Creative Ideas for Decorating a Carrot Cake

Published April 25, 2018
Carrot cake Grey stone background

A carrot cake is a traditional spring dessert that is reminiscent of Easter. However, you can serve this delicious cake anytime when you think outside the box for your decorations.

Classic Carrot Cake Decorations

Traditional carrot cake decorations feature a small carrot on each slice. The carrot can be piped on with buttercream or formed out of fondant. Space them equally around the cake if you're decorating a round cake or make light cutting lines on a sheet cake so you can center the carrot on each piece. Round cakes can have crushed pecans pressed into the sides for additional decoration.

Fondant Carrots

Carrot cake with walnuts an whipped cream

Make the fondant carrot by shaping orange fondant into a carrot. Use a knife to make lines across the carrot. Form leaves out of green fondant.

Buttercream Carrots

Carrot cake with buttercream carrot

Make simple carrots using a small round tip. Start at the bottom of the slide and slowly move back and forth on the side, widening the movement as you move up the slice. Stop so you leave enough room for the leaves. Put green buttercream in a pastry bag with a star tip. Pip two small stars on the top of the carrot to represent the leaves.

Orange Swirl Design

Orange Swirl Carrot Cake

Carrots are orange, so feel free to capitalize on this with your decorations. Frost cake with a fairly thick crumb coat. Don't smooth or scrape it down. Instead, dip a small edger in orange food gel. Slowly scrape around the cake to make the broken stripe design until it looks good. If needed, you can touch up with a food-safe paintbrush. Make a circle around the top, stopping with a small swirl in the center. Add dried fruit, chocolate, and nuts to one side to create an artful presentation.

Drizzled Decorations

Drizzled Carrot Cake

Drizzling bright thinned buttercream looks like splattered paint and brightens up a table. Add thick cream cheese frosting to the cake layers and only frost the top of the cake. Then, using brightly tinted thin buttercream, take a spatula or spoon and drizzle back and forth over half the cake. Make sure you get some on the sides of the cake as well. Use orange as one color and another bright tone, such as teal, for the other. A few strategically placed pecans round out the decorations.

Rustic Rose Carrot Cake

Incorporate actual carrots into the cake decorations. Wash and dry full carrots. Use a vegetable peeler to shave long thin strips off the carrots. Carefully arrange on top of the cake in the shape of the rose. It's fine if you need to use several strips to complete the outer circles of the rose because this will help it look more like actual petals. It's best to use a little stiffer buttercream or cream cheese frosting so when you press the strips into the cake, they will hold their places.

Rustic Carrot Cake With Real Carrots

Rustic Naked Decorating Idea

A "naked" cake allows you to see the cake through the frosting (or it has no frosting on the sides at all). Earthy flavors like carrot cakes lend themselves well to this decorating trend. Frost the cake with a light coat of buttercream or cream cheese frosting, scraping to show the cake layers. A small gooseberry tomato with leaves only enhances the rustic look of this cake.

Rustic Naked Carrot Cake

Fall Nut and Fruit Mix

Fruit and Nut Carrot Cake

Decorating your cake to match the season is a lovely idea. If you're serving in the fall, spice up the cake with a nut and fruit mix to match it. Chocolate dipped tangerine slices, chocolate shavings, crushed walnuts, cherries, and cranberries scattered on top of a carrot cake is the perfect solution when you don't have time to decorate the cake fully and want to match your autumnal decor.

Creative Carrot Cake Designs

While decorating a carrot-flavored cake with carrots is a classic touch, you can always think outside the box. Decorate for the special occasion you're celebrating or use one of these creative options to switch things up.

Creative Ideas for Decorating a Carrot Cake