Carrot Pistachio Cake



  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, chilled until solid
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup carrots steamed until soft, and mashed
  • 1/3 cup grated raw carrots
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup shredded coconut unsweetened
  • 1/4 cup pistachios shelled and finely chopped

Cream Cheese Frosting & Garnishes

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup cream cheese softened
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 2 cups confectioner's sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • one large carrot, peeled and shaved into long ribbons
  • 1/4 cup pistachios shelled and roughly chopped


Step 1

Cake: Preheat oven to 350F. Butter three 6-inch round cake pans, and line the bottoms with parchment. Butter the parchment.

Step 2

In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and coconut oil on high speed for 1-2 minutes until well combined and pale.

Step 3

Add the sugars, and cream on medium high speed until pale and fluffy, 3-4 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat on low to combine.

Step 4

Add the mashed carrots, shaved carrots, and coconut, and beat on low speed to combine. Small lumps are ok, this is not a smooth batter!

Step 5

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients in three or four additions, mixing on low after each one until no streaks of flour remain.

Step 6

Divide the batter evenly among the prepared pans, and bake at 350F for 15 minutes, rotate pans, then bake for another 10 minutes and check. You don't want to overbake. Cake is done when it starts to come away from the sides of the pan, the top is golden brown, and the center is no longer jiggly. Cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes, then turn out upside down to cool completely.

Step 7

Frosting Clean out the stand mixer and put the paddle back on.

Step 8

Beat the butter, corn syrup and cream cheese until well combined and fluffy. Add the confectioner's sugar and salt and beat on medium high until all the sugar is incorporated. Add the lemon juice and crank up the speed again, beating on medium high for 2-3 minutes until the frosting is super smooth and creamy.

Step 9

To assemble, You can level the cakes or just go with the lumpy tops. Set your base layer, frost, top with second layer and repeat. Leave the sides naked, and frost the top leaving some swoops and swirls. Top with shaved carrot rolls and the remaining pistachio bits. Hooray!

photo by Sam Simon