Lunchbox recipes: Carrot and pepita loaves

Mini carrot cakes.
Mini carrot cakes. Photo: Kristoffer Paulsen

I'm a carrot cake fiend, and this version, aptly adapted for the modern-age by home economist/kitchen garden specialist extraordinaire Jane Grylls, from an '80s copy of the Nursing Mothers' Association Cookbook, is the bee's knees of CCs. Baking it in little tins speeds up the process and creates lunch box-sized loaves.


2 eggs

1 cup olive oil

1 cup loosely packed soft brown sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

juice and zest of one orange

½ cup raisins

1 cup pepitas

2 cups grated carrot

1 cup self-raising flour (you can also substitute GF self-raising flour)

1 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp cinnamon

a few scrapes of fresh nutmeg

a pinch of sea salt


1. Grease an 8-hole mini loaf tin and preheat oven to 180C.

2. Beat eggs, oil and sugar together until smooth and glossy. Add orange juice, zest and vanilla. Stir in the raisins, half of the pepitas and grated carrot.

3. Sift over flour, spices and salt, stirring until just combined.

4. Spoon into mini loaf tins until two-thirds full, then scatter each loaf generously with more pepitas.

5. Bake for 25 minutes, or until springy and cooked through (a poke with a skewer should come out clean). Leave to cool in the pan, preferably on a rack.