Carrot Cake with Seed Brittle & Tahini Cream Cheese Frosting
Everyone has their own idea of what a carrot cake should be. Some prefer mix-ins for added texture like walnuts and raisins, others opt for pineapple for added moisture-- all of this is to say, there's no right way to do it! While our idea of the perfect carrot cake may not be the same as yours, one thing is for sure and it's that you can't skip the Tahini Cream Cheese Frosting! This is a tried and true recipe we come back to again and again, and it's guaranteed to be delicious on any carrot cake variation of your choosing!
For the Cake
3 large eggs, at room temperature
¾ c coconut oil, plus more for greasing the pan
¾ c buttermilk
1½ c sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp ginger, cardamom, cloves
2 c all purpose flour
½ tsp salt
2 tsp baking soda
2 c shredded carrots
1 c coconut flakes
8oz crushed pineapple
1 c chopped walnuts
¼ c sesame seeds, optional
Tahini Cream Cheese Frosting
8 oz cream cheese, softened
4 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
3 c powdered sugar
¼ c Seed + Mill Organic Tahini
1 tsp vanilla extract
¼ tsp salt
Nut & Seed Brittle
1 c sugar
1 c water
½ c mixed nuts & seeds
For the Cake
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two 8-inch pans with coconut oil. If using the sesame seeds, empty them into the greased cake pan and rotate until the bottom and side of the pan are evenly coated. Repeat with the second pan, using the excess seeds from the first.
In a large bowl, whisk eggs, buttermilk, oil, sugar and vanilla until smooth. In another large bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt, and spices until well incorporated. Gently fold the dry ingredients into the egg mixture, until just combined. Fold in shredded carrots, coconut, crushed pineapple with juice and walnuts. Mix well to combine.
Pour the batter into prepared cake pans and bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of cake comes out clean. Allow to cool cool completely before inverting onto a plate or wire rack.
For the Frosting
- Add all of the ingredients into a stand mixer and beat until well combined and fluffy (approx. 2-3 mins, a hand held mixer works fine here too).
- The frosting can be made up to 2 days in advance and kept in the fridge.
For the Brittle
Pour the water and sugar into a small pan and place over a low heat to dissolve the sugar. Make sure that the water doesn’t boil before it has dissolved.
Once the sugar has dissolved, increase the heat (make sure you don’t stir during this process). Boil the syrup for approximately 10 mins, or until it turns a golden color. Watch the caramel carefully so that it doesn't burn.
While the sugar is boiling, spread the nuts & seeds over a piece of parchment paper on a sheet pan or chopping board and have an additional piece of parchment paper handy.
Once the sugar syrup starts to turn into a golden caramel color, give it a gentle swirl to make sure it's evenly cooked and then pour it immediately over the chopped nuts, making sure that all of the nuts are covered.
Allow the nuts and sugar to cool into a flat sheet (approx 10 mins). Once cool, place the second piece of parchment paper over the top and use a rolling pin to smash into small shards (you can make big chunks or more of a crumble mix, as you prefer!). The praline can be made up to a week in advance and stored in the fridge.
- Get creative frosting and decorating the cake! We love the rustic look of exposed sides (especially with this recipe!), so we only put the frosting between the layers and on top, then studded it with shards of the brittle.