Carrot cake, the American carrot cake, is a hit in SP; know where to buy


Caio Delcolli

When it comes to cake, the carrot cake with chocolate topping seems to be one of the most loved by Brazilians, even among so many other flavors. He is a regular on the table of several generations — so much so that, last week, his fame caught the attention of The New York Times, which highlighted him in its recipe section. The irony is that this happens precisely when the traditional carrot cake from the United States, with a recipe very different from the Brazilian one, is so successful here.

The American newspaper emphasized the fact that the carrot does not need to be grated before being incorporated into the dough. As you may have already noticed, this is one of the differences between the Brazilian and American cake, as in the national version, the carrot is usually crushed in a blender with oil, eggs and refined sugar. In the United States, the carrot, in addition to being grated, accompanies ingredients that are not found in the Brazilian recipe, such as brown sugar and spices such as cinnamon, cloves and ginger. The icing and filling, in turn, are a white cream based on cream cheese and icing sugar.

Carrot cake, the American carrot cake

Carrot cake, the American carrot cake – Unsplash

The carrot cake has generated curiosity here because new confectionery products are popular, and the item is traditional in influential American and European cuisines, says Fernando Martin, confectionery professor at the Instituto Gourmet, in São Paulo.

“In the past, it looked more like carrot bread. It was born in Ancient Egypt, went to Greece and underwent several adaptations in the USA”, he says.

In the 18th century, George Washington, then president of the country, would have the habit of serving the cake at parties. But although it is often called American, it became what it is today in Britain during the Second World War, after the government encouraged restraint in the use of sweeteners by swapping them for carrots in cake and pudding recipes, just as if did in the Middle Ages.

Two decades later, cream cheese frosting and filling were added — an American twist on the cake that made England its home. Also from the 1960s onwards, the cake as we know it in Brazil began to become popular here. The carrot cake may have been the inspiration for the Brazilian version.

The fact is that appreciating one does not make the other less worthy, as can be seen in the success of the “carrot cake” both in commerce and in recipe videos. In São Paulo, it can already be found in several cafes, confectioneries and pâtisseries, which differ mainly in the spices used in the dough.

The main ones, says Martin, are nutmeg and cinnamon. “You can adapt it to make it your own, using a mix of chestnuts, almonds and walnuts. That’s the coolest part.”

Beatriz Mihalik, founder of Boloteca, bets on special menus for commemorative dates. At Easter this year, she served the carrot cake for the first time — and says she is happy with the sales.

“Our style is the coffee cake, without a lot of cream or filling, and it suits our business”, he says. “It’s a rich cake. Who knows, maybe it will stay on the menu for good?”

Boloteca sells the sweet in its two units, in Pinheiros and Itaim Bibi, in a single size, weighing one kilo, for R$68. The house uses cinnamon, ginger, cloves and nutmeg in the composition. The cake is finished with walnuts over cream cheese frosting.

Carlo’s Bakery has been selling carrot cake in its six units in the capital of São Paulo since the brand arrived in Brazil in 2016. She says that, this year, sales of the sweet grew 15%. In addition to the spices — cloves, cinnamon and honey —, the chain uses pineapple in the dough to make it moister. It is also finished with walnuts.

Carrot cake, the carrot cake, from Âme Patisserie, in São Paulo

Carrot cake, the carrot cake, from Âme Patisserie, in São Paulo – Disclosure

Pistachio Bakery, in Vila Mariana, puts a layer of cinnamon powder on the white icing and sells the mini cupcake for R$4, the slice for R$16 and the box for R$25. The bakery has been selling the cake since 2018, the same year that Chez Mom Café Confeitaria, in Vila Madalena, started selling the item, whose slice costs R$19.90.

Cheesecakeria, in Indianópolis, uses lemon and orange zest in the dough and sells a piece for R$24. The entire cake can be purchased in two sizes — small (1.3 kg) for R$180, and medium (2 .3 kg), for R$260.

Carmella Patisserie, in Pinheiros, uses buttercream, flavored with vanilla, for the topping and filling, instead of the one made with cream cheese. Another difference of the house, which delivers the cake with fluffy and moist dough, is to sprinkle the topping with pistachios. The carrot cake has been on Carmella’s menu for almost a year and, to date, sales have increased by 20%. A slice costs R$27 and the whole cake, weighing 1.7 kg, costs R$265.

Another patisserie in the same neighborhood, Âme, uses vanilla bean and cardamom in the dough for one of its best-selling cakes. Whole, it costs R$230, and a slice, R$22.

See where to find carrot cake, the American carrot cake.

Âme Pâtisserie
R. Artur Azevedo, 1711, Pinheiros, western region, @ame_patisserie.

R. Fradique Coutinho, 614, Pinheiros, west region.
R. Jesuíno Arruda, 492, Itaim Bibi, western region, @boloteca.

Carlo’s Bakery
Bourbon Shopping. R. Palestra Itália, 500, 3rd floor, Perdizes, western region.
Morumbi Shopping. Av. Roque Petroni Júnior, 1,089, Leisure floor, store 30H, Jardim das Acácias, south region.
North Shopping Center. Travessa Casalbuono, 120, store 64, Vila Guilherme, northern region.
Eldorado Mall. Av. Rebouças, 3,970, ground floor, Pinheiros, west zone.
Gardens Store. R. Bela Cintra, 2,182, Jardins, west region.
Shopping Anália Franco. Av. Regente Feijó, 1,739, Tatuapé, eastern region, @carlosbakerysp.

Carmella Patisserie
R. Vupabussu, 199, Pinheiros, western region, @carmellapatisserie.

Av. Cotovia, 350, Indianópolis, south region, @cheesecakeria.

Chez Mom Café Confeitaria
R. Wisard, 568, Vila Madalena, western region, @chez_mom.

Pistachio Bakery
R. Vergueiro, 1661, Vila Mariana, central-south region, @pistachio_bakery.

Source: Folha

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