April 9, 2012

Carrot shaped carrot cake

While I have baked many a cake, I usually frost or glaze them - never mustered enough courage use fondant. I love carrots and carrot cakes. Sadly, my best taste tester (read hubby) does not. Needless to say, I rarely bake carrot cakes. 
So when we invited our friends over this Easter, I decided to bake a carrot cake and cover it with marshmallow fondant. I used my favorite carrot cake recipe here and made a carrot shaped carrot cake. Here it goes.

Preparation time
For cake: 10 minutes
For cream cheese frosting: 15 minutes
For fondant rolling/ decorating: 30 minutes + 8 hours rest.
Bake time: 30 minutes + cooling time.

Carrot Cake
Cake Ingredients:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp coarse salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 3 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pans
  • 1 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 pound carrots (8 to 10 medium carrots), peeled and shredded
  • 1 cups walnuts, finely chopped.
Cake Method:
  • Grease and line a 11x9" sheet pan and a 8"x8" square pan (or any other shape) with parchment paper. I used only the sheet pan cake to make the carrot shape. I did not want to reduce the recipe to half, lest it changes the chemistry. You can use the other cake to make a smaller carrot, or any other shape. I just frosted it with cream cheese.
  • Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, ginger, and nutmeg.
  • Whip butter and sugar (Both white and brown) with a mixer on medium speed until fluffy. Add one egg at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla extract, water & grated carrots. Beat until well combined. 
  • Reduce speed to low, and add flour mixture, then finely chopped walnuts.The batter will be very thick.
  • Pour batter into prepared pans, dividing evenly. Bake for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Let cool completely.
Cream cheese frosting
Frosting Ingredients
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Frosting Method
  • In a large bowl, beat together the butter and cream cheese with an electric mixer. 
  • With the mixer on low speed, add the powdered sugar gradually until smooth and creamy. Add the vanilla extract and beat again.
Carrot Shape:
  • Cut the sheet cake along the long side into half. 
  • Frost one of the halves, with cream cheese frosting. 
  • Gently flip the other half over.
  • Cut and shape into a carrot, with narrow side being about 3/4" wide.
  • Frost entire cake with cream cheese frosting.
  • Refrigerate for 40 minutes.
Carrot top:
  • Cut a small piece of cake, about 2"x1". Frost with cream cheese. 
  • Layer with another piece, and frost completely. Refrigerate for 40 minutes.
Marshmallow fondant:
  • Prepare white marshmallow fondant as per this recipe a day ahead. Refrigerate for 8 hours wrapped in cling film. 
  • Orange fondant: 
    • Placing rolled fondant on carved cake
    • Pinch tennis ball sized fondant, and microwave for 15 seconds to bring it to soft maleable form.
    • Add yellow and red gel food color drops to get orange color. Start with couple drops and add as needed.
    • Knead till color is evenly blended.
    • Grease counter top thoroughly. With a rolling pin, the orange fondant into 1/2" thick disk. Greasing rolling pin might help the rolling process. Also, sprinkle corn starch/ powdered sugar to keep the fondant from sticking.
    • Trimmed excess fondant
    • Gently lift the rolled fondant and place on the cake.
    Lines and indentations to make it look 'real'.
    • Trim the excess from sides.
    • Use a cheese knife to make random lines on the fondant to resemble a real carrot.
  • Green fondant:
    • Follow same process to color a small piece of fondant into green, for the carrot top.
    • Roll and cover the carrot top. 
    • Trim and decorate. 
    • Attach to the carrot, using cream cheese frosting as glue.
With green fondant carrot topping
  • Everyone at the party seemed pleased, and my best taste tester loved the cake so much, that he finished whatever was left of the cake as a midnight snack!!

Bon Apetit!
Hetal from Houston

PS. You can use any carrot cake recipe, or even a box mix. 


  1. WOW!!! I am totally blown away by your amazing effort. Looks awesome and very professional. Way to go hetal !

  2. This is awesome stuff. Clearly, this requires a lot of technique!

  3. Thanks Amrita & Swagata. Its easier than it looks. Try it, and let me know! :)

  4. What a beautiful cake! Thank you for the review on the recipe since I'm going to make them this week. If my cake looks half as good as yours, I will be very happy.

    1. Jennifer - Thanks for your wonderful comments. Im sure yours will be better :) Send me a picture, please. Hetal

  5. When my son was 2 going on 3 I asked him what kind of cake he wanted for his birthday. He said Carrot cake. I was blown away because he never had a carrot cake before. I made him a homemade carrot cake with butter cream frosting. Again this year I asked him what kind of cake he would like for his 4th birthday and he said carrot cake. This year I am going to make this exact receipt and surprise him with a real looking carrot cake. Thanks so much for posting.

    1. Jasper - You're too kind. The cake is easier than it looks. Send me a picture of your cake. I would love love love to see it. And Happy birthday to your son :)