Janet Jeffs` Canberra Cake

Enjoy this delicious walnut, apple, carrot and honey cake created with ingredients all grown in the Canberra 100 mile food shed. 



About this Recipe

2013 was a big year for Ginger and Canberra. The whole city celebrated the centenary of Canberra and was blessed with the opening of the National Arboretum Canberra, which we are thrilled to be able to call our home for the last 10 years since its opening.

As part of the centenary celebrations, Janet was tasked with creating a cake that spoke to the spirit of Canberra and from that this delicious walnut, apple, carrot and honey cake was born with a list of ingredients all sourced from within a 100-mile radius of Canberra.

As happens in life, the landscape of Canberra suppliers has changed over the past ten years with some of the treasured growers the were included in the original recipe moved onto other ventures or sadly were unable to continue through the trials of drought, bushfires or the covid pandemic. So to commemorate 10 years of the National Arboretum Canberra and the Canberra Cake we are rereleasing the recipe with a current selection of Canberra region growers which delight our tastebuds with their fresh, local produce. 


Canberra Cake being iced
Not a baker? The Canberra Cake is a staple in the pastry fridges at the Café at the Arboretum, available daily from 9am  4pm. You can also order full cakes to be served in the restaurant, Ginger at the Arboretum or to take home. Contact the restaurant team via email restaurant@thegingergroup.com.au or phone 02 6130 0173 to find out more information and place orders.
Canberra cake ingredients being added to the mixture
Homeleigh Grove Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Canberra Cake Recipe


20cm round cake

Ready In:

1hr 20min

  • 250g  Featherdale Batlow walnuts, roughly chopped
  • 250g Tanbella Orchard apples, peeled, cored and diced
  • 3 Southern Harvest Association carrots, grated
  • 300g Demeter biodynamic bakers flour from Gunnedah
  • 250g Murringo honey
  • 4 Long Paddock Farm eggs
  • 200ml Homeleigh Grove extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 ground cardamom
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  •  tsp bicarbonate soda

Cream Cheese Icing

  • 210g soft room-temperature cream cheese
  • 170g soft room-temperature butter
  • 250g soft icing sugar, sifted
  • 15g vanilla bean paste
  • 5ml lemon juice
  • Walnuts and edible flowers to garnish
Completed Canberra Cake


To make the cake

Preheat your oven at 180°C. Line a 20cm round cake tin with baking paper.

Sift all your dry ingredients in a large bowl, set aside. Place all your liquid ingredients in a large mixing bowl, add your grated carrots, grated apples, and walnuts to the liquid, mix on low setting for 30 – 50 seconds. Slowly add all your sifted dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in the mixing bowl, mix well for about 8 minutes, the mixture will be quite runny.

Pour the ingredients into your cake tin. Bring your temperature down to 150°C and bake for 50-60 minutes with no fan.

Cream Cheese Icing

Beat cream cheese until light and fluffy. Add soft butter and beat very well, scraping the bowl occasionally.

Add the icing sugar slowly and beat again very well. Add lemon juice and vanilla bean Beat until all combined.

Once the cake has cooled completely, ice the top of the cake with a thick layer.

Garnish with walnuts and edible flower petals.


Canberra Cake Mixture
Cream cheese icing mixture being beaten until light and fluffy
Canberra Cake

Café at the Arboretum is Closed Tuesday 24th January and Wednesday 25th January

The whole Village Centre will be closed during this time. The Arboretum grounds, POD Playground and National Bonsai & Penjing Collection will remain open during this time.