A novel twist on a healthy bake!



Ready in

45 min to bake

Good for

A mouth-watering tea-time treat!


About this Recipe

As a Nutritionist I’m lucky to work with some innovative British food producers. On their family farm in Essex, David and son, Ben Eagle have been farming seabuckthorn for 5 years. It’s taken this long for them to work out which varieties grow best in our British climate and it’s required a huge amount of patience! But, they believe in their crop which is renowned for its health benefits in over 40 countries with similarly cool, coastal environments. More on its nutrition below but the zingy flavour of these berries is fabulous in this traditional carrot cake. This is also a great recipe for substituting in whatever fruit you have though!


  • 1 cup Self raising flour, sieved.
  • 1 cup Spelt or wholegrain flour
  • 1 tsp Baking soda
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp  Salt
  • Medium carrots (unpeeled), grated or whizzed in blender
  • 1 1/2 cups Chopped nuts (walnuts, hazelnuts, pecans all work well)
  • 4 Eggs
  • 1 cup Caster sugar
  • 1 cup Chopped dates
  • 1 1/3 cups Rapeseed or Olive oil 
  • 1 tbsp Apple Cider vinegar
  • 4 heaped tbsp frozen Seabuckthorn berries (see below for alternatives) 
  • 1/2 Pear or large apple (tinned or fresh, with skin)

For the icing: 

  • 200g Cream cheese
  • 1 cup Icing sugar
  • 1/4 cup Butter.

Step by Step Instructions

Step 1

Oven temperature 160 fan. Mix the SR flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.

Step 2

In a separate bowl, mix the grated carrot and 1 cup of chopped nuts

Step 3

Whizz the chopped dates, caster sugar and remaining chopped nuts in a blender. (Doesn’t matter if not very fine)

Step 4

In another bowl beat the eggs with the date/ sugar mix then gradually add the oil. It won’t be very smooth.

Step 5

Add the flour mixture to the beaten egg mixture then add the carrots, berries and chopped pear. Add the apple cider vinegar (a fabulous gut healthy addition and helps the bake to rise) Mix just to combine.

Step 6

Bake in a 9″ square tin for 35 minutes, 160 fan. Cooked when bouncy to the touch in the middle and clean skewer but don’t be tempted to over bake! Leave to cool a little in tin before cooling on rack – sponges made with oil tend to be a bit more fragile!


Ice once cooled, with a mixture of the cream cheese, icing sugar and melted butter. 


You can also cook these as muffins in which case they only need about 20 mins or less cooking time. Also popular served with the icing as a bowl to help yourself from with some extra seabuckthorn berries on the side!

Substitutions: Last time I made this cake I added 1 tbsp marmalade as I didn’t have any seabuckthorn berries so wanted some zingy flavour! It worked really well too…



This cake has lots of fibre to support gut health, less sugar than many alternatives and is just as delicious!

Seabuckthorn berries are packed with vitamin C, A & E, many types of antioxidants and unsaturated Omega fats. They are particularly rich in GLA, a type of Omega 6 also found in evening primrose oil and well known for helping to address low oestrogen levels.

Support British Food Producers!

British Seabuckthorn

Hillfarm Cold Pressed Rapeseed oils,  Or, for a taste of the mediterranean harvest, head to  Oil and Vinegar in Scotland

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