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Carrot cake is a sweet, spicy dessert made with real shredded carrot. The traditional icing for carrot cake is usually cream-cheese based, though other frosting types can be substituted. Decorations for carrot cake can include piped frosting, shaped frosting flowers and rosettes, colored sugar, carrot-shaped sprinkles, and plastic carrot cake picks. Most carrot cake decorations can be used on full-sized cakes, miniature cakes, or cupcakes.
Apply carrot cake decorations in layers after the cake has cooled completely. Frosting can be applied in a decorative manner by using a pastry bag with a piping tip. Once the dessert has been frosted, other carrot cake decorations can be applied. If the decorations include frosting flowers or carrots, some of the icing should be reserved for that purpose. White frosting can be tinted with food coloring to achieve the right shades of orange and green for carrots and leaves.
Once tinted, the frosting can be added to a pastry bag and piped out into carrot shapes. A round pastry tip will make a simple carrot shape; a flat or rippled tip makes excellent leaves. Carrots and leaves can be piped directly onto the cake or piped onto parchment paper first. Once the frosting pieces set up, they can be transferred to the carrot cake and placed as desired.
Some of the fastest and easiest carrot cake decorations are made from shaped plastic. To use plastic carrots or bunnies to enhance a carrot cake or cupcake, simply press the pointed end of the decoration through the frosting and into the cake. If the plastic carrot cake decorations are not positioned properly the first time, they can be removed and reinserted with ease.
Candied carrot strips or pieces make excellent carrot cake decorations. Carrots can be candied at home or purchased ready to use from a cake decorating supplier. Other candied fruits or vegetables will work as carrot cake decorations as well; ginger, lemon, and orange peel all candy well and make sweet, orange-tinted edible decorations for carrot cakes.
Shopping for carrot cake decorations during the weeks leading up to Easter may yield cute carrot and bunny-shaped decorations that can be used year-round. The baking department of a big-box or grocery store is a good place to look for carrot-shaped sprinkles. These can be perfect for adding to the top of a carrot cake or cupcake once the frosting is applied.