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Strawberry Carrot Cake with Candied Radishes and Rapini Flowers

Carrot walnut cake topped with honey cream cheese and decorated with fresh strawberries, candied radish, and rapini flowers. It's a bright, fun, and festive cake to commemorate spring in California!
Yield: makes three 6-inch cakes
Author: Maryanne Cabrera

Ingredients

Carrot Cake:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tablespoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 3 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts, lightly toasted
  • 4 large eggs, room temp
  • 1 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup milk, room tmep
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed

Whipped Honey Cream Cheese:

  • 1/2 cup cream cheese, room temp, softened
  • 1 cup heavy cream, cold
  • 2 Tablespoon honey

Toppings:

  • fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced, as needed
  • rapini flowers, as needed
  • candied radish, as needed (recipe follows)

Candied Radish:

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 watermelon radishes, sliced 1/4-inch thin

Instructions

Carrot Cake:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease three 6-inch round cake pans. (Alternatively you can also use two 8-inch cake pans and 8 muffin/cupcake cups.)
  • Whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and almond flour. Add carrots and nuts. Set aside.
  • In another bowl whisk together eggs, olive oil, milk, and sugars. Add this liquid mixture to the flour mixture. Stir until incorporated and there are no longer any dry streaks of flour.
  • Distribute cake batter evenly among prepared cake pans. Bake for 40-45 minutes until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Allow cake to cool in pan for 5-7 minutes before unmolding. Allow cakes to cool to room temperature on wire rack.

Whipped Honey Cream Cheese:

  • Do not whip this together until you ready to assemble and serve cake.
    In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Scrape down bowl as needed to ensure thorough mixing. Add chilled cream and honey. Continue to beat just until soft peaks.

Candied Radish:

  • Melt butter in a medium sauce pan over medium heat. Once butter is liquid, add sugar and water. Stir together. Continue to cook over medium heat until sugar has dissolved.
  • Reduce heat to medium-low. Add a layer of sliced radishes. Cook until radishes begin to soften. Turn over radishes and continue to cook until radishes are almost transparent. During this time, the water will evaporate and cook out. The mixture will bubble a little bit and may turn a slight caramel color. Do not be alarmed.
  • Once radishes are softened throughout and have shrunk in size, remove from pan and allow to cool.

Assembly:

  • Place cooled carrot cake on serving plate. Spoon a layer of honey cream cheese over the top of carrot cake. Arrange sliced strawberries, rapini flowers, and candied radishes on top. Serve immediately.
  • Alternatively, you can stack the carrot cake layers on top of each other for a very tall and decadent carrot cake.

Notes

CANDIED RADISHES INSPIRED AND ADAPTED FROM PRINCE SNOW FARM