Twisted Carrot Roses From "BraveTart" Recipe

Twist up thin strips of peeled carrot into simple, abstract roses to add a special touch to carrot cake.

Vicky Wasik

Why It Works

  • Peeling gives the carrot strips a smooth, delicate edge.
  • Poaching in simple syrup makes the carrot strips glossy and pliable.

Carrot cakes are often topped with carrot-shaped squiggles of frosting or marzipan, but you don't need any special ingredients to create these simple carrot roses. For a rainbow bouquet, grab packs of orange, red, and purple "confetti carrots" at the grocery or farmers market.

Reprinted from BraveTart: Iconic American Desserts with permission from W. W. Norton.

Recipe Facts

Active: About 30 mins
Total: 30 mins
Serves: 12 to 30 roses, depending on size

Rate & Comment


  • About 6 large carrots, at least 1 inch thick and preferably 7 to 8 inches in length

  • 8 ounces water (about 1 cup; 225g)

  • 7 ounces sugar (about 1 cup; 200g)

  • 1/4 teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt; for table salt, use about half as much by volume or the same weight


  1. Peel the carrots, then place on a cutting board; with a vegetable peeler pressed firmly against the root end, drag the blade down its length. Discard the first few thin and irregular strips, and continue peeling to amass a pile of thick, even ribbons.

  2. Combine water, sugar, and salt in a 2-quart stainless steel saucier over medium heat, and bring to a boil. Drop carrot ribbons into the bubbling syrup, simmer 30 seconds, then shut off the heat. When cool enough to handle, fish out a ribbon and let the excess syrup drip off.

  3. Holding the skinny end with your dominant hand, twist and wrap a carrot ribbon around itself to form a "bud." Continue twisting and wrapping to create the remaining petals, then tuck the end of the strip underneath itself. If you like, more strips can be added to create a larger rose. Place on a fully frosted Brown Butter Carrot Cake, repeating with additional carrot roses to create a lush bouquet.

    Carrot strips twisted into roses.

    Serious Eats / Vicky Wasik

Special equipment

Vegetable peeler, 2-quart stainless steel saucier


For a fancy, luminous effect, dissolve a few grams of pale gold luster dust in a tablespoon of lemon juice to brush over the finished roses.

This Recipe Appears In

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
23 Calories
0g Fat
6g Carbs
0g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 12 to 30
Amount per serving
Calories 23
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 24mg 1%
Total Carbohydrate 6g 2%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Total Sugars 4g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 1mg 5%
Calcium 9mg 1%
Iron 0mg 1%
Potassium 71mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)