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Brian's Boozy Carrot Cake
from Brian Vaughan, Cuckoo Hill Allotments.

The beauty of an allotment is that you do not have to grow tasteless and straight supermarket type carrots. In my first growing year I tried some Franchi seeds - Carota da Foraggio which were yellow and prolific. Being a bity lazy I did not sow nor thin them properly, so I got some interesting shapes and monstrosities as you can see in this photo.
This recipe saved me from just using them in stews, curries or soups! Vary it as you wish.

Brian's Boozy Carrot Cake
Brian's Boozy Carrot Cake

200g of peeled & grated carrots
grated zest from 1 orange
50g dessicated coconut
50g pecans, almonds or any nuts
110g mixed dried fruits (soaked overnight)
the booze of your choice (optional)

200g wholemeal self raising flour
3 tablespoons mixed spice
1 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda

175g Demerara sugar
2 large eggs
5 fl oz sunflower oil

Syrup Glaze:

juice from the orange
1 tablespoon lemon juice
75g Demerara sugar


Remember to soak the dried fruit overnight in the booze of your choice, I found that either brandy or dark rum worked for me!!!

To toast the nuts if you want: pre-heat the oven to 200 ° C (Mark 6), place the nuts on a baking tray and toast them for about 8 minutes. Chop them roughly for the cake. If you want to add icing or cream then save half the nuts to chop finely and sprinkle on later.

Whisk the eggs, oil and sugar together in bowl until there is no sugar left undissolved. Do not overwhisk.

Into the same bowl sift the flour, mixed spice and bicarbonate of soda and at the end empty back in the bits of bran caught by the sieve. Stir gently and add the carrots, coconuts, toasted nuts (all or half), orange zest and importantly the boozy fruit! Continue stirring gently until evenly mixed together.

Empty the mix into a deep cake tin or two shallow tins if you want to add a creamy filling.

Cooking Time:

The oven should be at 170 ° C (Mark 3). For a deep cake tin allow about 60 mins and for shallow tins 30 mins.

After cooking add the Syrup Glaze:

Whisk the orange and lemon juices together with the sugar.
When the cake comes out of the oven, stab all over with a skewer and drizzle this syrup evenly over the whole cake. Leave to cool in the tin(s) to let the syrup be absorbed.

If you want icing or cream fill, go ahead, and then sprinkle the remaining finely chopped nuts you saved on top!

Final Tip:

If the cake turns out too moist just pop it in the microwave and cover with ice cream or custard for a delicious dessert.

Who said carrot cake was healthy?

Published: 1st Dec 2011

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