Gajar Halwa Cake – Eggless Indian Carrot Cake
Eggless Indian carrot cake or gajar ka halwa cake because carrot is an absolute favorite in my family. This cake is loaded with flavor with spices, nuts, raisins, carrots and even pineapple. It is easy to make and vegan. The cake is Indian inspired by gajar ka halwa which is carrot halwa in English.
Note: this is a vegan recipe but feel free to use dairy milk in place of soy milk
Inspired by a traditional Indian dessert
Gajar ka halwa is a traditional Indian dessert made out of shredded carrots and tastes like a warm spiced carrot cake right off the stove that melts in your mouth. So, the natural progression of that thought is to turn it into a cake! I already have an alternate take of this recipe up in this Gajar Ka Halwa Cupcake post.
For a recipe on how to make gajar ka halwa see this post.
So, if there are vegetables in it, it is a healthy carrot cake right?
I’m convinced! 😊 The ingredients for the cake itself are actually on the healthier side. There are a number of ingredients that add natural sweetness and moisture that saves the need for extra sugar.
Although this is an Indian carrot cake, I’ve included pineapple in it as many carrot cakes in the US are made. The pineapple adds moisture and reduces the need for extra sugar. I personally love carrot cakes with crushed pineapple so I had to add it to this.
The second key component of carrot cakes for me is a cream cheese frosting. To keep this easy, I made a whipped cream cheese cardamom frosting. It is lighter than the cardamom cream cheese buttercream frosting I used in my Gajar Ka Halwa Cupcakes. However, it is a spreadable frosting, not one that is easily piped. If you are planning on piping the frosting, I recommend referencing my other post to make the buttercream.
What are the ingredients?
For the Indian style carrot cake:
- Shredded carrots (make sure to shred, not grate or food process)
- Crushed pineapple (sold in a can here in the US)
- Roasted Nuts
- Chai masala (optional, if you want stronger flavor however it is not used in gajar ka halwa)
- All purpose flour
- Soy milk or milk of choice (use dairy milk if you desire)
- Sugar, baking soda, baking powder
- Vanilla extract
For the whipped cardamom cream cheese frosting:
- Heavy whipping cream
- Cream cheese (must be at room temperature!)
- Vanilla extract
How to make carrot cake Indian style
Making the gajar ka halwa cake is very easy. First, make sure to wash, peel and shred the carrots using a grater. DO NOT use a food processor. The thicker consistency will turn out better for the cake.
Then, measure out the ingredients and combine the soy milk with vinegar to make a “buttermilk.”
Next, get mixing!
Combine the wet ingredients (oil, milk with vinegar, vanilla extract). Combine the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices, sugar). Then, beat in the dry ingredients into the wet. Finally, add in the raisins, carrots, crushed pineapples and nuts.
Line the pan (either two 8 inch circle pans or one 9inch circle pan) with parchment and preheat oven to 350F.
Pour the batter into the pan and bake for about 1 hour (9 inch pan) or 35-40 for (two 8 inch pans). Check with toothpick to ensure baked through.
Make the whipped cream cheese frosting with cardamom
Key points for this frosting:
- It is spreadable, not stiff enough to pipe
- Ensure the cream cheese is at room temperature or it will be difficult to make the frosting
- To make the whipped cream out of heavy cream, ensure heavy cream is very cold from fridge. If you have room in your fridge, keep the whisk and bowl in the fridge as well to help the process.
Frosting the cake
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Gajar Ka Halwa Cake – Indian Carrot Cake
- 9 inch cake pan or 2 8 in cake pans
- 2½ cup shredded carrots 205 g
- ½ cup roasted pistachios 60 g
- ½ cup roasted cashews (unsalted) 60 g
- 1 cup raisins 120 g
- 8 oz crushed pineapple 227 g (adding pineapple does make it a denser cake with the added liquid, you can use half the amount as well)
- 2 cup all purpose four 284 g
- 1½ cup sugar 318 g
- 2 tsp chai masala or skip and use 2 tsp cardamom powder total instead for more authentic gajar ka halwa based cake
- 1 tsp cardamom powder 7 g
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 tsp baking soda
- ¾ cup soy milk
- 1 tbsp vinegar
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- ½ cup oil
Whipped Cardamom Cream Cheese Frosting
- 8 oz cream cheese 1 block at room temperature
- ⅛ tsp salt
- ¾ cup sugar
- 1½ cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1½ tsp cardamom
Gajar Ka Halwa – Indian Carrot Cake
- Prep ingredients. Line pans with parchment paper and preheat to 350F. Combine milk of choice with vinegar.
- Mix dry ingredients (sugar, flour, spices, salt) in a bowl. Mix wet ingredients in another bowl (oil, vanilla extract, milk with vinegar). Slowly add in the dry ingredients to combine with wet. Then, add in raisins, roasted nuts, carrots and crushed pineapple. Mix to combine, do not let stand very long as carrots will release excess moisture which will impact your bake.
- Pour batter into parchment lined pan. I like to keep little handles of parchment to make it easier to lift, if needed. Bake for 1 hour- 1 hour 5 minutes if using 9 inch circle pan. About 35-40 minutes if using two 8 inch circle pans. Check with toothipick to ensure cooked. Time can vary.
Whipped Cardamom Cream Cheese Frosting
- Beat cream cheese, salt, cardamom, vanilla and sugar together until combined.
- In a separate bowl, whip heavy whipping cream until stiff peaks form and you have whipped cream.
- Add whipped cream in batches to the cream cheese mixture, folding it in to combine. Don't mix vigorously.
- Once combined and cake has cooled completey you can frost and serve. Top with chopped roasted pistachios for garnish.