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Autumn Vegetable Cake

Autumn Vegetable Cake

Cake with autumn vegetables, spices and pecans. Topped with orange buttercream and candied carrot
Course Dessert
Cuisine British
Keyword Cake
Prep Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 5 minutes
Servings 16
Calories 875kcal
Author thebakingexplorer


For the carrot curls

  • 200 g Caster sugar
  • 200 ml Water
  • 1 Medium sized, long carrot

For the sponge

  • 300 g Self raising flour
  • 175 g Plain wholemeal flour
  • 300 g Light brown soft sugar
  • 1 tsp Baking powder
  • 1 tsp Bicarbonate of soda
  • 3 tsp Mixed spice
  • 400 ml Vegetable oil
  • 6 Eggs large
  • 1 Orange Zest and juice
  • 20 g Fresh ginger grated
  • 485 g Carrot, parsnip and sweet potato grated, see notes
  • 140 g Pecans chopped

For the buttercream

  • 350 g Butter or baking spread
  • 700 g Icing sugar
  • 1 Orange zest only
  • 1 tsp Orange extract
  • 2 tbsp Milk


For the candied carrot curls (optional)

  • Put the water and sugar into a pan, heat on low until the sugar is dissolved
  • Peel the skin from the carrot. Then peel long thin strips from the carrot, try and find a long straight carrot to get the best strips
  • Add the carrot strips to the pan and turn the heat up to medium, simmer for 15 minutes
  • Pre-heat your oven to 100C Fan/120C/225F/Gas Mark ¼, and prepare some lined baking trays and brush or spray them with a little vegetable oil
  • Carefully remove the carrot strips from the sugar water using tongs and lay them flat onto the baking trays
  • Bake for 30 minutes
  • Remove from the oven and quickly wrap the strips around the handle of a wooden spoon to create the curls, then slide off onto baking paper. You may need to grease the spoon with vegetable oil if it gets sticky
  • Leave the curls to dry out and harden for at least 1 hour
  • If you are making them in advance, store in an airtight container until ready to use. Do not allow them to touch as they may stick together

For the cake

  • Pre-heat your oven to 160C Fan/180C/350F/Gas Mark, and grease and line three 8 inch sandwich tins that are at least 2 inches deep
  • In a large bowl, stir together both flours, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, mixed spice and light brown sugar
  • In another bowl mix the vegetable oil, eggs, orange zest and juice, and ginger together using a whisk
  • Combine the wet and dry ingredients and whisk well
  • Stir in the grated vegetables and chopped pecans
  • Divide the mixture evenly between the cake tins, I like to use scales for accuracy
  • Bake for 35 minutes or until golden brown and a thin skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Remove them from the tins and leave them to cool on wire cooling racks
  • To make the buttercream, mix together the butter and icing sugar, use an electric mixer for best results
  • When it starts to come together add the orange extract and milk, and whisk until smooth. Then stir in the orange zest. You can add a little more milk if it's too stiff
  • Level the sponges if they have domed at all with a serrated knife or a cake leveller
  • Stack the sponges up on your plate or cake stand, piping or spreading buttercream between each layer
  • When you get to the last layer, pipe larger rosettes all around the edge and smaller ones in the centre
  • Decorate with the carrot curls, some chopped pecans and some orange zest
  • Serve immediately, store leftovers in an airtight container in a cool place and eat within 3 days


I used 2 medium carrots, 2 medium parsnips and one small sweet potato. You can use any combination of the three vegetables, as long as you reach the total amount of 485g after peeling and grating them. You can also omit a type of veg if you like, for example use only carrot and parsnip, but again making sure you have the same quantity.
Mixed spice is a British spice blend containing Cinnamon, Coriander Seed, Nutmeg, Clove, Pimento, Ginger. If you can't get hold of it, use a Pumpkin Spice mix instead
For two layers the ingredients are: 200g self raising flour, 116g plain wholemeal flour, 200g light soft brown sugar, ½ tsp baking powder, ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda, 2 tsp mixed spice, 266ml vegetable oil, 4 eggs (large), ½ orange zest and juice, 13g fresh ginger, 323g grated carrot/parsnip/sweet potato, 93g pecans
For one layer the ingredients are: 100g self raising flour, 58g plain wholemeal flour, 100g light soft brown sugar, ¼ tsp baking powder, ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda, 1 tsp mixed spice, 133ml vegetable oil, 2 eggs (large), ¼ orange zest and juice, 6g fresh ginger, 161g grated carrot/parsnip/sweet potato, 46g pecans


Calories: 875kcal | Carbohydrates: 103g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 51g | Saturated Fat: 33g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 12g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 109mg | Sodium: 305mg | Potassium: 285mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 77g | Vitamin A: 5747IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 80mg | Iron: 1mg