Chefs' Recipes

Shirni Parwana's masala carrot cake

Shirni Parwana shares its recipe for a carrot cake with garam masala spice, topped with cardamom and lime cream cheese icing.

  • 30 mins preparation
  • 1 hr 30 mins cooking
  • Serves 12
  • Print
"I'd love to make Shirni Parwana's masala carrot cake for our next birthday party. Would you ask for the recipe?"
Emily Glass, Glynde, SA
To request a recipe, email Please include the restaurant's name and address, as well as your name and address.


  • 360 gm coarsely grated carrot (about 2 carrots)
  • 360 gm caster sugar (12/3 cups)
  • 250 gm wholemeal flour (12/3 cups)
  • 200 ml vegetable oil
  • 200 gm eggs (4 large), at room temperature
  • 70 gm sultanas (1/3 cup)
  • 70 gm pistachios, coarsely chopped (½ cup)
  • 2½ tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp ground cardamom
  • 2 tsp ground cloves
Caramelised pistachios
  • 110 gm caster sugar (½ cup)
  • 50 gm coarsely chopped pistachios
Cardamom and lime cream cheese icing
  • 375 gm cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 180 gm pure icing sugar, sifted
  • Finely grated rind of 2 limes, plus 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 3 tsp coarsely crushed cardamom seeds


  • 1
    Preheat oven to 180C and butter and line a 20cm-square cake tin with baking paper. Combine carrot, sugar, flour, oil, eggs, sultanas, pistachios, baking powder and spices in an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and beat on low speed until combined, then mix on medium speed until mixture becomes lighter in colour (1-2 minutes). Spread into the prepared tin and bake in the centre of the oven until the cake is golden brown, firm to the touch and a skewer inserted in the centre withdraws clean (1¼-1½ hours). Leave in tin to cool (10 minutes), then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely (2 hours). Halve horizontally with a serrated knife.
  • 2
    Meanwhile, for caramelised pistachios, oil a large flat non-stick baking tray and set aside. Heat a large frying pan over high heat and scatter caster sugar evenly over the base and toss occasionally until half-melted (2-3 minutes), then stir to remove any lumps until caramelised (1 minute). Pour into prepared baking tray, scatter pistachios over and set aside to cool (10-15 minutes), then coarsely chop.
  • 3
    For cardamom and cream cheese icing, combine ingredients in an electric mixer bowl, and beat until light and fluffy (2-3 minutes). Spread half the icing over the bottom half of cake, sandwich with the top, then spread remaining icing over the top. Scatter with caramelised pistachios and serve. Cake is best eaten on the day it's made, but will keep refrigerated in an airtight container for up to two days.