Naturally delicious real food.

Carrot and marigold cake

It’s a simple think to pick some flowers from the garden and then add them to a salad or on top of a cake, the effect is dramatic, beautiful and always inspiring.

My favourites for salads are white and blue borage flowers, dill flowers, chive flowers crushed into their individual buds, thyme flowers and parsley flowers as the herb goes slowly to seed.

For cakes you cannot better dried rose petals or the violas that I put on this chocolate and beetroot cake and then I saw a wedding cake decorated with marigolds, so this weekend marigold petals went into my carrot cake mixture, creating a wonderfully golden sponge ( apparently if you feed marigold flowers to your chickens their yolks will become a glorious colour!). To finish it off I decorated the iced cake with the petals – it was very pretty, not too pretty to eat though!

Carrot cake is a great favourite of mine, carrots were originally used in cakes when dried fruit just became too expensive or difficult to get hold of, I love the moistness it creates and that I get to use up those stray carrots.

This recipe is adapted from the The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook – my daughters favourite cake book – I have adjusted it slightly, less nutty, the icing is less sweet and have added a little lemon as well as the marigolds!

Carrot and marigold cake

Serves 12

  • 3  large eggs
  • 300g soft brown sugar
  • 300ml sunflower oil
  • 300g plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 300g grated carrot
  • four marigold flowers broken into petals
  • 50g semi crushed walnuts
  • Icing
  • 400g icing sugar
  • 100g unsalted soft butter
  • 250g cream cheese
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 3 marigold flowers


Two 20cm cake tins base lined in silicon and greased.

Oven 170/325 Gas 3

Cream the eggs and sugar together with the oil, I like to use a hand mix for this. Slowly add the flour and other dry ingredients, mix well. Add the vanilla extract.

Fold in the carrots, walnuts and marigolds.

Pour into the two tins

Bake for approx 35 minutes until a skewer  comes out with no mixture on it.

Leave to cool before icing.

To make the icing simply cream the ingredients to together. Cover one cake in the mixture, place the other cake on top and cover in icing.

Decorate with petals

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Through The Natural Pantry I hope to share with you some of the delicious recipes discovered whilst cooking in my kitchen with produce grown in our garden and the very best natural ingredients.