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
Makes: 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.

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