in the kitchen with: patricia scarpin’s brazilian carrot cake

Carrot cake is one of those desserts that I am always tempted to try wherever I see it on the menu. I’m always on the hunt for the perfect recipe, and I’ve already found a couple, from Saveur and from Marcel Desaulniers (the “24” carrot cake that doesn’t turn dark!). This week, Brazilian food blogger Patricia Scarpin shares her nearest and dearest recipe for a moist Brazilian Carrot Cake with a twist! It is reminiscent of the wonderful cakes in Harry Eastwood’s Red Velvet & Chocolate Heartache, which use vegetables for moisture and sweetness. Continue reading after the jump to see how the Brazilian version differs from the traditional Anglo-American carrot cake. I just may add it to my lineup! — Kristina

About Patricia: Patricia is a Brazilian food blogger who started her blog, Technicolor Kitchen, in 2006. She specializes in sweet recipes because, for her, desserts are the best part of a meal. When she’s not cooking and baking, she’s watching a movie, her second passion (hence the name of her blog). She lives in São Paulo with her husband.

The full recipe continues after the jump…

Brazilian Carrot Cake

Serves 8–10

For the cake:

  • 2 1/2 cups + 1 tablespoon (360g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 cups (300g) granulated sugar
  • 350g (13oz) carrots, coarsely grated — about 2 medium carrots or 3 cups coarsely grated carrots, packed
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup (180ml) canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Butter and flour a 10-cup capacity Bundt or ring pan.

2. Sift flour, baking powder and salt into a large bowl. Stir in the sugar.

3. Place the carrots, eggs, oil and vanilla in a blender and mix until smooth. Pour over the dry ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon until smooth.

4. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until risen and golden and a skewer comes out clean. Cool in the pan over a wire rack for 15 minutes, and then carefully unmold onto the rack. Cool completely and transfer to a serving plate.

For the chocolate glaze:

  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 4 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons (28g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons whole milk, room temperature


Mix all the ingredients in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat until the butter is melted and the mixture starts to boil. Continue cooking for another 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thick. Remove from the heat and set aside for 10 minutes (it will become thicker). Pour over the cooled cake.

Photography and styling by Patricia Scarpin

Why Patricia Loves This Cake

This carrot cake has a very special place in my heart because my mom used to bake it all the time when I was little; she’d pack a slice for me to take to school, to snack on between classes — it was one of my favorite cakes. She’s no longer around, so I sometimes make the cake to remember her.

  1. colleen says:

    well this is so yummy looking …great desert tonight with pulled pork & slaw!

  2. I ADORE Patricia’s blog!! Her recipes are divine. And she is the sweetest blogger, so friendly and engaging!

  3. ileana says:

    What a beautiful cake! I love that this is glazed with chocolate instead of drowned in cream cheese frosting. Yum!

  4. Kendra says:

    What a sophisticated carrot cake! I love the idea of pureeing the carrots so that you don’t see the bits you’d normally have in the traditional version. Added bonus: the puree tints the cake a lovely orange color! Can’t wait to bake this!

  5. Leila says:

    The Brazilian carrot cake is delicious and ten times lighter than the American version. Thanks for sharing Patricia’s recipe.

  6. Abby says:

    Oh, Patricia! One of my fave food blogger friends. She is amazing – such a wonderful feature! Everything she makes is gorgeous.

  7. Alicia says:

    Oh…she puts the wet ingredients into a blender. I wonder how this step makes the cake flavor come out. I would like to try this at some point.

    1. Amy says:

      Brazilian carrot cake is 1000 times better than American-style carrot cake. It’s not a gross, heavy, spiced cake with cream cheese on top. It’s light and sweet, a carrotty enchantment. We met this cake when we were posted to Brasilia, and loved it ever since!

  8. Amanda says:

    Oh love me some bolo de cenoura :) Reminds me of my childhood. Thanks for sharing!

  9. Lorena says:

    mmm! i have to try it! thanks for sharing :)

  10. this is the best thing to end the week… will save this recipe for sure!

  11. I’m so glad I could see a brazilian recipe here! And coming from Technicolor Kitchen!
    I love Patricia’s blog and read it probably since she started.
    And I agree with her, carrot cake remind me of my childhood and birthday parties in Brasil.
    So good!

  12. Patricia’s blog is one of my favorites – I always look forward to reading it. This version of carrot cake sounds delicious!

  13. Meri says:

    Amazing presentation. Never thought about adding chocolate to a carrot cake but it makes beautiful sense.

  14. Nisha Vikram says:

    I just put it inside the oven! And I can’t wait :)

  15. argone says:

    I love carrot cake, and it’s so nice to see you !

  16. Rita says:

    I am a huge fan of Patricia’s blog and have tried many of its recipes. This is one of my favourite cakes. My kids just love it!

  17. Chocolate glaze, on carrot cake? two of my favorite things – why have I never thought of this. I may just make this for myself on my birthday :)

  18. hanako zeidenberg says:

    I actually made this recipe. I think I slurped up the chocolate glaze before spreading it all over the cake. I’ve only made a few home-made bakery type goods, and I didn’t have the tool to sift some of the ingredients .. the cake itself was fairly good but I need to figure out how to make it moist. I suspect the baking pan I used may have dried out the cake, and next time I will add more shredded carrots!

  19. Lucia says:

    I love Brazilian carrot cake! I tell friends here that in Brazil we have carrot cake with chocolate icing and they think it’s odd. Haha. Yay!

  20. Desmond says:

    I wish there was a function on this page that allowed me to email this article to others. If I was head of eCommerce @designsponge, I’d do that. *cough*

  21. kristina says:

    Hi Desmond!

    I send links to my friends all the time and they love trying the recipes!


  22. Felicia says:

    I recently made this one ( from the harried cook, and it turned out delicious! I recommend trying out the recipe..

  23. cintia says:

    Love this cake. I´m brazilian and if you want a secret: in the blender part mix it for 5 minutes or more to make the cake more orange.

  24. Paula says:

    I wish I could figure out how to make it more moist as well. It was tad dry but still delicious!

  25. Cintia says:

    Paula, you can put 1 whole cup of canola oil instead.

  26. Todd says:

    I just made this beautiful cake and it came out great!

  27. Peter Knott says:

    That looks truly amazing…I usually use ginger in my carrot cakes, but I’m going to follow this recipe completely (for once!)

  28. Simone says:

    I do not like buying flour, sugar, etc…as I do not bake much from scratch being a senior
    Do you know if I could incorporate the carrots, and the same amount of oi, eggs etc into a regular boxed mix??
    I have dont this with bananas, but have trouble getting the right ‘balance’ with fruit and liquids
    Thanks for the help

  29. kerrouche says:

    un tees bon gâteau ,merci

  30. kerrouche says:

    un très bon gâteau,merci..

  31. Lillian says:

    Just took mine out of the oven for my son’s b’day who is 31 today! Loves carrot cake….mom used to make one too but the recipe was all in her head!!!! LOL!!! Hopefully it will be as good as grandma’s was – still searching for the perfect carrot cake. Batter is yummy….TFS

  32. Lillian says:

    Well, my son just loved the cake – so it definitely gets a thumbs up and make it again mom!!! Thanks for the recipe – it will definitely go into my recipes to make book…

  33. GoodCook says:

    Looks so tasty and i’m sure it’s gonna be even more delicious! I’ll try it this weekend for sure!

  34. Alicia Greenrabbit says:

    My new neighbor friend is from Brazil,I’m going to surprise her with this cake.Looks so yummy. I had to teach her how to bake Toll House Chocolate Chip cookies.

  35. Caroline says:

    Fez bolo de cenoura agora!!!


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