Carrot-Pine Nut Cake from Parma

READY IN: 1hr 15mins
Recipe by Raquel Grinnell

I just saw Giada de Laurentis make this carrot cake/bread on the Food Network and didn't want to lose the recipe; it's SOOOO unusual with the addition of pine nuts, mascarpone cheese and fennel seeds. I can't wait to try it!

Top Review by hauckster

very different than traditional carrot cakes- very moist and the fennel has a pronounced flavor. excellent, SAVORY version of the classic. be sure to spank a lot of powdered sugar over it!

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  2. In a medium bowl sift together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.
  3. Place the pine nuts, 1/2 cup sugar, and fennel seeds in a food processor and pulse to mince the nuts. Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, and the carrots (easily shredded with the food processor attachment). Pulse to mince the carrots. Add the mascarpone cheese and pulse until the cheese is incorporated. If you can't find mascarpone, cream cheese is a good substitute.
  4. In a large bowl, using a hand mixer, cream together the butter and remaining 1/2 cup sugar. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well between adding each additional egg.
  5. Add the carrot mixture to the butter mixture and stir until combined. Add in 1/3 of the reserved dry ingredients and stir until just incorporated. Add the rest in thirds the same way.
  6. Place the mixture in a lightly greased and floured 8 by 10 by-2-inch baking dish. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes. Giada filled a cupcake-paper-lined muffin tin 3/4 full each, and baked for 18-20 minutes for individual portions.
  7. Let the bread/cake cool for 1 hour, then dust with powdered sugar. Cut into squares and serve.

Join the Conversation

  • all
  • reviews
  • tweaks
  • q & a