Carrot Cake by Tina Zaccardi - Winner, Great American Baking Show


  • 1 Teaspoon of Freshly Grated Orange Zest
  • 100 grams of Granulated Sugar ½ Cup
  • 100 grams of Light Brown Sugar ½ Cup
  • 2 Large Whole Eggs
  • 120 ml of Strippaggio Blood Orange Extra Virgin Olive Oil ½ Cup
  • 60 ml of Buttermilk ¼ Cup
  • 113 grams of Finely Grated Carrot 4 Ounces or 1 ¼ Cups
  • 60 grams of Chopped Toasted Pecans 2 Ounces or ½ Cup
  • 150 grams of All-Purpose Flour 1 ¼ Cups
  • ¾ Teaspoon of Baking Powder
  • ½ Teaspoon of Baking Soda
  • ½ Teaspoon of Kosher Salt
  • 2 Teaspoon of Ground Cinnamon
  • ¼ Teaspoon of Ground Ginger
  •  Teaspoon of Ground Cloves

       Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 85 grams of Block Cream Cheese 3 Ounces
  • 85 grams of Unsalted Butter 3 Ounces
  • 180 grams of Powdered Sugar 1 ½ Cups
  • 1 Teaspoon of Vanilla Extract
  • ¼ Teaspoon of Kosher Salt
  • 2-3 Tablespoons of Chopped Toasted Pecans


  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Butter the bottom and sides of an 8” round cake pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.
  • To a large bowl combine the sugars and the orange zest and massage together with your fingertips.
  • Next add eggs and beat vigorously until the mixture lightens in color, about 1-2 minutes.
  • Add the olive oil and the buttermilk and whisk until smooth and ingredients are well combined.
  • Using a large rubber spatula, fold in the carrots and pecans until incorporated.
  • In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger and cloves.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and fold in with a rubber spatula until the dry ingredients are just combined with the wet ingredients.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
  • Bake for 40-43 minutes or until the top springs back when lightly pressed.
  • Revove from the oven and place the pan on a wire rack to cool for about 10-15 minutes.
  • Invert the cake on a plate. Place a wire rack on the bottom of the cake and invert again. Allow the cake to cool completely on the wire rack.

         Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • Remove the cream cheese and the butter from the fridge and let sit out for about 20 minutes to soften.
  • Place the cream cheese and the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer, or in a sepertae bowl if using a hand mixer, and beat on medium speed for 1-2 minutes or until smooth and combined,
  • Add the powdered sugar, vanilla and salt and beat on medium speed until the frosting is smooth, about 1-2 minutes.
  • Place the cake on a serving place. Frost the top and sprinke with the chopped toasted pecans.