carrot cake

carrot cake

exotic pistachio and cardamom carrot cake layered with jam

prep: 30'
bake: 20-30'
8 large slices

I bake this on a tray and cut it with a round cutter. it takes half as long to bake and I don’t have to stand in front of the oven watching it.


  • 350g (2 1⁄3 cups) coarsely grated carrot
  • 250g (2 cups) plain flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 8g (2 tsp) baking powder
  • 200g (1 cup) caster sugar
  • 180ml (3⁄4 cup) vegetable oil
  • a pinch of salt

optional ingredients

  • 6g (1 tbsp) ground cardamom
  • 2g (1 tsp) ground cinnamon
  • 30g (1⁄4 cup) chopped or slivered pistachios

ingredients for the icing

  • 500g (2 cups) heavy cream or cream cheese
  • 300g (1 1⁄2 cup) caster sugar

ingredients for the carrot jam

  • 200g (1 1⁄2 cup) finely grated carrot
  • 150g ( 3⁄4 cup) caster sugar
  • optionally, 1g (1⁄2 tsp) ground cardamom


  • grease a 30x40cm (12x16 inch) oven tray with baking spray or line it with baking paper
  • preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F
  • mix the dry ingredients in a bowl
  • make sure to squeeze all the carrot juice out of the grated carrot after weighing or you will end up with a soggy (and raw) cake
  • gently fold the prepared carrot in the dry ingredients
  • beat the eggs and the sugar with an electric mixer until pale and thick
  • mixer still on, drizzle in the oil and gradually add the carrot mixture for a few minutes
  • if you are adding ground cardamom and cinnamon, now is the time
  • pour the batter and spread evenly into the prepared tray
  • bake for 20-30 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean
  • set aside for an hour to cool

preparation of the icing

  • beat the heavy cream or cream cheese and sugar with an electric mixer until the sugar is fully dissolved
  • if using heavy cream, continue beating until the cream is whipped and formed for three minutes

preparation of the jam

  • combine the grated carrot with the sugar in a saucepan
  • cook on a medium heat for 10-15 minutes until the carrots are cooked and the syrup is thick
  • if you want to add an extra boost of aroma to the jam, add ground cardamom
  • to assemble, cut three 20cm discs out of the cake using a cake cutter

Don’t worry if you break the discs or if they’re not perfectly round - you can use odd bits and pieces and patch them back together; just use the imperfect disc as the middle layer. Put the first layer on a cake stand and spread 3 spoonfuls of jam into the centre followed by a third of the icing. If you’re adding pistachios (and I strongly recommend that you do), scatter a third of them onto the cream cheese. Repeat with the second and third layer, then pipe the final third of the icing on top with the remaining pistachios and a few dots of carrot jam.

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