Carrot Tea Cake - Birthday Cake

This cake is definitely one of our staples. It might change a bit from time to time according to the occasion or our cravings.

I know this isn’t exactly the best year to celebrate and party, even on our own, as it seems that most of us are not in a jolly festive mood. It’s ok to be in low spirits and feel a bit down at times. It happens to all of us every once in a while. But when we see this lack of energy and motivation lasting longer than usual, then we need to move ourselves to action, change certain things, fight back to find our lost inner strength and refuel our mental engine.

The question is how we can achieve that. It isn’t easy, I know, especially when our mood is affected by stressful, high-pressure life circumstances that we can’t really control and change. It sometimes feels like being spectators of a never-ending horror film.

There’s only one thing we can do, in my opinion. During these unprecedented times and despite the global pandemic and its horrific impact on our lives, we all need to try and do things that bring us joy every day. Joy, that’s exactly what we’ve been missing, a new chance to be hopeful, optimistic and see the glass half full again.

I’m trying hard to practice this myself. I’m daily –and almost obsessively- looking for those little moments of bliss and carelessness. It might be gardening, arranging flowers in my vases or decorating corners and tables around the house, dancing to my favourite music at full blast or, ideally, being in my safe place, my kitchen. That’s where I truly let go of stress without even making a conscious effort, just being there is more than enough. Now, one might wonder how someone can find inner peace in making a mess of a kitchen and then cleaning it up, and I’m afraid I cannot answer that but maybe a doctor, a psychologist, could offer me a reasonable explanation.

Since we’re all looking for a good reason to have a bit of fun and celebrate, Not Guilty Food’s second birthday is the perfect excuse! Looking at my accounts, I still can’t believe my luck for being here and seeing how far we’ve come together. It really feels like a dream come true and I’m beyond thankful for all of you, this group of beautiful people who follow me through all my cooking and photography adventures.

It seems that something good is happening here, on Not Guilty Food; we all have something in common, our love for good, homemade, delicious food. Not just any food, but beautiful, unique dishes that satisfy our eye just as much as our bellies, they unleash our artistic side, allow us to explore new flavours and experiment with all kinds of different ingredients. We seem to share the same passion to create beauty all around us, with pretty decorated tables, charming fabrics and shapes, candles and playful light, wine.. Things that make our everyday or festive dinners more elegant and appealing, sprinkled with stardust and love.

It all started quite simply, with a need to share everything that’s going on in my kitchen, my cooking and love for photography. And from the very beginning, I wanted myself to really come through this blog which slowly grew to become something a lot more personal than I had ever anticipated. Waking up to warm comments and heart emojis on Instagram every day feels like a blessing. I’m blessed to have so many new friends who are eager to get to know me better and I definitely want that too.

Lately I’ve been flirting with the idea of live videos where I’ll be able to talk to you more and hopefully achieve a more direct and meaningful communication. It might sound funny and it probably is, but I’m certainly not comfortable with seeing myself on video yet, unlike most people these days who are already very familiar with this concept.

For a minute, I contemplated what cake I should make for the blog’s second birthday. A few ambitious plans crossed my mind but, in the end, the idea of turning a simple yet beloved cake into a birthday cake won me over. The ultrafamous, classic but delicious Carrot Cake. I must have made this one a dozen times for my daughter, especially when she was little, in an effort to instill a few healthy eating habits in her from a very young age. This cake is definitely one of our staples. It might change a bit from time to time according to the occasion or our cravings. Sometimes I like to add nuts and raisins or cut down on sugar and add more agave syrup, sometimes I choose to frost it while other times I feel it really holds its own. Either way, it’s a cake that never fails to please everyone!

It's time to blow out the two candles on my cake but, mostly, it’s time to thank you all, from the bottom of my heart, for being part of my life and joining our group of amazing, not guilty people, for having my back and supporting me (because not all days are sunshine & roses) with your likes, heart emojis and warm words.

Thank you for being here! Happy Birthday Not Guilty Food!






For the cake

60ml Earl Grey tea

350g all-purpose flour

1tbsp baking powder

½ tbsp baking soda

A pinch of salt

1tsp ground cinnamon

320g Muscovado sugar

4 eggs

300g coconut oil or olive oil

350g grated carrots


For the frosting

140g butter at room temperature

120g powdered sugar

300g cream cheese (Philadephia, Ricotta, Mascarpone)

½ cup roasted hazelnut crumbles


1. Preheat the oven to 180C. Oil two 18cm cake tins with removable sides.

2. Make tea according to the package instructions. In a big bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Set aside. In another bowl, use a hand mixer to beat the eggs, sugar and tea until well blended. Continue and gradually add the oil. Then fold in the grated carrots. Add the flour mixture and beat until combined. Divide the batter between two cake tins and bake for 45 minutes until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. In case you don’t have two cake tins, just bake one cake after the other. Remove from the oven and let the cake layers cool completely.

3. For the frosting: In a bowl, beat the butter, powdered sugar and cream cheese until creamy and smooth.

4. Make sure the cake layers are even in size. If they’re not, adjust using a long, thin knife. Place the first cake layer onto a serving plate and frost it with half of the frosting you just made. Spread the frosting everywhere. Add the second cake layer and continue with the rest of the frosting. Spread it evenly and scatter the hazelnut crumbles on top.