :)

  3. Speculoos (or in this case, speculaas spice) seems like the perfect addition to a carrot cake, as in I'm wondering why I never thought about it before. I bet this cake was delicious :D

    1. Thanks Gianni! I've not seen the combo before...but Google now tells me it's quite popular. Either way definitely love it. It's not too sweet either so totally acceptable to eat a lot more!

  4. What is the speculaas spice mix from Amsterdam called?


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