Savory Spiced Carrot Cake

Savory Spiced Carrot Cake

This carrot cake is not a dessert, though at first glance it looks like one. Whimsical and festive, it could even be a birthday cake for someone lacking a sweet tooth. Serve it as a first course, or pair it with a salad for a light meal.
  • Total:
  • Serves: 6 persons



  1. Step 1

    Position a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 425 degrees.
  2. Step 2

    In a mixing bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, salt, white sesame seeds, turmeric, cayenne, baking powder and baking soda.
  3. Step 3

    In a separate bowl, whisk together buttermilk, eggs, feta, carrots and scallions. Lightly butter a 9-inch cake pan.
  4. Step 4

    Add buttermilk mixture to dry ingredients and beat well to make a thick batter.
  5. Step 5

    Melt butter in a small skillet over medium heat. When butter is hot, add cumin seeds and mustard seeds and cook until fragrant (seeds will begin to pop a bit). Adjust heat so butter does not burn; it’s O.K. if butter browns a little.
  6. Step 6

    Whisk hot butter mixture into batter and beat well to combine. Scrape batter into prepared cake pan and smooth top with a spatula.
  7. Step 7

    Bake on the middle rack for 25 to 30 minutes or until a skewer or paring knife inserted into the cake comes out clean. Cool in the pan on a rack, then invert onto a plate. (Cake may be baked several hours or up to a day in advance.)
  8. Step 8

    To finish cake, beat crème fraîche with a fork to loosen, then spread with a metal spatula or knife to coat top and sides. Decorate with cilantro sprigs and reserved scallions. Sprinkle with black sesame seeds, if desired, and crushed red pepper. Cut into wedges and serve.