Nielsen-Massey Carrot Cake With Vanilla Bean Icing

nielsen-massey carrot cakeThis post is part of Nielsen-Massey and Baking Mad’s Easter baking campaign, where they asked baking bloggers to try one of their twenty four delicious vanilla based recipes. They asked me if I would like to take part and I jumped at the chance as I love Nielsen-Massey vanilla so was very happy to be sent some for free! (I’m not just saying I love it because I was given free stuff – I genuinely mean it and I get through vast quantities of the stuff!). They sent me a lovely hamper full of vanilla extract, vanilla paste, vanilla bean pods and Billington’s golden caster sugar and golden icing sugar.

nielsen-massey hamperI decided to try their carrot cake recipe as I really like carrot cake but it had been several years since I had made/eaten any. The recipe was fairly simple and straightforward, but is a little different to the standard carrot cake as it contains pineapple, pistachios and pecan nuts; the cakes are also brushed with a lemon and vanilla sugar syrup when they come out of the oven, which not only provides a burst of flavour, but also helps to keep them lovely and moist.

carrot cake vanilla bean icingThe icing is a cream cheese icing (you can’t have carrot cake without cream cheese icing!) but again is a little different as it is flavoured with vanilla bean paste and made with golden icing sugar which lends it a fantastic fudgy caramel flavour (you could get away with using regular white icing sugar but I really do recommend trying the golden one – it has a completely different taste). It also contains more sugar than standard cream cheese icing, which means that there is no chance of it going runny – it is the perfect texture for spreading and piping. Even though it is sweeter, when paired with the cake I found it to have the perfect level of sweetness, and you still get a tang from the cream cheese.

carrot and pistachio cakeThe cake is made with wholemeal rather than plain flour, which, combined with the fact that it is packed full of fruit, vegetables and nuts, means that you can almost feel good about eating it (I’m not saying it’s healthy – it is still cake after all, just a healthier choice than say, chocolate fudge cake…). I can honestly say it was one one the nicest carrot cakes I have ever eaten, the addition of things like pistachios, vanilla bean paste and golden icing sugar made it feel a little bit dressed up and special, a slightly more grown-up version of carrot cake, but still one that everyone will enjoy. I decorated mine with chopped pistachios and freeze dried raspberry pieces for a bit of colour. You can find the recipe on the Baking Mad site here.

nielsen-massey carrot cake vanilla bean icingSomething to take note of if you decide to make it that I didn’t do but you should (I was pressed for time to take photos) – I suggest refrigerating the cake for an hour or so after you ice it, as all of the fruit, nuts and wholemeal make it a little crumbly and I found it difficult to slice neatly. Mine kept well and stayed moist for about four days in airtight container, it may well have kept for longer, but by that point it was all gone…

nielsen-massey vanilla bean carrot cakecarrot cake vanilla cream cheese icingI am sharing this with Totally Talented Tuesdays, Create Link Inspire, Foodie Fridiy, Fiesta Friday and Foodie Friends Friday

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36 Comments on Nielsen-Massey Carrot Cake With Vanilla Bean Icing

  1. skd
    April 7, 2015 at 12:03 pm (2 years ago)

    Looks stunning. Can’t resist trying my hand at this..

    Reply
    • hannahhossack
      April 8, 2015 at 9:26 pm (2 years ago)

      Thank you! ๐Ÿ™‚

      Reply
  2. Girl and the Kitchen
    April 7, 2015 at 1:56 pm (2 years ago)

    This is so beautiful! I love the design on top with the pistacios!!! YUM!

    Reply
    • hannahhossack
      April 8, 2015 at 9:27 pm (2 years ago)

      Thank you ๐Ÿ™‚

      Reply
      • Girl and the Kitchen
        April 17, 2015 at 7:28 pm (2 years ago)

        I didn’t realize you partied with us as well!!! Thank you for linking it with us at #FoodieFriDIY! It’s one of my fave features this week!

        Reply
        • hannahhossack
          April 21, 2015 at 8:55 am (2 years ago)

          What can I say, I like to party! ๐Ÿ™‚

          Reply
  3. Julie is Hostess At Heart
    April 7, 2015 at 2:27 pm (2 years ago)

    I would have died and gone to heaven had this basket shown up on my door step. I love nielsen-massey vanilla. Your cake looks just amazingly beautiful. Great job!

    Reply
    • hannahhossack
      April 8, 2015 at 9:27 pm (2 years ago)

      I was VERY happy! I get through so much of the stuff!

      Reply
  4. Annie Allen
    April 8, 2015 at 9:31 am (2 years ago)

    wow, stunningly beautiful! really looks so so pretty with the green and red on top! you are a true artist! plus, it looks delicious of course, i love carrot cake! another one for me to make! xxx

    Reply
    • hannahhossack
      April 8, 2015 at 9:29 pm (2 years ago)

      Aww thanks Annie ๐Ÿ™‚ It was really delicious, it’s been years since I last made carrot cake, I’d forgotten how good it is! xxx

      Reply
  5. Ginger
    April 9, 2015 at 9:04 pm (2 years ago)

    This looks fabulous! I always admire your details, such as the crescent-shaped sprinkles – ingenious!

