Carrot cake

August 23, 2010  •  Category:


No question carrot cake is a great American classic now popular all over the globe. I wanted to make an overthe-top carrot cake for my dad’s milestone eighty-years-young birthday tomorrow. Here is what I came up with:

This cake is extra moist.

INGREDIENTS: One 12-inch round cake pan, lined with parchment paper

  • 3 cups of grated carrots
  • 2 cups of flour (can substitute one cup of semolina)
  • 1/2 cup of almond flour
  • 1 1/2 cups of white sugar
  • 1/2 cup of grape  molasses (can use honey or apple cider  molasses or maple syrup)
  • 2 teaspoons of baking soda and baking powder, a dash of salt
  • 2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
  • 1 1/4 cup of vegetable oil
  • 4 extra-large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract and the rind of an orange
  • 1/2 cup of grated coconut
  • 1/2 cup of raisins, soaked in hot water till plump (about 2 hours)

For the frosting:

  • 400 g or 2 boxes of cream cheese spread (I used Puck brand)
  • 2 to 3 cups of powdered sugar (to taste, stop when it tastes too sweet)
  • 175 g of butter (almost 2 sticks), unsalted
  • 2 teaspoons of orange blossom water

For the garnishing:

  • 2 cups of pistachios, soaked in water for one or two hours, then peeled and dried and chopped extra fine.
  • some gold leaf (optional!)


  1. In one bowl, place the dry ingredients and whisk for a few seconds to mix them well: flour, semolina (if using), almond flour, baking soda and powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.
  2. In a mixing bowl, place the eggs, sugar, molasses and oil. Mix until the ingredients are well combined.
  3. Add the flour mixture, then the carrots and mix well; add the coconut and raisins. Mix and pour into a baking pan greased and lined with parchment paper. Bake at 350F (180C-200C) for about 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted towards the middle of the cake comes out clean. Cool, frost and cool again. Garnish with the pistachios and serve.
  4. For the frosting: Place the butter and cream cheese in a mixing bowl; mix till smooth, add the sugar gradually and the orange blossom water. Mix till smooth and using a spatula, spread all over the cake.

NOTE: Serve the cake in small portions like a wedding cake. Form a circle two inches from the circumference of the cake and cut small portions two inches in width; then form another circle, and so on until the cake is all gone.

NOTE: Try to find fresh carrots and grate them fine, not coarse; they will release a lot of water and this, along with the molasses or honey,  will help the cake stay moist.


44 Comments  •  Comments Feed

  1. Rosa says:

    What a beautifully moist carrot cake! Yummy!



  2. Conor @ HoldtheBeef says:

    Excellent recipe, I totally love the inclusion of coconut! I’ll have to try adding coconut to my usual carrot cupcake recipe. Really interested by the apple molasses too.

  3. Esther Cervantes says:

    Happy birthday to your dad!

    The pistachio garnish is lovely.

  4. elra says:

    I love the almond, pistachios, and oh, orange blossom water. Intrigued by the apple molasses too. The cake is moist and not the average carrot cake. Delicious!

  5. Susan says:

    What a delightful carrot cake recipe, Joumana! I love the addition of pistachios over the cream cheese frosting. Brilliant!

  6. Susan says:

    Forgot to add – Happy Birthday wishes to your father!

  7. T.W. Barritt says:

    I love the dusting of pistachio nuts – how beautiful! Happy Birthday to your Dad!

  8. Emil says:

    wow i love it oh and happy birthday to your dad

  9. Sue Stephens says:

    This sounds fabulous – I love carrot cake and this recipe has some great ingredients. Thanks for posting it!

  10. Katerina says:

    Happy Birthday to your father. May he live many happy and healthy years. I love carrot cake and coconut and pistachios are my husband’s favorites.

  11. Pauline says:

    Doesn’t that look gorgeous – no wonder your dad is 80 years young with food like this. A very happy birthday to him!

  12. Hélène (Cannes) says:

    I love carrot cake … especilly when it’s covered with plenty of cream cheese frosting ! ;o)

  13. Hélène (Cannes) says:

    POur le coup, je me souviens que tu parles parfaitement français ! ;o))) C’est ça, les retours e vacances !

  14. Angie's Recipes says:

    This is an unique carrot cake loaded with all the goodness and flavours!
    Love that pistachio garnish.

  15. Sarah Galvin (All Our Fingers in the Pie) says:

    This is so good. Love the cultural twist with the simple carrot cake.

  16. gloria says:

    I really love carrot cake and this look awesome! nice picture! x gloria

  17. Sophie says:

    What a moist & different carrot cake, flavourfull!!

  18. jenny says:

    carrot cake is my favorite cake and i never thought of putting orange blossom water in the icing! perfection!!!!! can’t wait to try it.

