So this was the first time I had ever made carrot cake, and I have to say it was incredibly divine. I made this cake for my fiance’s birthday – his favourite Indian dessert is Gajar ka Halwa and he also loves a good carrot cake so I thought why not combine the two? The result was phenomenal.
Carrot cake is quite a well spiced cake anyway, so it’s not so difficult to give it a gajar ka halwa twist. What makes this carrot cake a hybrid is three ingredients – the nuts you put in (I used pecans and cashews, but I think pistachios would take it to the next level too), ghee and cardamom!
Let’s be honest, gajar ka halwa is a pretty addictive dessert, but this gajar ka halwa carrot cake is on another level of delicious!! Especially if you like both carrot cake and gajar ka halwa as individual treats! Writing about this is really making me crave some, it’s a good thing I’ve got left overs sitting downstairs.
Here’s a picture of a slice and just look at the gorgeous colour! It tasted rich and decadent and went so well with the cardamom spiced cream cheese frosting!
I hope you try this recipe out and enjoy it with friends and family! Let me know how your gajar ka halwa carrot cakes turn out in the comments below 🙂
Gajar ka Halwa Carrot Cake
- 300 grams light or dark brown sugar
- 100 grams caster sugar
- 120 ml vegetable ghee I used vegetable ghee because regular ghee might have given the cake a distinct smell
- 120 ml vegetable oil you could also replace this with ghee so use 240ml vegetable ghee
- 4 eggs
- 133 grams sour cream you could replace this with plain yogurt
- 312 grams plain all purpose flour
- 1 tsp vanilla extract you could also use pistachio essence for more gajar ka halwa vibes!
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 and a 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 and a 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
- 1 tsp ground ginger powder
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 260 grams grated carrot use freshly grated carrots, not shop bought pre-grated carrots
- 96 grams pecans roasted and chopped, you can use walnuts instead
- 64 grams cashews roasted and chopped, you can use pistachios instead or replace the pecans with pistachios too!
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 250 grams unsalted butter room temperature
- 250 grams icing sugar
- 1 tbsp whipping cream
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 500 grams cream cheese use cold from the fridge and use a good brand, I used Philadelphia
- 1 tsp ground cardamom
- Preheat oven to 150°C. Line a tray with baking paper and spread your pecans and cashews out on it. Place in oven to roast for 5-8 minutes. Then remove and cool for 10-15 minutes. You can now either chop these by hand or be lazy like me and blitz them in the food processor until rough to finely chopped (not too big or small).
- Turn your oven up to 180°C. Grease two or three 9 inch round cake tins, line them with baking paper and then grease on top of the baking paper too (I used vegetable oil for greasing). You could also use 2 8-inch cake tins, but you'll have some extra mixture left over that you could bake in a small cake tin.
- Whisk the brown sugar, caster sugar, sour cream, oil, eggs and vanilla in a bowl and ensure all sugar lumps disappear. In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices together. Pour the wet mixture into the dry ingredients bowl and fold together with a wooden spoon/spatula until combined. Add in the carrots, chopped pecans and cashews, fold to combine.
- Pour the mixture evenly into your cake tins. If you're using three cake tins, then bake for 20-25 minutes and if using two tins, bake for 30-35 minutes. Check the centre of the cakes with a skewer stick or knife and it should come out clean, showing the cakes are done. Run a butter knife around the sides of the cake tins to ensure cake comes out smoothly. Remove the cakes from the tins onto a wire rack and allow to cool completely before icing with cream cheese frosting.
Cream Cheese Frosting
- Beat the butter and icing sugar together well for 5 minutes, make sure to scrape the sides to ensure there are no lumps of butter.
- Add cream cheese, whipping cream, vanilla and cardamom – whip for another 3-4 minutes until creamy. If your frosting is too runny, add some more icing sugar.
- Once the cakes are cooled, you can assemble! Add a thick layer of frosting onto the bottom layer and then top with second layer. Then cover the top and sides with frosting too!
- Carrot cake is a difficult cake to decorate, and personally, I am not a fan of little marzipan carrots for the top. I decided to decorate with some chopped pecans and cashews. I then dipped some whole pecans and cashews in edible gold glitter powder and placed them on top. I also used a peeler to shave some fresh carrot ribbons and covered them in the gold powder. Then roll the ribbons into little carrot roses that can be placed in random places on the top of the cake!