Embrace the Easter season with layers of light and fluffy brown butter carrot cake swirled with a touch of cinnamon and cardamom. Each layer is frosted with white chocolate buttercream and every bite is covered in crunchy pecan praline and vanilla bean cream cheese frosting. This cake is perfect for Easter gatherings, but also makes for a great weekend treat any time of year. The recipe can be baked as muffins too, making it a sweet weekend baking project with kids.
Carrot cake sponge
White chocolate buttercream
Cream cheese whipped cream
Preheat oven to 325° Line three 6-inch cake pans with parchment paper.
For the cake, In a bowl, combine the brown butter, eggs, sugar, ground cardamom, ground cinnamon and vanilla. Using an electric mixer or whisk, whisk until pale yellow and fluffy.
Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda and grated carrots. Combine to form a homogenous mixture.
Add the crushed pecans and lightly fold in with the spatula.
Equally divide the cake batter into the three prepared cake pans. Bake for 40 minutes (or until a skewer when inserted comes out clean). Once baked, let the cake cool at room temperature for at least 1 hour (or ideally overnight covered with plastic wrap to prevent moisture from escaping).
For the pecan praline, line a plate with parchment paper. In a medium sized pot, brown the sugar and add the pecans. Mix until all the pecans are coated with the caramelized sugar. Pour the mixture onto the parchment paper-lined plate and let it cool at room temperature. Once cooled, crush the praline using a food processor and set aside.
For the white chocolate buttercream, in a mixing bowl add the unsalted softened butter, icing sugar, melted white chocolate, vanilla and cream. Mix for 10 – 15 minutes or until it is white/pale yellow in colour.
For the cream cheese whipped cream, in a mixing bowl add the softened cream cheese, icing sugar and vanilla. Mix for 2 minutes or until combined. Add the whipped cream and mix until light and fluffy.
To assemble, spread a little buttercream with on a cake board or cake stand and place the first layer of carrot cake sponge on top. In the centre of the sponge add the cream cheese whipped cream, crushed praline and, on the edges, using a piping bag add the white chocolate buttercream. Repeat for the second sponge and place the third sponge over top. Crumb coat the cake using the white chocolate buttercream. Refrigerate the cake for at least 15 minutes.
Once the cake has chilled, sprinkle the pecan praline on top.
Divide the buttercream into two bowls. Add green gel colouring to one bowl, and orange gel colouring to the other bowl. Mix well. Transfer the coloured buttercream to a piping bag fitted with piping tips. Make small carrots using the coloured buttercream on the top of the cake.
Serve and enjoy!