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Member recipe

New Zealand Moist Carrot cake

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(6 ratings)

Member recipe by


Serves 8

Original recipe from the Food aid cookbook, BBC 1986, Yolanda Couchman, Virginia Water.

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  • 250g (9 oz) plain wholemeal flour
  • 175g (6 oz) raw sugar (muscovado or Barbados)
  • 175g (6 oz) soft brown sugar
  • 3 x size three eggs
  • 175ml (6 fl oz) sunflower oil
  • 55ml (2 fl oz) soured cream
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla essence
  • Approx. 1 teaspoon freshly-grated nutmeg
  • 2 level teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 300g (11 oz) grated carrots
  • 75g (3 oz) desiccated coconut
  • For the topping
  • 110g 4 oz) full fat soft cream cheese
  • 50g (2 oz) unsalted butter
  • 50g (2 oz) sifted icing sugar
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon


    1. Pre-heat over to gas mark 2, 150 C (300 F). You will need one 20cm (8 inch) round cake tin (lined with greaseproof paper) and two mixing bowls.
    2. In the first mixing bowl you place: eggs, oil, vanilla essence, soured cream. Next sieve the sugars into it as well (to avoid lumps).
    3. Into the second bowl you sift the: flour, nutmeg, cinnamon, soda, salt.
    4. Beat the wet ingredients and the sugars together, then fold in the dry ingredients, followed by the carrots and coconut. Mix well to distribute everything evenly, then spoon into the cake tin and bake on the centre shelf for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
    5. When the cake is cool mix the topping ingredients together and spread thickly all over the top . As an option you can slice the cake in half and spread some of the 'topping' in between the two halves.

Comments, questions and tips

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22nd Apr, 2017
I made this for a neighbour and he said it's the best carrot cake he'd ever had. I doubled the icing and sliced the cake in half and iced the middle. Also added raisins.
8th Jan, 2014
My mum used to bake this Food Aid carrot cake when I was little, it always got lots of compliments then and it tastes exactly as I remember! I tried making it into cupcakes too - baking for 25 mins at the suggested temperature - it worked perfectly!
5th Nov, 2012
I just made a test of this cake and we loved it! Halved the sugar (also used brown sugar only) and it was still great. Sweet enough, moist and sticky - disappeared in a jiffy. I'm certain that the "real" birthday cake version I'm planning for tomorrow with this recipe will be just as perfect!
4th Sep, 2012
Yummy yummy cake, and very moist and sticky too - I added 3 tablespoons of honey instead of the raw sugar. Mine burnt slightly on the edges - does anyone have any suggestions for preventing this?
25th Jan, 2012
I have often made this cake in UK, but since moving to Hong Kong, I haven't dared because of unfamiliar ingredients, oven etc. Today, I bit the bullet and am so thrilled that the cake tastes the same or even better........cue one very happy husband and work colleagues!
20th Aug, 2011
Had this made for us at a friends house last night and it was delicious!! Bit of a twist though, she used courgette instead of carrot and it was so lovely and moist I decided to try it :) Am going to bake tomorrow as my Gran' Birthday Cake but think I may try the pecan's and sultana's option ... Yum Yum.
31st Jul, 2011
I've made this recipe so many times over the years that I should remember it. I stupidly lent my Food Aid cookbook to someone and never got it back. So thank you for posting this recipe. Whenever you make it people always say its the best carrot cake ever and I agree. Sultanas and pecans weren't in the original recipe but its a twist that I might try next time. Thanks again.
15th May, 2010
I've re read the old copy of the recepie and 3oz pecan nuts and sultanas to taste have been added to the version I have
15th May, 2010
I've not changed it but its a memory cake form things in the past.
15th May, 2010
When I got theis recipie from a friend25years ago it didn't tell you which kind of wholemeal flour to use thankyou for sorting it out for me. I went on line to see if I could find the amount of flouer since my recipie has faded so much over the years - I was pleasantly surprised to find it in seconds - thanks


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15th Apr, 2017
Bring the greaseproof paper 3 inches above the top of the tin to stop the top of the cake from burning.