Saturday, July 24, 2010

Kick Ass Carrot Cake with Pistachio Buttercream

I saw this recipe for Leena's Kick Ass Carrot Cake on Leena Eats's blog.  Let me tell you, it did kick my ass and woke me up to a whole new level of carrot cake.  It is the best I've ever eaten or made and I am not a huge carrot cake fan. Like 'em occasionally but don't love 'em.

I loved this one.

She's hard core, that Leena. Her original recipe calls for stuffing the cake with ice cream, sorbet and adding pistachio cream cheese buttercream.   Btw, Leena's blog is seriously fabulous, funny, informative and so well written.  Give it a test drive.

Her original recipe was too challenging for me (because, of course I would have had to make my own sorbet and ice cream.) We were expecting guests for the German 3pm coffee and cake thing. I was in a bit of a time crunch.

Leena's carrot cake recipe has pistachios in it and I was all over the idea of pistachio buttercream. Where do I sign up?  Pistachios are pretty much at the top of my list of favorite flavors.  I make pistachio pesto, pistou, ice cream, cheesecake crust, throw them in salads, etc. I'll take any excuse to add them.

And as a color? Well,  just scrumptious.

Leena did not have her frosting recipe posted so I found this one on the internet.  NOT a simple frosting to make, many steps and you have to wait a few hours at certain intervals. So glad I didn't make the ice cream and sorbet.

This is definitely a make ahead frosting recipe. Remember to take it out of the fridge for several hours before you frost the cake.  To give you an idea, I made it early in the morning and 4 hours later, it was too stiff to spread properly. I ended up adding a bit of cream and whipped it up a bit with an electric mixer to be able to cover the cake more easily.

This buttercream is also not too sweet.  Only 1/2 cup of sugar total but it's delish. For me it was worth the extra effort. I would definitely make it again now that I know what the commitment is so I can plan properly.

 The carrot cake was way easier to make. You don't even need a mixer.

To decorate the cake, I made candied carrot curls from cupcake project who said she got it from Epicurious who got it from the December 2007 issue of Gourmet.

Got all that?

The candied carrot sprinkles are from Cupcake Bakeshop. She does the most amazing cupcake flavors, btw.

The curls were a pain in the ass. They didn't stay curled and because I baked them too long, instead of curling, they just snapped apart.

In the end, I had one perfect curl (out of 20). Pathetic.

I put in the center of the cake and then crushed up the rest of them to make sprinkles. When in doubt or frustrated, sometimes I destroy things. Sometimes it helps. Crushing those candied carrots felt good after all the curling frustration. And the sprinkles looked good.  I thought about adding some crushed pistachios as well but I forgot about it after my carrot rampage.

This is how Dr. B's friends roll...

Arriving in style in an ambulance.

Guests enjoying cake in the garden.


  1. As Paula Abdul said on some season of AI, "I have two words for you: Uh-Mazing"

  2. Hey! I'm honored you tried out my recipe and even more happy it worked out for you. For my pistachio frosting, I tweaked a Cupcake Bakeshop recipe for Walnut Cream Cheese Frosting and just substituted pistachios. You should check it out---only takes a few minutes to make, and the cream cheese does wonders for making it a light frosting.

    Curious how you made those candied carrot curls/sprinkles? I really love that idea.

  3. Looks great. Where do I get your recipe?


  4. Pistachio buttercream, yum think I will have to try it.


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