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Carrot Cake

Whenever we are getting ready for a long trip I try to limit our grocery shopping to the minimum and we live the last few days before the trip in a survival mode meaning we need to survive only on what we can find in the fridge, freezer and pantry.

Usually it works very well, but there are always these last few items that you need to find a creative use for. Well, this is my kind of challenge.

Two days before our trip, I still had heavy cream, cream cheese and lots of carrots.

What will you do ?? Well I know most reasonable people will just pass it along and won't get into baking adventures when they have a million other things to do, but for me there was one answer: carrot cake!

Now what will you do with a huge carrot cake 2 days before departure? Share it of course! and I couldn't think of a better person to share it with than with Shosh, our dear friend who volunteered to watch our dog Luna while we are away.

For the cake I used my old favorite recipe.

For decorating ideas I decided to look online, since I got bored with the simple way I usually do it. In my search I found the most amazing cake. It was decorated with 3 colored flowers (red, yellow, orange) made of carrots shave and rosemary leaves. So simple and so beautiful. Well, I only had one color carrots and didn't plan on going to purchase more because the whole idea was to use whatever I have on hand. Also, I didn't have rosemary leaves. So I went to my neighbors herb garden to look for some. I couldn't find rosemary, but I did find those beautiful lavender flowers and their leaves looks just like rosemary leaves. I added chopped walnuts to it and the end result exceeded my expectations. I absolutely love it. This is one of the most beautiful cakes I ever made, and it's yummy too.


For the cake:

2 cups applesauce.

½ cup oil.

3 eggs at room temperature.

1 teaspoon vanilla extract.

2 cups flour.

1 teaspoon baking soda.

1 ½ teaspoon baking powder.

½ teaspoon salt.

1 teaspoon cinnamon.

¼ teaspoon cloves.

¼ teaspoon allspice.

¼ teaspoon ginger.

¼ teaspoon nutmeg.

2 cups grated carrots.

1 cup shredded coconut.

1 cup chopped walnuts/pecans.

For the cream cheese frosting:

2 package cream cheese 16 oz/450 gr at room temperature.

¾ cup sugar.

2 cups heavy cream - divided.

4 tablespoons instant vanilla pudding.

2 teaspoons vanilla extract.

For the topping:

¼ cup shredded walnuts.

Some lavender flowers with leaves.

Few carrot shaves, rolled into rose shape.


Make the cake:

  1. Preheat your oven to 180°c/350°c.

  2. Line 3 9 inch springform pans with parchment paper and spray with oil.

  3. Mix the oil,vanilla extract, eggs and applesauce together.

  4. In a separate bowl mix flour,baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, allspice and cloves and add to the egg mixture. Stir only until combined.

  5. Add the coconut, nuts and shredded carrots and only mix until combined.

  6. Pour the mixture evenly between 3 pans.

  7. Bake for 20-30 min, until toothpick comes out dry.

  8. Cool completely.

Make the frosting:

  1. In a mixer bowl whip together cream cheese, vanilla extract and sugar until well combined. Stop to scrape the sides as needed.

  2. Gradually add 1 cup heavy cream to the mixture, stop to scrape the sides as needed.

  3. In a separate bowl whip the remaining cup of heavy cream with the vanilla pudding until well combined. Stop to scrape the sides if needed.

  4. Combine the 2 mixtures and whip on high speed until you get medium to stiff peaks.

  5. Divide to 4 quarters.

Assemble the cake:

  1. Place the first cake layer on your serving plate and top with ¼ of the frosting, repeat with the 2nd layer of cake. Don't forget to remove the parchment paper before assembling the cake.

  2. Place the 3rd cake layer on top and place another 1/4 of the frosting as crumb coat - coating the cake in a thin layer all around.

  3. Chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours. Keep the remaining ¼ of the frosting in the fridge as well.

  4. Coat the cooled cake evenly with the last ¼ of frosting using a spatula then smooth it with the back of a tablespoon forming smooth waves.

Garnish :

  1. Along one side of the cake spread the walnuts.

  2. Place the lavender flowers on top of the walnuts.

  3. Arrange the leaves next to the flowers.

  4. Plant the carrot flowers sporadically.


More options:

  • You can substitute 1 cup of applesauce with 1 cup of crushed pineapples (if using canned pineapple, you can crush it with the juice).

  • You can skip the coconut.

  • You can skip the walnuts.

  • You can skip any or all of the spices.

  • You can use simple garnish like half pecans around the cake/ chopped walnuts/ dust of cinnamon. You can also keep it plain - white and elegant.

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