Monday, 23 January 2017

Carrot Cake with Homemade Cream Cheese Frosting

Carrot Cake with Homemade cream cheese frosting
Just the third week of January and the winter chill is quickly fading, the essence of winter according to me are the fruits and vegetables that we find in abundance in our local markets, the highlight most definitely being those bright vermilion carrots. Sweet, moist and juicy these winter arrivals make everyone go ga-ga over them and one of India's most loved dessert - Gajar ka Halwa (Carrot and milk solids pudding with dry fruits and nuts) is repeatedly made with these in almost all households during their three month tenure.

I never deter from making a batch (or three) myself, but this year I thought of putting them to an alternative use, besides pickling them or making a pudding.

Years ago when the term Carrot Cake started doing the rounds, I thought it would be some sort of pseudonym for a fancy cake and didn't in the world imagine that a cake could actually me made out of carrots. Well that was atleast ten years back before the internet took over our food choices and opened a whole new galaxy of food parings and ingredients.

So if you are still particularly clueless and or mentally balk at the idea of eating a cake made with a vegetable, don't be. 

Though I've never tried a store bought carrot cake, I did read through many a recipe on the same before collating all of them and creating my own, it has been my source of pride and joy since that day and continues to be amongst the top five of all of my cake recipes.

A friend visiting my home around tea time will invariably find this yummy treat to accompany our Parsi style choi-fudna ni choi (mint and lemon grass tea) and since juicy red carrots are in season I urge to try this recipe for your self, I promise that you will be a veggie cake lovin convert!

The cake in the pictures was made for my aunts birthday and every year she gives me new challenges to execute her birthday cakes, the usual caveat is no chocolate and no fruit cakes, so this year I deviously morphed my good ol' tea cake recipe to suit a celebration by layering it with home made cream cheese frosting (easy to make at the pittance of the cost of what one would pay for a 400 gm block of Philly cream cheese).

Read on for both recipes.

For the Cake

You will need:

1/2 cup flour (maida)
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp all spice powder (optional)
1 egg
5 tbsps vegetable oil
1/4 cup + 4 tbsps dermerera sugar (use plain white sugar if dermerera is not available)
2 tbsps milk
3/4 cup shredded carrots
1/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)


In a bowl whisk together all dry ingredients and keep aside.

In another large mixing bowl whisk together the egg, milk and sugar until the sugar has almost (80%) dissolved.

Now add in all the remaining ingredients in two batches folding in gently.

Pour the batter into a pre lined and greased 7 inch cake tin.

Bake in a preheated oven @180 degrees Celsius for 40 - 50 mins.


For the Cream Cheese Frosting

You will need:

4 cups (1 ltr) whole milk (full fat, not low fat)
2-3 tablespoons lemon juice (lime juice or white vinegar)
1 teaspoon salt
Icing sugar 1 - 2 tbsps
1 tsp softened butter
Gold or silver dragees (sugar balls)


In a heavy bottomed saucepan, heat the milk on med-high. Stirring constantly until it starts a rolling simmer.

Reduce the heat to medium and add the lemon juice 1 tablespoon at a time, in 1 minute intervals.

Continue stirring constantly.

Continue cooking until the mixture curdles, stir constantly till the mixture has separated completely, this should take just a few minutes. There will be a green liquid on the bottom and thick curdles on top. Remove from the heat. This should happen within a few minutes.

Lay a sieve with a cheesecloth over a large bowl. Pour the curd mix into the sieve. Let it strain and cool for about 15 minutes.

Transfer curds to a food processor and process until curds have come together and are totally smooth and creamy. It will take around 3-4 minutes. Keep going if your cream cheese is grainy.

Add salt and taste. Add more if you want more flavor.

Now add in sugar to taste and a tsp of soft butter mix well.

Your quick and easy home made cream cheese frosting is ready!

Slather over your cake, sprinkle some gold or silver dragees and you a pretty little party cake ready!


  1. Pari can I use the red carrots available in winter for this cake?
    Orange english carrots are totally out of season in my town


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