    Reply
    • hannahhossack
      April 13, 2015 at 8:08 am (2 years ago)

      Thanks Ginger! ๐Ÿ™‚ Unfortunately the crescent shape meant that people eating one side of the cake didn’t get any sprinkles! (It looked pretty though)

      Reply
  6. Hilda
    April 10, 2015 at 5:12 pm (2 years ago)

    I’ve never heard of golden icing sugar before, but then I always learn something new at FF. This cake looks fabulous, and you have done such a lovely job of decorating it.

    Reply
    • hannahhossack
      April 13, 2015 at 8:13 am (2 years ago)

      I’ve only used it a couple of times, not everywhere sells it, but it does taste sooo good!

      Reply
  7. Kate (@Newmummykate)
    April 10, 2015 at 8:33 pm (2 years ago)

    Oh WOW this looks absolutely stunning and I bet it tastes amazing too.

    Reply
    • hannahhossack
      April 13, 2015 at 8:15 am (2 years ago)

      Thank you ๐Ÿ™‚ it certainly didn’t last long!

      Reply
  8. Divine Spice Box
    April 11, 2015 at 5:59 am (2 years ago)

    Looks delish .. so decadent.. and as many have said before, love the pistachio design on top.. it is infact the show stealer ! Absolute stunning ! Thanks for sharing on FF ๐Ÿ™‚

    Reply
    • hannahhossack
      April 13, 2015 at 8:24 am (2 years ago)

      Thank you! I was quite pleased with my sprinkling skills :p

      Reply
  9. Jhuls
    April 11, 2015 at 8:31 am (2 years ago)

    Wow! How beautiful is this cake?? Good job as always, Hannah. <3

    Reply
    • hannahhossack
      April 13, 2015 at 8:24 am (2 years ago)

      Thanks Jhuls ๐Ÿ™‚

      Reply
  10. tentimestea
    April 11, 2015 at 2:48 pm (2 years ago)

    The pistachios on the top look beautiful and the flavours sound delicious! I’ve never seen golden icing sugar before. It brought such a beautiful colour to the icing, and from the sounds of it, an amazing taste as well!
    I sometimes forget how good vanilla, even when it’s a background flavour; this is definitely inspiring me to use vanilla more ๐Ÿ™‚

    Reply
    • hannahhossack
      April 13, 2015 at 8:28 am (2 years ago)

      Thank you! I think a lot of places don’t sell golden icing sugar…it is worth seeking out though, sooo tasty! I love vanilla and use it in almost everything (hence why I was so pleased to be sent some for free!) even if it is just used to enhance other flavours such as chocolate

      Reply
  11. carolinescookingblog
    April 11, 2015 at 8:35 pm (2 years ago)

    Looks lovely! I do like carrot cake, and so prettily decorated.

    Reply
    • hannahhossack
      April 13, 2015 at 8:29 am (2 years ago)

      Thank you! I don’t make it nearly often enough…

      Reply
  12. Amanda
    April 12, 2015 at 11:43 am (2 years ago)

    I love carrot cake, and yours looks fantastic!! Love the design on top ๐Ÿ™‚

    Reply
    • hannahhossack
      April 13, 2015 at 8:30 am (2 years ago)

      Thank you!

      Reply
  13. Helen at Casa Costello
    April 12, 2015 at 6:04 pm (2 years ago)

    How do you do it? Every bake is more gorgeous than the rest. I’ve never thought to use wholemeal flour in carrot cake – good call. Love the clever decorations too. Thanks once again for joining in with #Bakeoftheweek

    Reply
    • hannahhossack
      April 13, 2015 at 8:34 am (2 years ago)

      Aww Thanks Helen ๐Ÿ™‚ The wholemeal flour worked incredibly well, you couldn’t even tell that it was wholemeal!

      Reply
  14. Jenny @ modern family baking
    April 15, 2015 at 8:42 pm (2 years ago)

    This is such a beautiful cake! Popping over from recipe of the week / bake of the week. I’ve actually just launched a new linky called #FamilyBakes on my site Modern Family Baking if you were interested in joining in?

    Reply
  15. Cupcake Crazy Gem
    April 20, 2015 at 9:16 pm (2 years ago)

    This looks gorgeous! I’m making mine tomorrow so glad to hear it was tasty!

    Reply
    • hannahhossack
      April 21, 2015 at 9:13 am (2 years ago)

      Thank you ๐Ÿ™‚ It was lovely, I’m sure you’ll enjoy it!

      Reply
  16. lucyparissi
    April 21, 2015 at 7:21 pm (2 years ago)

    Oh my that looks so delicious! Carrot cake is my husband’s specialty and neither one of us have made any in ages… I do think that when you add pineapple and pecans it is technically a hummingbird cake… but don’t quote me on that! Thanks for linking this gorgeous bake to #CookBlogShare

    Reply
    • hannahhossack
      April 22, 2015 at 9:17 am (2 years ago)

      I hadn’t made one in many years, there are just so many things I want to bake that a lot of old favourites get forgotten about! I think you might be right on the hummingbird front, either way it’s delicious! ๐Ÿ™‚

      Reply
  17. Steph @MisplacedBrit
    May 4, 2015 at 10:56 am (2 years ago)

    Absolutely mouthwatering! Your food photography is awesome ๐Ÿ™‚

    Reply
    • hannahhossack
      May 5, 2015 at 11:27 am (2 years ago)

      Thanks Steph! ๐Ÿ™‚

      Reply

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