Brazilian Carrot Cake: Delicious and Different

Photo: Ednaldo

The scent of bolo de cenoura (Brazilian carrot cake) wafting from the kitchen is a special memory for many Brazilians. Carrot cake is the perfect snack, and it often delighted my friends and I when we came home from school. No wonder it’s a favorite here for both children and adults.

This is a classic recipe, and very simple to make. I’m sure most mothers in my country know it by heart. As opposed to the nutty, dense carrot cake you might be used to having, our version in Brazil is fluffy, moist and golden — topped with a homemade chocolate icing.

Yes, Brazilian carrot cake is very different from that in America and Europe. But it’s equally tasty! Besides not having raisins, walnuts, almonds and spices, the most interesting difference in this recipe is that the carrots are beaten and incorporated with the other ingredients. This gives the cake a beautiful, vibrant orange color. And a unique flavor!


A different kind of Carrot Cake

Traditionally, we make bolo de cenoura as a single-layer cake in a rectangular sheet pan. Then, simply cut it into squares. But, nowadays, you’re just as likely to see it as a European-style bundt cake. Another fun idea is to pour the batter into muffin tins to create little carrot cupcakes. For more decadence, some people even stir mini-chocolate chips into the batter!

We love our sweets in Brazil. In fact, most of our festivals end up being an excuse to gather with family, and so revolve around the making of food. Both Boi Bumbá, a Northeastern tradition, and Festa Junina (also from the Northeast, but celebrated across the country) include this cake recipe among the desired desserts on the table.

Brazilian carrot cake is nice treat any time of day. For kids, it’s perfect served with a glass of milk — while adults may take it with coffee or tea in the afternoon. I hope you try it! Please let me know what you think in the Comments.


Brazilian Carrot Cake • Bolo de Cenoura

Total Time: 1 Hour


    • 2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 tablespoon baking powder
    • 1 cup oil
    • 1 cup grated carrot
    • 2 cups sugar
    • 4 eggs
    Chocolate syrup:
    • 5 tablespoons sugar
    • 3 tablespoons powder chocolate
    • 1 tablespoons milk
    • 1 tablespoon butter


      Prepare the cake:
      1. In a blender, place the eggs, oil, carrots, and sugar. Beat well.
      2. Add this dry mixture, bit by bit, into the liquid carrot mixture.
      3. With a fouet (whisk), mix until turn it becomes a homogenous mass.
      4. Grease your chosen pan -- sheet or bundt -- with butter and flour. Pour the batter in.
      5. Preheat the oven to 350 F (180 C). Bake for 40 minutes.
      6. Remove the cake from oven, and allow it to cool while you make the syrup.
      Prepare the syrup:
      1. In a saucepan, place sugar, powdered chocolate, milk, and butter.
      2. Cook the mixture, stirring continuously, for about 10 minutes on medium heat.
      3. The topping is ready when it's the texture of chocolate syrup.

            Photos: Carolina Oliveira

            Like this article? Leave a comment, or subscribe to our newsletter for more fresh from Brazil.
            Carolina Oliveira

            Carolina Oliveira

            Carolina is a confectionary chef and cake designer in Niterói (across the bay from Rio de Janeiro). Besides studying gastronomy, she plays the African drums and does Jongo -- an African dance of southeast Brazil from which samba was born.

            One Comment

            1. liane says:

              Esse bolo parece delicioso!

            Share your thoughts...