(SPOT.ph) On paper, carrots and cake appear to hail from completely opposite worlds. The former is a vegetable more commonly associated with the more wholesome and nourishing end of the food spectrum, while the latter is a decidedly more decadent sweet treat that you mostly reserve for special occasions. But these two collide in the classic confection known as carrot cake, and when done right you get real scrumptious results—so much so that it remains a popular cake flavor around the world, the Philippines included.
The dessert's origins are disputed but it's believed by some to have descended from Medieval carrot puddings—and to this day, it ranks high as one of the best-loved cake breeds around, for good reason. Often consisting of cake layers with grated carrots—plus spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves, among others—you get a sweet yet slightly earthy bite with the warmth of the spices giving it a real homey charm. At times you’ll find nuts like walnuts or pecans, or fruity elements like raisins or canned pineapple, which contribute crunch and a hint of tanginess respectively; and for the most part, the cakes are frosted and/or filled with a lush cream-cheese frosting that ties all elements together. Given the sugar and fat content in most versions, this ain’t health food; not that it needs to be.
Also read: Top 10 Carrot Cakes in Manila (2016 Edition)
Looking for carrot cake in Manila that’ll sweep you off your feet? These excellent versions have got your back.
Carrot Walnut Cake from Mary Grace Cafe
You probably go to Mary Grace for their famous ensaymada or Callebaut Truffle Cake, but trust us, it’s worth changing it up once in a while and going for the Carrot Walnut Cake (P1,784) instead. A relatively recent addition to Mary Grace’s menu that was brought over to their menu in 2020, this is a traditional-leaning take on the dessert employs a rich and lightly spiced carrot-cake base peppered with walnut bits for crunch, plus a smooth cream-cheese frosting to take every forkful to more decadent heights.
For orders, visit Mary Grace’s website. You can also check out their Facebook page.
Carrot Cake from Wildflour
Wildflour’s famous Carrot Cake (starts at P295/slice) is one of the best-known versions of its kind in Manila, and for good reason. Its carrot-cake base delivers a sort of heft—not in the sense that it’s overly dense, but in that it’s substantial, with an uber-moist open crumb that delivers a satisfying bite. Paired with their tangy cream-cheese frosting that gilds the tongue like silk, you’ll be whisked away to carrot-cake heaven in no time.
For orders, visit Wildflour To-Go’s website. You can also check out their Facebook page.
Carrot Cake Cheesecake from Tilde
As carrot cake is most often coupled with a cream-cheese frosting, it’s only logical that it would also make an especially stellar pair to cheesecake—and Tilde’s Carrot Cake Cheesecake (P225/slice, P1,500/whole) very well proves our hypothesis correct. In between two moist carrot-cake layers is a layer of baked cheesecake—and that’s apart from the dreamy cream-cheese frosting it’s topped with. Yup, plenty of richness and tanginess to be had here, folks! Fret not; it’s not at all too sweet, plus the cake is topped with chopped pistachios that add color and a subtle crunch.
For orders, visit Tilde’s website. You can also check out their Facebook page.
Moistest Carrot Cake Ever from Butternut Bakery
Expectations are bound to run high when you name your cake the “Moistest Carrot Cake Ever,” but Butternut delivers with a real excellent take on the classic confection. Its cake base has a toothsome open crumb that’s rightfully moist from end to end, and its cream-cheese frosting is a real smooth and tangy dream. Covering the outer edges of the cake are a generous amount of walnuts and pumpkin seeds—making for a welcome and real satisfying crunch to balance out the other richer elements.
For orders, visit Butternut Bakery’s website. You can also check out their Facebook page.
Carrot Cake with Burnt Butter Cream Cheese Frosting from Flour Pot
Quite possibly the prettiest carrot cake in town with its floral adornments, Flour Pot’s signature carrot cake (P3,500/nine inches) was added to their menu as a Christmas special but is thankfully here to stay. There’s more to this stunner than just its looks, though. Flour Pot goes local where they can by employing carrots from Benguet, pineapples from Tagaytay, and pili nuts from Naga—and with browned butter and bourbon adding a good hint of depth to their cream-cheese frosting, you’ll be licking every last drop of it.
For orders, send a message to Flour Pot on Facebook or Instagram.
Also read: The SPOT.ph Guide to Must-Try Cakes in Manila
Ms. D’s Carrot Cakes
Get your carrot-cake fix while expressing what’s on your mind at Ms. D’s Carrot Cakes, as this seller bakes up the dessert with options to add dedications—be it as casual as “Happy birthday” or as humorous as “darating rin siya”! But even in its base form, this cake (starts at P290/six-inch loaf) delivers satisfying forkfuls, with its moist and plush cake and tangy cream-cheese frosting coming together to form a wonderful harmony. You can also opt to have your cake with walnuts for an added fee, should you be looking for more textural variety.
For orders, send a message to Ms. D’s Carrot Cakes on Facebook or Instagram.
Bungalow Carrot Cake from Bungalow Cafe
A classic carrot cake will never go out of style—but in the name of going the more contemporary route (without losing the classic dessert’s identity), definitely give Bungalow Cafe’s take on carrot cake (P270/slice, P2,700/whole) a try. Each tall slice features their moist and rightfully substantial carrot-cake base in thick layers, and it’s made even richer with its partners of cream-cheese frosting and pecans. They also ingeniously add in citrus jam to the equation, giving you zestiness and a subtle tang that brings out the flavor of the spices wonderfully.
For orders, visit Bungalow Cafe’s website. You can also check out their Facebook page.
Bunny Huggers Cake from Cupcakes by Sonja
Cupcakes by Sonja’s carrot cupcake ranked second on our 2016 Top 10 Carrot Cakes in Manila list, what with its soft cinnamon-tinged cake and frosting that tastes of real, great-quality cream cheese. If you’re looking to get your fix on a grander scale, go for its good-for-sharing cake version, the Bunny Huggers Cake (P1,300). Just be sure to give them three days of lead time for orders.
For orders, visit Cupcakes by Sonja’s website. You can also check out their Facebook page.
Carrot Cheesecake from Workshop
Carrot cake at its core tends to fall on the more homespun end of the dessert spectrum—and there's nothing wrong with that. But it's also worth exploring how it performs in a more grand and elegant light, and Workshop's Carrot Cheesecake (P285/slice, P2,100/whole) does just that. Rather than the usual carrot-cake-plus-frosting affair they interpret carrot cake in such a way that leans toward entremet territory, with lush layers of a rich and dense carrot-walnut cake, cinnamon-tinged cheesecake, and white chocolate mousse—all of which are lent a subtle duskiness and crunch with a milk-chocolate sable crust.
For orders, visit the Workshop section on The Grid Food Market’s website. You can also check out their Facebook page.
Carrot Cake from Everyday Mom
Everyday Mom proves you don’t have to rely on frills to stand out with their simple yet superb Carrot Cake (P400/six-inch round). It’s of the mostly-traditional sort, with a cake base full of carrots and walnuts plus a creamy cream-cheese frosting—yet it’s the kind that always, always manages to hit the spot. As with everything on their menu, it also happens to be free of butter, but you nevertheless get a decadent end result.
For orders, send a message to Everyday Mom on Facebook or Instagram.
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