Food blog

Brazilian Carrot Cake: A Cozy Delight with Decadent Chocolate Frosting

Brazilian Carrot Cake: A delicious twist on a classic dessert

Carrot cake is a beloved dessert that has been enjoyed for generations. Its moist texture and warm flavors make it a delightful treat for any occasion. But have you ever heard of Brazilian Carrot Cake? This unique twist on the classic recipe takes traditional carrot cake to new heights with its comforting flavors and decadent chocolate frosting. In this article, we will explore the origins of Brazilian carrot cake, the history of its brigadeiro frosting, the differences between carrot cake and Brazilian bolo de cenoura, and a step-by-step guide to making this delicious dessert.

The history of Brazilian carrot cake brigadeiro glaze

While the exact origins of Brazilian carrot cake are uncertain, the frosting used on this delicious dessert has an interesting history. The ingredients for the cake’s rich frosting are the same as those found in Brazil’s classic brigadiero recipe. Brigadiero is a popular Brazilian dessert that originated in the 1940s during the political campaign of Eduardo Gomes. In an attempt to win over voters, Gomes’ supporters decided to appeal to their taste buds by creating a sweet treat instead of traditional campaign merchandise.
The Brigadiero was created by a confectioner named Heloisa Nabuco de Oliviera, who developed the recipe for these fudge-like chocolate balls. Due to the shortage of sugar and chocolate at the time, Oliviera had to find alternative ingredients that would still produce a delicious result. The name “Brigadiero” comes from Gomes’ military title as an air force brigadier. With the combination of Gomes’ campaign and Nestle’s marketing of its cocoa powder and condensed milk in Brazil, the Brigadiero quickly became a popular dessert in the country.

Differences between Carrot Cake and Brazilian Bolo de Cenoura

While carrot cake and Brazilian bolo de cenoura share similar ingredients, they have some distinct differences. In American carrot cake, spices such as nutmeg, cinnamon, and ginger are often added to enhance the flavor of the carrots. However, Brazilian carrot cake does not require any spices. Another difference is how the carrots are prepared. In traditional carrot cakes, the carrots are grated by hand, whereas Brazilian bolo de cenoura recipes often call for blending the carrots in a blender or food processor for a more efficient process.
One of the most notable differences is the icing. While traditional carrot cake is typically topped with cream cheese frosting, Brazilian carrot cake is topped with the famous brigadiero chocolate frosting. Made with cocoa powder and condensed milk, this frosting has a rich, fudge-like texture that perfectly complements the flavors of the cake.

How to make Brazilian carrot cake

Now that we’ve explored the history and differences, let’s dive into the process of making Brazilian carrot cake.
To begin, preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and prepare your cake pan by buttering and sprinkling it with flour. In a bowl, mix 1 tablespoon of baking powder with 2 cups of sifted flour. Sifting the flour is essential to eliminate lumps and ensure a smooth batter.
Next, it’s time to prepare the carrots. In a blender or food processor, puree 2 cups of carrots until smooth. This is the equivalent of just over 4 ½ medium carrots. Whether you peel or grate the carrots is up to you, as long as they are well blended.
In a separate bowl, combine the chopped carrots with 4 eggs, 1 ½ cups sugar, 1 cup vegetable oil, and a pinch of salt. Whisk these ingredients together until evenly combined. Then add the dry ingredients to the carrot mixture and stir until well incorporated.
Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and place in the preheated oven. Bake for about 50 minutes, but be careful not to open the oven too early or the cake may sink.
While the cake is baking, it’s time to prepare the Brigadiero chocolate glaze. Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool for 10-15 minutes. In a non-stick pan, combine 1 tablespoon butter, ⅓ cup sugar, ½ cup cocoa powder, and ⅓ cup water. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Continue stirring for 1-2 minutes, then remove from heat.
Finally, pour the Brigadiero chocolate glaze over the cooled carrot cake, letting it drip down the sides. Your Brazilian carrot cake is now ready to enjoy!


A delightful twist on the classic dessert, Brazilian Carrot Cake offers a unique blend of flavors and textures. Its simplicity, warm orange color, and decadent brigadiero frosting make it a crowd-pleaser for any occasion. Whether you’re exploring Brazilian cuisine or simply looking for a delicious dessert to impress your guests, Brazilian Carrot Cake is a fantastic choice. With its rich history, distinct differences from traditional carrot cake, and easy preparation, this cozy dessert topped with chocolate frosting is sure to become a new favorite in your recipe collection. Give it a try and enjoy the flavors of Brazil with every bite of this delicious treat.


Brazilian carrot cake differs from traditional carrot cake in several ways. First, Brazilian carrot cake typically does not include spices such as nutmeg, cinnamon, and ginger. Second, instead of grating the carrots, Brazilian recipes often call for blending the carrots in a blender or food processor. Finally, Brazilian carrot cake is iced with brigadiero chocolate icing, which is made with cocoa powder and condensed milk, instead of cream cheese icing.

How did brigadiero icing become associated with Brazilian carrot cake?

The brigadiero icing used on Brazilian carrot cake has its origins in the classic Brazilian brigadiero recipe. Brigadiero is a chocolate treat that was created during a political campaign in the 1940s. The frosting got its name from Eduardo Gomes, a candidate whose supporters wanted to appeal to voters’ taste buds. The combination of Gomes’ campaign, Nestle’s marketing of cocoa powder and condensed milk in Brazil, and the shortage of sugar and chocolate at the time led to the popularity of brigadiero, which eventually became associated with Brazilian carrot cake.

Can I use regular cream cheese frosting instead of Brigadiero frosting?

While brigadiero frosting is the traditional choice for Brazilian carrot cake, you can certainly use regular cream cheese frosting if you prefer. The flavors of cream cheese frosting can complement the carrot cake well, providing a tangy contrast to the sweetness of the cake. However, if you want to experience the authentic Brazilian flavor, it’s worth trying the brigadiero frosting.

Can I make Brazilian Carrot Cake without a blender or food processor?

While using a blender or food processor can make the process of preparing the carrots easier and more efficient, it is still possible to make Brazilian carrot cake without them. You can grate the carrots by hand using a box grater or hand grater. It may take a little more time and effort, but the end result will still be delicious.

Is Brazilian carrot cake too sweet?

One of the distinctive features of Brazilian carrot cake is that it is not overly sugary, as traditional carrot cake can sometimes be. Instead of relying heavily on sugar, Brazilian Carrot Cake relies on the rich flavors of cocoa and condensed milk in its frosting. The result is a dessert that strikes a balance between sweetness and rich flavors, making it a delightful treat enjoyed by many.

Can I make Brazilian Carrot Cake ahead of time?

Yes, you can make Brazilian Carrot Cake ahead of time. In fact, the flavors tend to develop and the cake becomes even more moist and flavorful after a day or two. Simply store the cake in an airtight container at room temperature or in the refrigerator. If you choose to refrigerate, be sure to bring it to room temperature before serving to allow the flavors to fully develop.

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