carrot cake, lemon frosting

March 21, 2015



every time we go to an american-style bakery, a. takes cookies, m. takes the carrot cake, and s. takes the cheesecake.

m. is always craving for carrot cake, so we worked on a recipe everyone at home might love: walnuts but no pecan nuts, not too much sugar, and a lot of flavors.


we don’t really like frosting with a lot of butter, so we tend to replace it with mascarpone, which brings a creamy texture and a delicate flavor. we also added some lemon juice to the frosting to bring some acidity and to offset the sweetness and creaminess.


this is quite a heavy cake, not the light and airy kind, but with all the different flavors, spices, lemon, carrots, it’s quite fresh and not stodgy at all.

hope you’ll like it!


for one large cake:


for the cake:


110 g butter

3 eggs

70 g caster sugar

70 g cane sugar

1 tbsp vanilla sugar or 1tsp vanilla extract

4 tbsp orange juice

160g flour

20g almond powder

2 tbsp baking powder

a pinch of black pepper

a pinch of salt

½ tsp cardamom powder

½ tsp ginger powder

½ tsp grated nutmeg

2 tsp cinnamon

250 g finely grated carrots

100g chopped walnuts

90 g apple sauce


for the frosting:


150 g philadelphia cream cheese

250 g mascarpone

30 g icing sugar

20 g lemon juice

2 tbsp vanilla sugar


toast the walnuts in the oven at 190°C (374 F) until they turn deep gold (this shouldn’t take more than a few minutes. be careful not to burn them, it can go very quickly once the oven is hot).


preheat the oven to 175°C (350F)

melt the butter.

in a bowl, whisk together the eggs, the caster sugar and cane sugar until smooth and fluffy. add the butter, the vanilla, the orange juice and mix.

Incorporate the sifted flour, the baking powder, the almond powder and the spices (pepper, salt, cardamom, ginger, nutmeg and cinnamon). mix until it’s combined.

add finally the apple sauce, the grated carrots and the chopped toasted walnuts.

butter and flour a round pan.

bake for 45 minutes (until a knife comes out clean). leave it to cool completely.


in a bowl, whisk together the cream cheese, the mascarpone, the icing sugar, the vanilla sugar and the lemon juice until smooth.


cut the cake in two, to end up with two cake layers.

spread a third of the frosting inside the cake, and the rest all over the cake.

refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.



piece of advice:

  • if you’re missing cardamom, ginger or apple sauce, it’s not the end of the world, you can of course still make the cake! It will be a little less complex in terms of flavor intensity, but still very good

  • this cake is even better the next day. with the frosting on top, you can keep it 2 days


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