How to make Brazilian Carrot Cake
Carrot cakes made with grated carrots and spices in the dough and then covered with cream cheese icing are well known all over the world. But the version that is part of my childhood memory is quite different.
In Brazil, the carrot is first beaten together with sugar and oil in a blender until it dissolves completely. Then it is incorporated into the dough which gives a yellowish colour very characteristic of the Brazilian carrot cake. The dough is softer and more aerated than the international version. Also, the great thing about the Brazilian carrot cake is to cover the cake with chocolate frosting, the bitterness of chocolate contrasts perfectly with the smoothness of the aerated dough.
Every Brazilian family has a carrot cake recipe to call their own. I adapted this homemade recipe from my grandmother’s recipe book to achieve more specific measures and guarantee a cake that is always fluffy and soft.
Tips for a Carrot Fluffy Cake
Use the right amount of carrots
Carrot is a dense ingredient, too much carrot will make the dough heavy and the cake may not grow. In addition, each carrot has a different size, so it is important to measure carrots by weight or cups (cut into small pieces), not units.
Avoid flour lumps
The cake dough needs to be smooth and light. Any flour lump in the dough could make it not growing so well. So it is important to beat the carrot and then mix with the flour very well. That step of sifting the flour before mixing with the other ingredients helps with that.
Carrot cake made in the blender? Sure, but only part of the recipe.
I know it’s tempting to beat all the ingredients in the blender, but the dough of this cake is too dense for that. The tip is to machine blend only the carrot, eggs, oil and sugar. Then mix gently with the flour and yeast by hand in a separate bowl.
Preheat the oven whenever baking cakes
Rule #1 for the success of any cake is to preheat the oven. Domestic ovens take a while to warm up completely. So, first, turn the oven on.
Choose your prefered chocolate topping
The discussion of which is the best topping or icing for the chocolate cake is great. The chocolate topping of this recipe is the same as my childhood, which is harder and with an intense flavour. But you can also vary:
- Brigadeiro topping: brigadeiro is a typical Brazilian sweet made with chocolate, condensed milk and butter. If using as a topping, add a little bit of milk cream
- Chocolate ganache: melt a chocolate bar with butter and a bit of cream.
The truth is that you can’t go wrong in the chocolate topping.
Check out our Brazilian carrot cake recipe:
Brazilian Carrot Cake with Chocolate Topping
- 2 cups carrot - cut into small pieces (aprox. 3 carrots)
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup vegetable oil - neutral flavour
- 1 ½ cups sugar
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- pinch salt
- butter + all purpose flour - or greasing and flowing the cake tray
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 cup chocolate powder
- 4 tbsp sugar
- ½ cup milk
For the Cake
- Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Grease the baking tray with butter, sprinkle with flour and remove the excess.
- In a large bowl, sift the flour, baking powder and salt.
- In a blender, add the carrots, oil, eggs and sugar. Beat until completely smooth.
- Transfer the ingredients from the blender to the bowl with the dry ingredients.
- Mix everything gently with a fouet or spatula until you get a homogeneous mixture, without too many lumps of flour.
- Transfer the dough to the baking tray.
- Bake for approx. 45 min (Test it: the cake is ready when you stick a toothpick in the middle of the cake and it comes out clean )
- Remove the cake from the oven and wait 10 min to remove from the pan and/or put the icing on.
For the chocolate topping
- Bring a medium saucepan to medium heat. Add butter, chocolate, sugar, stir well until melted
- Add the milk and stir until it boils.
- After boiling, wait another 4 minutes, stirring occasionally until it thickens.
- Remove from the heat and pour it over the cake immediately.
- Wait for about 5 minutes and serve.
- Can be made in a traditional (rectangular or circular) baking tray. But, it also gets beautiful in a Bundt cake pan.