I’ve never been a fan of carrot cake. I’ve never had it while I was desperate for dessert, and 9 times out of 10, cream cheese frosting was involved. This Cardamom Pistachio Carrot Cake recipe seemed fair because I’d been on a cardamom kick and my mother had ordered carrot cake for her birthday. There was still no pineapple in it (pineapple belongs in pineapple upside-down cake and … pizza). The cake was easy to produce, aside from grating a million baby carrots and shelling pistachios. I had some trouble thickening the glaze, but it didn’t matter.
Carrot Cake are my favourite desserts, so I had to try this. I opted out of the icing because it seemed to be much too good. Since I purchased roasted salted pistachios by accident, I just made one substitute. Since they were going to be simmered in butter, I wanted to rinse out some of the salt and marginally lower the amount of salt I applied. Since I only had entire cardamom and cinnamon on hand, I ground them myself. I’m happy there was a notice that said 250 g carrots because it took 6 of my’medium’ carrots to get the 250 g. The cake was topped with vanilla ice cream, and everybody enjoyed it! It was moist and light, with a subtle sweetness. The cardamom was an excellent addition. I’m sure it’ll be delicious with coffee in the morning as well.
What Ingredients You Will Need For Cardamom Pistachio Carrot Cake
Vegetable oil (for pan)
3large eggs, room temperature
1cup (2 sticks) plus 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, divided
1cup (130 g) raw pistachios
1cup (packed; 200 g) dark brown sugar
¾cup (150 g) granulated sugar, divided
1¾tsp. baking powder
¼tsp. baking soda
1½tsp. Diamond Crystal or ¾ tsp. Morton kosher salt, divided
1½tsp. ground cardamom
½tsp. ground cinnamon
1½cups (188 g) all-purpose flour
½cup carrot juice
½cup heavy cream
Method To Bake Cardamom Pistachio Carrot Cake
- Preheat oven to 350°F with a rack in the centre. Vegetable oil the bottom and sides of a 9-inch-diameter cake tray. Cut a parchment round: The simplest method is to draw the bottom of the pan onto parchment, fold the paper in half until you have a thin arc, and then cut the arc with a pair of scissors. Smooth the pen side down in the pan to remove any air bubbles. Grease the parchment paper lightly.
- For this recipe, the three big eggs must be at room temperature. If they aren’t, place them in a small bowl of warm tap water and cover them. Allow them to rest to relieve the chill (room-temperature eggs gain more volume than cold eggs do when whipped; cold eggs could result in a tight or dense cake).
- Peel 3 medium carrots and grate on a box grater with big holes. 212 cup (lightly packed; 250 g); save the rest of the carrots for another recipe (like raita!).
- Put a fine-mesh sieve on top of a measuring glass next to the burner. Heat 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat until foaming, around 2 minutes. Add 1 cup (130 g) raw pistachios and fry, stirring often, for 5 minutes, or until butter browns and nuts smell toasty. (Because the butter will bubble up and make it difficult to see what’s going on, remove the pan from the heat until the foam has turned golden brown and lift out a couple nuts with a spoon every 10 seconds to see if they’re browning.) Pour the mixture into the sieve, squeezing off all of the browned bits; set aside the nuts and butter separately.
- Break the eggs into a big mixing bowl with 1 cup (200 g) dark brown sugar, 14 cup (50 g) granulated sugar, 134 tsp. baking powder, 134 tsp. baking soda, 114 tsp. Diamond Crystal or 12 tsp. Morton kosher salt, 112 tsp. ground cardamom, and 12 tsp. ground cinnamon. 3 minutes on high speed using an electric mixer (mixture should be thick, pale, and slightly increased in volume). Reduce the speed to medium-high and progressively drizzle in the reserved brown butter (including the browned bits); beat until thoroughly mixed. Slow down here; if you apply the butter too fast, the emulsion you like would be difficult to produce.
- Roughly chop the pistachios that have been set aside. Fold in 112 cup (188 g) all-purpose flour with a rubber spatula until nearly full mixed. (Be careful with the flour in this cake, as in most: use a rubber spatula to create large strokes down the centre of the bowl and up the edges, stopping when the dry parts disappear.) Excess gluten growth and rough cake result from being too aggressive.)
- Roll in the nuts and carrots before they are completely combined. Scrape flour into prepared pan; use a tiny offset spatula or a small spoon to smooth the top. Place the pan on a clean, smooth surface and rotate it quickly in a 360-degree circle (this pushes the batter up the sides of the pan and minimises doming during baking).
- Bake for 50–55 minutes, or until cake is deeply browned and a tester inserted in the middle comes out clear. (If in question, marginally overbake the cake rather than taking it out too soon.) It can sink in the middle if underbaked.) Allow the cake to cool in the pan on a wire rack.
- To remove the cake, run a thin offset spatula or butter knife across the perimeter. Invert the cake onto a huge tray that has been turned upside down (leave flat side up; this will give the top of your cake a smooth, even surface and create that dramatic drippage when you glaze it). Remove and discard the parchment document.
- Put a tiny plate in the freezer for a few minutes. In a medium saucepan over high heat, cook 12 cup carrot juice, 12 cup heavy cream, remaining 12 cup (100 g) granulated sugar, and remaining 14 tsp. Diamond Crystal or Morton kosher salt until a consistency comparable to lava, 8–10 minutes (don’t stir; the layer of sugar at the bottom of the pan will insulate the cream from the heat). The mixture will burst and foam violently at first, making it seem as though it will spill over, but it will not! Don’t turn down the heat; the bubbling will stop and the mixture will thicken. It should be moist enough to cling to the cake, but not so thick that it browns.
- Try a little dollop of glaze on a cooled plate to see if it leaves a given path as you pass your finger across it. Remove the pan from the heat until the glaze has thickened and whisk in the remaining 2 tablespoons unsalted butter. Allow glaze to cool for 15 minutes or before you can safely keep your finger in it (if it’s too sticky, it’ll run straight off the cake).
- Using an offset spatula or a butter knife, gently push the glaze to the sides of the cake. Through a skewer or toothpick, pop some air bubbles. Allow at least 10 minutes for the glaze to set before slicing the cake.
- Make ahead: Unglazed cake may be prepared up to three days ahead of time. Store at room temperature, securely packed.
Everyone loves pumpkin spice when it comes to Autumn tastes. That’s not about me! Cardamom is my go-to Fall spice. I had to try this recipe for pistachios when I saw it. Carrot cake with cream cheese frosting is turned on its head! I enjoyed the complexities of producing this cake: browning the pistachios in the brown butter, steadily drizzling the brown butter into the batter, and making the glaze at a rolling boil for around 8 minutes was a little intimidating, but it turned out delicious! It was well worth the effort. I followed the recipe exactly and didn’t make any changes. The cake has a good texture and the flavours are deep and rich without being thick. I’d do it again in a heartbeat!