• Your carrot cake doesn't have to taste like the others. (Clare Winfield)Source: Clare Winfield
Read on to learn how to weave Biscoff into your carrot cake.
Caterina Hrysomallis

28 May 2021 - 9:02 AM  UPDATED 31 May 2021 - 11:35 AM

--- Stream the spice episode of The Cook Up with Adam Liaw free on SBS On Demand or catch the series weeknights on SBS Food at 7.00pm and 10.00pm. ---


Heat your spices 

Chef and food writer Janelle Bloom says there's great power in heating spices before adding them to a carrot cake batter.

"You want the spice to be at its maximum capacity," Bloom says, who combines olive oil, cinnamon and nutmeg in a saucepan and cooks for two to three minutes.

She then adds the spice blend to a mixture of brown sugar, eggs, flour and bicarbonate of soda before carrying on with her mini carrot and apple-chip cakes.

Little spiced carrot and apple cakes with maple cinnamon frosting

These beautifully spiced cakes are made with olive oil for a moist batter, and can be garnished with apple chips for a burst of sweetness and extra spice.

Amp things up with some fruit

Lorraine Elliott, the food and travel blogger behind Not Quite Nigella, says, "To me, carrot cake is all about a wonderfully moist texture and tangy cream cheese frosting". Elliott has spent countless hours finessing her carrot cake recipe.

"I like the moisture that crushed pineapple adds to a carrot cake. Using tinned pineapple is totally fine for this," says Elliott.

Meanwhile, Bloom finishes her mini carrot cakes with some roasted apple chips. She uses a mandoline to slice pink lady apples so that they're "nice and thin" and places them on a wire rack. Then, Bloom sprinkles the slices with cinnamon sugar before baking in the oven at 100°C for about 1.5 hours. 

Lorraine Elliot, the food and travel blogger behind Not Quite Nigella, tops off her carrot cake with apple chips.

Add brown butter to your cream-cheese frosting

Brown butter is a common contender for savoury dishes, but less prominent on the dessert front. Elliott says it's one of her favourite ingredients and as such her brown butter cream cheese recipe is one of her all-time favourite frostings.

"I always have brown butter in my fridge and add it to my baked goods, where it imparts an incredible nutty, delicious aroma and flavour."

Get your icing game on.

Elliott adds brown butter — simply butter that has been cooked over medium-high heat for about 10 minutes til brown in colour — to her cream cheese icing, which also contains regular butter, icing sugar and vanilla extract.

Level up with some Biscoff

This tip is pure gold. To add another layer of spice to a carrot cake, Elliott adds some Biscoff spread (made from crushed Biscoff biscuits, which also contain cinnamon) in between the layers of her carrot cake.

"You want the spice to be at its maximum capacity."

"I've used Biscoff in a few cakes and I love it. I adore Biscoff cookies and spread because I love spices (my favourite drink is a chai latte). And it was the similarity of spices in both that made me want to add it in."

Time to bake
5 recipes for carrot cake
Making baking decisions easier. Our five best.

Finish off strong, with a maple syrup reduction

To wrap things up, Bloom reduces a combination of maple syrup and cinnamon "all the way down" so it almost has the consistency of honey.

She not only mixes the reduction into her cream cheese frosting, but drizzles it over the frosted carrot cake to finish. Need we say more?

Vietnamese iced coffee, but make it tiramisu
There are times when tradition is worth going against, and making Adam Liaw’s tiramisu recipe is one of them.
Bacon, peas and eggs

Adam Liaw shares his fresh take on the classic Aussie bacon-and-egg brekkie. The eggs are baked in pea purée then topped with salty bacon and parmesan.

Dear tofu, you deserve to be a doughnut
Adam Liaw's tofu doughnuts are so easy and delicious that you'll never make doughnuts any other way. #bigcall
A life without hummus: How a genetic disorder has changed what I eat
Adam Alhajji always adored eating the chickpea-laden dip, hummus. That was until he was diagnosed with a more rare form of G6PD or favism, and told he could never eat dishes containing legumes again.
Lemon chicken

A Chinese takeaway classic, Adam Liaw shares his version of lemon chicken, which includes a rice wine and ginger sauce and does away with the gluey marinade associated with the dish.

Spinach and dill fried rice

Adam Liaw's fried version of Greek spanakorizo is absolutely delicious, and very simple to make.

Adam Liaw’s four-ingredient flan
This dessert is truly a lifesaver for hosts who can’t bear to skip the sweets, but haven’t got much time.