New Zealand Carrot Cake

carrot cake 4

Rich, moist and delicious, this carrot cake is packed full of goodness – with a good dollop of naughtiness to make it stickily worthwhile. It is beyond doubt the best carrot cake I have ever made or indeed tasted, and I’m sure anyone who has sampled it will agree wholeheartedly.
I was very kindly given the recipe by David from Wern Ganol Smallholding– a small family run smallholding situated on the outskirts of Nelson in the South Wales valleys.  All Wern Ganol‘s Wern Ganol cakecakes are made in small batches in their farmhouse kitchen, using produce and eggs fresh from their restored Victorian kitchen garden. Their recipes are tried and trusted family creations that have been passed down through the generations,  and are all baked in a wood fuelled oven. All their cakes are available mail order if you don’t fancy making your own.


Give it a whirl and let me know what you think, I’d love to know how you get on.


This recipe is enough for 2x 2lb loaf tins, but I usual make it in a 20cm loose-bottomed square tin – which cuts into 16 squares of cake. A celebration cake can be made by dividing the mixture into 3 x 8oz sponge tins and layering up and covering the cakes with icing and dusting with chopped nuts.

The cake also freezes really well, with or without the frosting.

If you’re at all worried about cooking times for different size tins, I’ve found a great website that might help at

9 oz wholemeal self raising  flour
6 oz muscovado sugar
6 oz soft brown sugarcarrot cake 2
3 x size three eggs
6 fl oz sunflower oil
2 fl oz soured cream
2 teaspoons pure vanilla essence
Approx. 1 teaspoon each of freshly-grated nutmeg and cinnamon
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
14 oz grated carrots
3oz desiccated coconut
Pre-heat oven to 150 C,
In to mixer place: eggs, oil, vanilla essence, soured cream. beat together and sieve the sugars into it (to avoid lumps) beat together until it becomes a thick, glossy mixture
Add in sifted flour, nutmeg, cinnamon, baking soda, salt.
Beat the wet ingredients and the sugars together, and then fold in the dry ingredients, followed by the carrots and coconut.
Mix well to distribute everything evenly, and then spoon into the prepared cake tins and bake on the centre shelf until firm & skewer comes out clean – varies depending on size of tin, but about 45 mins for sponge tin size
When the cake is cool mix the topping ingredients together and spread thickly between layers, or over the top if you’ve made a loaf tin cake
(makes enough to cover a loaf or a 20cm square cake)
21/2 oz unsalted butter                                                                                                                   5 oz sifted icing sugar
2 oz full fat cream cheese
Few drops of vanilla essence
Pecan or Walnut halves to decorate
Beat the butter & sugar together, along with the essence, fold in the cream cheese until fully blended.
Cover cake and decorate with nuts if desired.