Olive Oil Carrot Cake with Sesame Buttercream

September 29, 2016
Photo by Linda Xiao
  • Makes one 9- by 13-inch cake
  • For the cake:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups grated carrots (from 3 to 5 carrots)
  • 1 cup fresh pineapple, finely minced (crusted) and the juice (from 1/2 pineapple)
  • 1 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
  • For the sesame buttercream:
  • 1/2 cup Crisco
  • 1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 3 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup tahini
In This Recipe
  1. For the cake:
  2. Preheat the oven to 350° F and grease a 9- by 13-inch baking pan by spraying with vegetable spray and cutting a piece of parchment to fit just the bottom of the pan.
  3. Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and ginger in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Whisk to combine all ingredients and set aside.
  4. In another medium-sized mixing bowl, mix together the sugar, extra-virgin olive oil, eggs, and vanilla. Whisk until well combined. Whisk the wet ingredients into the dry ingredient bowl until fully incorporated. Set aside.
  5. Peel the carrots, then grate on a box grater until you have 2 packed cups. Fold into the batter.
  6. Roughly chop the toasted walnuts and fold into the batter until incorporated. Take 1/2 a pineapple, remove the core, and finely mince or chop. Scrape the pineapple and the juices left on your cutting board into the batter. Mix until well combined.
  7. Spread the batter evenly into the greased cake pan. Bake for 30 ­to 40 minutes, checking and rotating after 20. At 30 minutes, check to see if cake tester (or toothpick) comes out clean and adjust time accordingly.
  8. Once the cake is cool, remove the cake from the pan, by releasing the sides of the cake carefully with a small paring knife on offset spatula. Place the pan upside down onto a cutting board and lightly tap the pan until the cake releases from the pan and. Finish by frosting the top and sides. You can also leave the cake in the pan—just frost and serve.
  1. For the sesame buttercream:
  2. Place Crisco and softened butter into a mixing bowl. Beat until well combined and smooth, 3 minutes.
  3. Add in the sifted confectioners' sugar and beat on medium­ to high speed for a full 3 minutes.
  4. Scrape bowl, with the beater on low speed, add in milk, vanilla and salt. Once combined, continue to beat the frosting for a full 7 minutes. In order to get fluffy and airy frosting, it's important to beat the frosting for the full time.
  5. After 7 minutes, scrape the bowl well and, on low speed, stream in the tahini. Beat until the tahini is just incorporated.

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Erin Higgins

Recipe by: Erin Higgins

Erin Higgins is the Pastry Chef at Shaya in New Orleans, where her work has brought the restaurant to two notable accolades of late: Best New Restaurant at the James Beard Awards and Best New Restaurant: South at the recent Taste Talks Awards.