Carrot, Nori and Sugar Kelp Cake

A nutritious twist on your traditional carrot cake.


  • cake:
  • 8-12g/2-3 nori sheets/2-3 heaped teaspoons nori flakes
  • 1 tsp ground sugar kelp
  • 600 ml light olive oil or sunflower oil
  • 225 g dark brown sugar
  • 5 eggs
  • 425 g white flour
  • 2 heaped teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 heaped teaspoons bread soda
  • 675 g carrots (grated)
  • 150 g walnuts (chopped roughly)
  • topping:
  • 4 heaped teaspoons butter (softened)
  • 225 g cream cheese, full fat
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 100 g icing sugar (sifted, to taste)


  1. Pre-heat oven 190°C (375°F/Gas 5). Oil a large roasting tin 37½ x25x6cm (15½”x10”x2½ deep) with a little of the olive oil/sunflower.
  2. Mix the oil and sugar together in a large mixing bowl. Beat in the eggs one at a time with a whisk or electric hand mixer.
  3. Sift the flour, baking powder and bread soda into another bowl and set aside.
  4. Fold the flour into the egg mixture. Add the carrots, walnuts, sugar kelp and nori and mix.
  5. Pour the cake mixture into the prepared tin. Bake for 50 minutes until risen and browned. Cover with parchment paper to prevent further browning.
  6. Bake for a further 10 minutes or until the cake starts to come away from the sides or an inserted skewer comes out moist but clean. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin.
  7. To Prepare the Topping:
  8. Mash the butter in a bowl. Mash the cream cheese and combine with butter and vanilla. Sieve in the icing sugar and stir until completely mixed.
  9. Spread over the top of the cooled cake with a palette knife. Decorate with edible flowers if you wish.
  10. Variation: I use 30g/7-8 nori sheets/2½ heaped tablespoons ground or flaked Irish nori plus 1 extra egg and an extra 3oz of sugar. Omit 30g of the flour if using this amount of seaweed
  11. Mug method: An easy way to make this big cake is to find a mug that has a capacity of 450ml (¾ pint) and use the “mug method” which is:
  12. Ingredients:
  13. 1 ½ mugs of light olive oil or sunflower oil
  14. 1 scant mug of dark brown sugar, use 1 heaped mug if using the extra amount of nori
  15. 5 eggs, use 6 eggs if using the extra amount of nori
  16. 2 mugs flour, scant if using the extra amount of nori
  17. ¾ mug of walnuts
  18. 2 heaped teaspoons baking powder, use 3 heaped teaspoons if using the extra amount of nori
  19. 2 heaped teaspoons bread soda
  20. 3 mugs of grated carrots


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