90 mins plus cooling time


Not too tricky


Spiced Carrot Cake:

240g finely grated carrots

240 ml vegetable oil

300g light muscovado sugar

4 eggs

2 tsp vanilla

1 cup pistachios (toasted and chopped)

300g plain flour

1 tsp baking soda

1.5 tsp baking powder

½ tsp salt

1 tsp. Arabica Couscous Spices


200g soft butter

400g icing sugar

50 g white chocolate

a drop of orange blossom water

a little milk or cream to loosen


Preheat the oven to 160C, 150C with fan. Butter and line a 23 or 25 cm springform cake tin.

Place the pistachios on a tray and toast in the oven for 10 mins. Leave to cool and then roughly chop.

In the bowl of a standing mixer or in a large bowl with a handheld mixer, mix the eggs and then gradually add the sugar until thick and voluminous – this will take a few minutes. Add the vanilla and the oil.

In a another bowl mix the dry ingredients – flour, most of the pistachios (saving some for the top!), baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet and fold until just incorporated, and then fold in the carrots until you have an even mixture.

Pour into the tin and bake in the middle of the oven for at least 40 minutes for a 25 cm tin, longer for a 23 cm tin. Bake until a wooden skewer in the middle comes out clean if batter or crumbs. Allow to cool in the tin.

While the cake is cooling, make the buttercream. Melt the white chocolate in the microwave or very gently on the stove and allow to cool. Then with the paddle attachment in a standing mixer, or with a hand mixer, mix the soft butter until light and pale. Add the icing sugar and mix again until light and fully dissolved. Add the cooled white chocolate, and mix again, and then orange blossom water milk or cream by the spoonful as necessary to get an airy texture.

Once the cake is fully cooled, spread the top with the buttercream and sprinkle with the rest of the pistachios. Perfect with a cup of tea.

Recipe by Joanne Brennan, co-founder of the award-winning Pump street Bakery and Chocolate, in the pretty village of Orford on Suffolk’s Heritage Coast.