Carrots for Dessert

14 February 2023

Carrots are root vegetables, generally orange but can also be colored purple, black, red, white, and yellow.  All carrots started from wild carrots native to Europe and Asia.  Different color varieties will have its own taste.  White are more sweet with a somewhat grainy or apple-like texture but purple will seem more peppery and tend toward woodiness.  The larger the carrot, the less tender and late season carrots can be really rather tough.

If you are preparing them as a side dish they pair well with basil, chervil, ginger, rosemary, savory, or thyme.  For garnish try parsley, mint, chives or cut green onion.

Gajar Ka Halwa | Carrot Halwa

This is a recipe for a traditional Indian dessert.  It does take some commitment since it needs to be stirred for a long time.  However, also included is an Instant Pot version that will take less effort.


  • 8 to 9 carrots or about 4 to 4 1/2 cups, grated
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 4 tablespoons Ghee (clarified butter)
  • 10 to 12 tablespoons sugar, more or less to taste
  • ½ to 1 teaspoon cardamom
  • 10 to 12 cashews, chopped
  • 10 to 12 almonds, sliced or chopped
  • 2 tablespoons golden raisins
  • 1 pinch saffron, optional


  • Rinse, peel, and grate the carrots
  • In a deep pan combine milk and grated carrots.
  • Over low to medium heat, bring the mixture to a boil and then simmer.
  • Reduce the heat to low and continue to stir. The grated carrots will cook in the milk and the milk will start to reduce and evaporate.
  • When the milk has reduced by 75% , add the ghee, sugar and cardamom.
  • Stir well and continue to simmer and cook on a low heat but continue to stir.
  • Add nuts, saffron, and raisins and simmer until all the liquid is evaporated.
  • Serve hot, warm, or cold garnished with dried fruits.

Directions for Instant Pot:

  • Combine carrots, milk,  sugar, and ghee in the steel insert of a 6 quart Instant Pot.  Mix all of the ingredients with a spoon to make an even mixture.
  • Seal the Instant Pot lid. Position with the valve in the sealing position. Pressure cook on high for 3 minutes.
  • After 3 minutes of pressure cooking, carefully do a quick pressure release (QPR). When all the pressure is released, open the lid. Stir and mix very well.
  • Press cancel and then press the sauté button, setting the time to 5 to 10 minutes on normal mode.
  • The carrot halwa will begin to simmer and bubble. Continue to stir often until the halwa thickens.
  • When the halwa has almost thickened, add almonds, cashews, cardamom and raisins.
  • Continue stirring and simmering until the liquids have evaporated and the carrot halwa thickens. The halwa will look glossy and you will some ghee releasing from the sides. Press the cancel button.

Carrot Coconut Cookies

This is particularly tasty when iced with orange butter frosting.  (For the frosting, cream together 1/3 cup butter with confectioners’ sugar, orange zest, and orange juice until light and fluffy.)


  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup cooked carrots, mashed
  • ¾ cup shredded coconut


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
  • Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time while continuing to beat until egss are fully incorporated. Add the mashed carrot, coconut, and flour mixture and stir until all the ingredients are well blended. Drop by spoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheets 2 inches apart.
  • Bake in the preheated oven until the cookies slightly flatten and are golden around the edges, about 8 minutes. Remove from the oven, and allow to cool on the sheet for 5 minutes. Remove to a wire rack, and cool completely.

Carrot Cake Bread

This is a hybrid of carrot cake and a bread.  It is lovely with butter or cream cheese.


  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • ½ cup milk
  • 2 cups carrots, shredded
  • 1 (3.5 ounce) package flaked coconut
  • ½ cup maraschino cherries, chopped
  • ½ cup raisins
  • ½ cup chopped nuts


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan.
  • In a large bowl, sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Combine eggs, oil, and milk; stir into flour mixture until well blended. Stir in carrots, coconut, cherries, raisins, and walnuts. Pour batter into prepared pan.
  • Bake in preheated oven 50 to 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into center of the loaf comes out clean. Let cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes before removing from the pan to cool completely. Store in plastic wrap to keep moist.
Finger Lakes Events

See Your Business Here!

For more information on our listings, advertising, coupons, and mailers, please contact us today!