Carrot cake potjie recipe

Posted on 21 September 2015

During another tough day in Africa, sitting in the shade of a kameeldoring tree and looking out over the wide African landscape, you sometimes get the feeling that the only thing that would make the moment more perfect, is a cup of tea and a slice of cake. But the thing that makes these types of days in Africa so tough is that there is not always a bakery with cake nearby. And that’s where the carrot cake potjie steps in. Solving real problems.

Carrot cake potjie

Also read: The ultimate Braai Day recipe guide



Serves about 10


For the cake

  • 1 cup sunflower oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups caster sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 cups carrot (about 4 carrots, finely grated)
  • 1 tin crushed pineapple (drained)
  • 200g pecan nuts (chopped)


For the icing

  • 1 tub plain cream cheese
  • 1 cup icing sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence


Cooking instructions

  1. Mix the oil, eggs and sugar together in your no. 10 flat-bottomed potjie until most of the sugar has dissolved.
  2. Add the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, salt and cinnamon into your potjie and mix well. You don’t need to prepare the potjie with butter beforehand as there is enough oil in the batter to keep it from sticking.
  3. Add the carrots, pineapple and nuts and mix well.
  4. Close the lid of the potjie and bake for 40 to 50 minutes until done. You achieve this by having some coals under the potjie and on the lid of the potjie.
  5. Make the icing while the cake is baking. Use your clean hand (in the bushveld) or electric beater (at home) and beat the cream cheese in a bowl until soft and there are no lumps. Add the icing sugar and vanilla and mix until smooth.
  6. Once done, remove the potjie from the heat, take off the potjie lid, and let the cake rest for 10 minutes before you take it out of the potjie. To get the cake out, just flip the potjie upside down over a board or large plate and the cake should exit the potjie without objections. Should the cake refuse to come out, it doesn’t really matter, just serve it straight from where it is being stubborn in the potjie.
  7. In my experience, people around the world are very particular about how much icing they want on their carrot cake. Some people think there is too much, and will leave a blob of icing on their plates. Others feel there is too little, and will leave a chunk of dry cake behind. This is of course completely unnecessary. Everywhere in the civilised world, individuals can choose how much sugar and milk they want in their tea. And so it should be with carrot cake and icing. Simply serve the icing on the side and let each person choose how much they want.

For this, and more wildly exotic and delicious braai recipes, grab a copy of Jan Braai’s latest recipe book, The Democratic Republic of Braai, published by Bookstorm, in leading online and offline bookstores across South Africa.


The Democratic Republic of Braai.

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