Carrot Cake with Candied Carrot Tops

Carrot cake with a twist! This recipe is gluten-free and promotes less waste by using carrot tops to decorate.


Serves 8

Preparation Time

Cook time

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Cook's NoteOnly candy the carrot tops just before serving the cake, as the sugar coating can weep onto the cake if made too far in advance.
Product TipThis cake sponge recipe fills 2 x 24cm Le Creuset springform cake tins. if you want to make one layer, simply halve the recipe.
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For the carrot cake batter:

  • 10 free-range eggs
  • 350g brown sugar
  • 6 cups grated carrots, reserving the tops
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 840g almond flour or ground almonds
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 80g cranberries, chopped
  • 200g pecans, roughly chopped
  • 80g desiccated coconut
  • 300ml canola oil

For the icing:

  • 500g butter, softened
  • 2 tubs full fat cream cheese
  • 500g icing sugar, sifted
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence

For the candied carrot tops:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup water
  • Reserved carrot tops
  • 100g raw pistachios, blitzed


Preheat the oven to 160°C. Whisk the eggs and sugar with an electric mixer for 8 minutes or until light, fluffy and tripled in volume.

Place the carrot, vanilla, almond flour, spices, baking powder, cranberries, pecans, coconut and oil in a large bowl and mix to combine. Gently fold half of the egg mixture in before incorporating the rest of the eggs fully. Divide the mixture between 2 x greased and lined 24cm Le Creuset Springform Cake Tins. Bake for 55 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Set aside to cool slightly before removing from the tins to cool completely on a wire rack.

To make the icing, cream the butter and cream cheese in a food processor or electric cake mixer until smooth. Add the remaining ingredients and cream again until silky. Trim the top of one of the cakes. Spread with the icing, then top with the remaining cake and ice the surface completely to serve.

For the candied carrots, simmer the sugar syrup until dissolved and reduced to a caramel. Once light gold in colour, remove from the heat and carefully dip the carrot tops into the caramel to coat (except the green parts). Place on baking paper to cool and set, then use to decorate the cake immediately and sprinkle a generous amount of blitzed pistachio “soil”.