  19. Velva says:

    I cannot even begin to tell you how much I love carrot cake. The crushed pistachios alone around the edge of the frosting is a beautiful addition. I will be using this idea in all future carrot cakes or other cakes.

    Happy Birthday to your 80-year old young dad!

  20. Suman Singh says:

    Birthday wishes to your Dad.

    Carrot cake looks so soft and moist indeed…love that pistachio garnish..

  21. Mika says:

    What a texture!!!
    I like that you use molasses! I have never heard about apple molasses, but I will try it with the traditional one…

  22. sweffling says:

    A beautifully crafted blog as always and a super recipe: you are so restrained to eat such small portions – I wish I had your self-control! Hope you and your Dad had a good birthday celebration.

  23. Adelina says:

    Wow!!! The ingredients in this dish are filled with flavor. I don’t even have to taste it, but I can smell it.

    Great recipe! Happy birthday to your daddy. I wish him lots of health and happiness!

  24. grace says:

    my favorite! i love that your ingredient list includes delicious items like apple molasses and orange blossom water. this is a unique version of one of the finest cakes in the world!

  25. sweetlife says:

    perfect for such a great celebration!! Happy bday to your father…yummy


  26. Faith says:

    Happy Birthday to your Dad! Your carrot cake is lovely, Joumana. It looks moist and full of flavor!

  27. Mathai says:

    Best wishes to your father and hope he has a great day!
    ps. that cake looks so moist and lovely 🙂

  28. Sonia says:

    Wor, this look super delicious, I especially love the pistachios garnishing, you are very creative!!

  29. Amanda says:

    I hope your father had a very happy birthday.
    I’m sure if someone made me such a delicious looking cake it would make me smile!

  30. citronetvanille says:

    Quand je suis arrivée aux US, impossible de me faire manger du gâteau à la carotte, depuis j’ai changé d’avis…maintenant j’adore. Ton gâteau est vraiment moëlleux, ca se voit très bien sur la photo, superbement réussi, car comme tu le dis, la carotte fait ressortir son eau, ce qui peut faire rater le gâteau.

  31. MaryMoh says:

    Happy Birthday to your dad! A beautiful cake for his birthday. I love carrot cake, too, with lots of cream…mmm

  32. Sushma Mallya says:

    Awesome cake, looks so moist…

  33. pierre says:

    salut joumana
    suite à ton message chez moi tu me demandais à quand une recette avec du coquelicot?
    la réponse est là !!!:

    je ne suis pas fan de carotte cake mais ton petit frosting a l’air topissime !! grosses bises de la capitale !Pierre

  34. Anna says:

    Wow …that’s probably the most beautiful carrot cake I have ever seen. Luuuuuv the pistachios on top. Yummmm.

  35. Maria @ ScandiFoodie says:

    I’ve been wanting to make carrot cake for a while now and yours looks absolutely heavenly, so moist! Thanks for sharing, I’ll bookmark this recipe 🙂

  36. Stella says:

    Oh Joumana! I love carrot cake, and your’e right. It is one of the foods we eat here in the states that is a true American classic and, luckily, still made regularly. Yours looks wonderful! And I hope your Dad has a great birthday…
    p.s. that’s too cute about your son and peanut butter. I have a friend in Italy that makes people mail it to her there;)

  37. FOODESSA says:

    I already do have a fabulous carrot cake dessert that Hubby is in love with. Now the question is…since your bragging so much about yours…how shall I present him this change of recipe?
    The carrots have been sweet lately…I certainly will try this version of yours ;o) He’ll just have to make one more sacrifice away from my tried and true.

    Happy belated birthday to you Papa!

    Flavourful wishes,

  38. shayma says:

    happy 80th-very-young birthday, mashallah, to your father! best wishes to him. and i love the way you have decorated the cake w pistachios in that particular style. x shayma

  39. Muneeba says:

    Gosh I love carrot cake! Wish I could make my dad love it too, but alas :p
    Anyhooooo … hope you and your dad had a great time!

    Btw, I might try substituting the flour with semolina next time … that’s a fascinating tip!

  40. Oui, Chef says:

    Hmmm…I’ve been looking for a new and different carrot cake recipe, and this one looks very special indeed. Love the idea of almond flour and semolina in the mix. – S

  41. Dana says:

    I love the look of the pistachios used as garnish. Happy birthday to your Dad!

  42. Jamie says:

    Fabulous recipe!!! I have a spicy carrot snack cake I make all the time and simply love but yours is wow! Love the pistachios and coconut. Marvelous! Will try next time I am in the mood for carrot cake. Scrumptious!

  43. Moudi says:

    can I substitute rice flour for almond flour?

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