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Brown Butter Carrot Sheet Cake with Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese German Buttercream

  • Author: Erin Clarkson
  • Yield: Makes one 9” x 13” sheet cake 1x


Brown Butter Carrot Sheet Cake with Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese German Buttercream



Carrot Sheet Cake

  • 450g raw Sugar
  • 160g neutral oil
  • 115g butter, browned and cooled
  • 4 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp Heilala Vanilla Bean Paste
  • 150g all-purpose flour
  • 150g whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp cardamom
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • 2 tsp baking soda.
  • 360g carrot, grated
  • 100g walnuts, coarsely chopped

Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese German Buttercream

  • 110g sugar
  • 12g corn starch
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 tsp Heilala Vanilla Bean Paste
  • 190g whole milk
  • 340g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 225g cream cheese, at room temperature



  1. Preheat the oven to 350°f / 180°c. Grease a 9”x13” (22x33cm) baking pan, and line with parchment paper (I like to cut a piece slightly bigger than my pan, then cut a slit in each corner which form ‘tabs’ and allow you to fold the parchment into the corners nicely).
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the raw sugar, neutral oil, cooled brown butter, and eggs, and mix on medium speed until well combined and slightly lightened in colour, 2-3 minutes. Add the Heilala Vanilla Bean Paste and mix until combined.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, salt, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, and baking soda. Add to the mixer and mix until just combined. Add the carrots and walnuts and mix on low until just combined.
  4. Transfer to the pan, and bake for 45 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Cool completely in the pan on a wire rack. 


  1. In a bowl, whisk together the sugar and corn starch, then add the egg, egg yolk and salt, and whisk together well. In a medium non-stick saucepan, heat the milk and Heilala Vanilla Bean Paste to just shy of a simmer. Remove from the heat.
  2. Using one hand to whisk constantly, pour half of the hot milk mixture into the egg mixture. This helps to temper the eggs and stop them from scrambling. Whisk until incorporated, and then pour the whole lot back into the saucepan. 
  3. Heat the milk and egg mixture over medium heat, whisking constantly, until it begins to bubble. It will thicken quickly. Once it has thickened, cook for one minute, then remove from the heat. Pour into a shallow dish or bowl of a stand mixer and press some plastic wrap over the surface to avoid a skin from forming. Refrigerate until cold. If you are in a hurry, you can speed up this process by placing the custard mixture into a bowl, and placing the bowl into an ice bath, stirring frequently.
  4. Fit your mixer with the whisk attachment. Whip the custard mixture on medium until creamy and lump-free. Begin adding the butter, a few cubes at a time, until fully incorporated. Add in the cream cheese, and whip until smooth, then whip for a further 2-3 minutes until light and fluffy. Switch to the paddle attachment and beat on low for 3-4 minutes to help remove any big air bubbles.


  1. Carefully remove the cooled cake from the pan - I do this by turning it onto a wire rack, then using another wire rack with parchment paper on top to flip it up the right way - alternatively you can also put the buttercream on while it is still in the pan, which makes it super easy to transport.
  2. Scrape the buttercream onto the cake, and spread using an offset spatula - swoop it on as desired.
  3. Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature or the fridge.