Sweet treats

Carrot cake recipe with edible flowers

Looking for a delicious carrot cake recipe? Look no further than this showstopper by Not Just a Pretty Plate, complete with edible flowers!

For a showstopper that looks as good as it tastes (and is ever-so-slightly more virtuous than your usual carrot cake), look no further. By using earthy flavours such as maple, spelt and cinnamon, every slice morishly mirrors its natural and wild floral aesthetic.

Edible flowers are an easy way to add colour without an additive in sight. If you don’t have any seasonal wildflowers to hand in your garden, you can easily find bright blooms such as pansies, violets and cornflowers online. Using a few hefty hardback books and some tissue paper, it’s super easy to add a touch of the Great British countryside to your next culinary delight.

How to prepare your edible flowers

  • Double check that the flowers you’re picking are definitely edible – if in doubt, don’t use them. If foraging, don’t pick too close to roads or any potential pollution. Check out our guide to edible flowers here.
  • Once picked, wash your fresh flowers gently with cold water and leave to dry on a paper towel.
  • When dry, lay them on a sheet of tissue paper between two pages of a hardback book.
  • Place another piece of tissue on top of your flowers and close the book. Place two more books on top, and leave for 30 minutes to an hour. They should be pressed flat, but still vibrant and fresh-looking. Larger stemmed flowers such as knapweed will require more weight on them, compared to primroses, which are thinner, so should be placed under less weight.
  • Time to decorate! Once your flowers are pressed, arrange on your bake as artfully as you can. Use tweezers for extra precision.

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  • 375g spelt flour
  • 375g coconut sugar
  • 3 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 3 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 180g pecans, coarsely chopped
  • 325ml vegetable oil
  • 6 eggs beaten
  • 750g carrots, grated

For the icing

  • 150g cream cheese
  • 200g Greek yoghurt
  • 375g marscarpone
  • 5 tbsp maple syrup
  • 150g icing sugar


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/ gas mark 4, and line and grease three 18cm cake tins. Add the dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl, then stir in the oil, beaten eggs and grated carrots. Mix until combined.
  2. Divide the mixture equally between the three tins, and bake for 40-45 minutes or until well risen and a skewer comes out clean.
  3. Leave the cakes to stand in their tins for ten minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  4. To make the icing, beat together the cream cheese, Greek yoghurt and mascarpone, then add the maple syrup and sift in the icing sugar. Mix well. Put in the fridge to firm up for 20 minutes minimum.
  5. Place one of the sponges onto your finest cake stand, spoon a layer of icing on top, and repeat with the other two cakes.
  6. Using a palette knife, cover the whole cake with the rest of the icing, making it as smooth as possible to make a perfect canvas for the flowers.


Let the iced cake set in the fridge for 15-20 minutes before you start to decorate with flowers. This stops the flowers sinking too far into the icing.

We used the following selection of edibles to create a natural wildflower effect: primrose – yellow; nigella – light blue; borage – deep blue; knapweed – deep purple; and lady’s smock – pale purple.