This cake boasts of all the hallmarks of a great carrot cake – it is deliciously moist, subtly spiced and packed with flavour. 






Skill level

Average: 4.1 (9 votes)

The sourdough starter adds a touch of sourness that works beautifully with the sweetness of the carrots. 


  • 150 g (1 cup) wholemeal plain flour
  • 100 g (⅔ cup) plain flour
  • 2½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda 
  • 1½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 220 g (1 cup, firmly packed) brown sugar
  • 100 g toasted walnuts, coarsely chopped
  • 200 ml light olive oil, plus extra to grease
  • 100 g sourdough starter discard (100% hydration), at room temperature
  • 1 whole egg, at room temperature
  • 2 egg yolks, at room temperature
  • 90 g (¼ cup) golden syrup
  • 500 g (about 5 medium) carrots, trimmed, peeled and coarsely grated 

Lemon cream cheese frosting

  • 175 g cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 80 g unsalted butter, softened
  • 125 g (1 cup) icing sugar mixture, sifted
  • 1 lemon, zest finely grated
  • ½ tsp natural vanilla essence or extract 

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Cooling time: 2 hours

1. Preheat the oven to 170°C (150°C fan-forced). Brush a 21 cm (base measurement) springform tin with oil and line the base with non-stick baking paper. 

2. Sift both the flours, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and spices into a large bowl, returning any husks left in the sieve to the bowl. Add the sugar and walnuts and stir to combine. 

3. Put the oil, sourdough starter, whole egg, egg yolks and golden syrup in a separate large bowl and use a balloon whisk to stir until evenly combined. Add the grated carrot and use a spatula to combine evenly. Add the carrot mixture to the dry ingredients and use a large metal spoon or spatula to fold together until just combined. 

4. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and use the back of a metal spoon to smooth the surface. Bake in preheated oven for 60-70 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Stand the cake in the tin for 10 minutes before turning onto a wire rack to cool completely. 

5. Meanwhile to make the lemon cream cheese frosting, use an electric mixer with a paddle attachment to beat the cream cheese and butter until very pale and creamy. Add the icing sugar, lemon zest and vanilla and beat until well combined and smooth. 

6. Spread the top of the cooled cake with the frosting and serve in wedges. 


Baker’s tip

• The iced cake will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Bring to room temperature to serve.


Recipe from Not Just Bread by Anneka Manning. Photography by Alan Benson. Styling by Kat Hunt. Food preparation by Vanessa Miles. Download the free ebook with all of these recipes right here.