Gajar ka Halwa Cake (Indian Carrot Cake)


Gajar ka Halwa Cake (Indian Carrot Cake) by

This Gajar ka Halwa Cake is like the Indian version of carrot cake. Itโ€™s made with ghee, pistachios, cashews, golden raisins, and plenty of freshly ground cardamom. It’s also low in sugar – there are only 2 tablespoons of raw honey in the whole cake! My carrot cake is based on the famous north Indian dessert, gajar ka halwa (carrot fudge).

Gajar ka Halwa is also known as gajrela (see my recipe here), and itโ€™s one of my dadโ€™s favorite desserts. Today is my dadโ€™s birthday, and so I came up with this cake recipe for him ๐Ÿ™‚ I made this cake earlier in the week, and it turned out amazingly. Iโ€™m going to bake this same cake later today so we can enjoy it tonight!

this is what I wrote my on FB wall today :) Happy Birthday to the most amazing Dad (Paul Singh)!! Thank you for always looking after me and for always being by my side. You went from helping me with my homework to now helping me with my taxes. Even at my age (20ish), you're still looking after me - paying bills that I don't know about (what's property tax?), taking care of those annoying camera speeding tickets that I (cough Roby cough) seem to get so often, and guiding me in the right direction when it comes to major life decisions. I'm always calling to ask for your advice because my dad knows everything! You'll always be my hero and it looks like I'll always be your little girl and I'm so thankful for that Love you, Daddy!
This is what I wrote my on FB wall today:
Happy Birthday to the most amazing Dad (Paul Singh)!! Thank you for always looking after me and for always being by my side.
You went from helping me with my homework to now helping me with my taxes. Even at my age (20-ish), you’re still looking after me – paying bills that I don’t know about (what’s property tax?), taking care of those annoying camera speeding tickets that I (cough Roby cough) seem to get so often, and guiding me in the right direction when it comes to major life decisions. I’m always calling to ask for your advice because my dad knows everything!
You’ll always be my hero, and it looks like I’ll always be your little girl, and I’m so thankful for that Love you, Daddy!

If you like carrot cake and cardamom, youโ€™ll love this cake. The ghee adds a rich buttery flavor, and the carrots, raisins, and raw honey add sweetness. I love the cashews and pistachios in the cake – they soften in the oven and provide a unique texture to the dessert. The main reason I love this cake? Because I know my dad will absolutely love it! And I hope you will too!

Gajar ka Halwa Cake (Indian Carrot Cake) by
carrots + cardamom + ghee + pistachios/cashews = awesome

Gajar ka Halwa Cake (Indian Carrot Cake)

Gajar ka Halwa Cake (Indian Carrot Cake) by

Gajar ka Halwa Cake (Indian Carrot Cake)

4.93 from 28 reviews
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  • 4 cups carrots grated
  • ยผ cup golden raisins
  • ยผ cup cashews roughly chopped
  • ยผ cup pistachios roughly chopped
  • 5 tablespoons melted ghee
  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom powder
  • 3 eggs whisked
  • 2 tablespoons raw honey
  • coconut butter or frosting optional for glaze


  • Preheat oven to 350 ยฐF.
  • Add carrots, raisins, cashews, pistachios and ghee into a bowl. Mix well.
  • In another bowl, add almond flour, baking soda and cardamom and stir until well combined.
  • Add the carrot mixture to the bowl and combine well - then mix in the honey and eggs.
  • Pour into a 9-inch springform pan and bake at 350ยฐF for 30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
  • Optional coconut drizzle: warm coconut butter and drizzle. Mix in some coconut oil if the butter is too thick.
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Find out more about my cookbooks Indian Food Under Pressure and South Asian Persuasion.

About Ashley

Hi, Iโ€™m Ashley. Thanks for being here! I truly believe that food brings us closer together. Gather around a table with good food and good people, and youโ€™ll have the ingredients you need to create some happy memories. My hope is that you find recipes here that you can’t wait to share with family and friends.


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  1. Mariana says

    Hi! Could I make this cake in two 6 inch tins? Iโ€™m planning to make it as a tall cake for a birthday with cream cheese frosting. Would his recipe suitable for that?

    • My Heart Beets says

      Hi Mariana, yes, I’ve actually done that before (but with a cardamom whipped cream filling), so I know it works ๐Ÿ™‚ You can keep the bake time the same. You may want to level the cakes before stacking them together. Let me know what you think!

  2. Rinita says

    5 stars
    Hi Ashley

    I made this today, and it turned out to be A.M.A.Z.I.N.G!!! I followed the steps to the T, however added sugar instead of honey.

    I have a question though. Can I decrease the number of eggs used or completely eliminate it and add milk or condensed milk instead? Will that work? I am asking only because I found the smell of the eggs a bit strong.

    Thanks for this awesome recipe.

  3. Helene says

    5 stars
    Made this cake today
    Itโ€™s absolutely yummy
    Thank you for the recipe
    Love them all I made so far

  4. Josh says

    Is this supposed to have a cake texture? I used 9 inch Corningware bowl and baked for almost 45 minutes as middle was not set. Toothpick came out clean but texture is more like halwa and pieces did not hold its shape. Taste great though!

    • My Heart Beets says

      Hi Josh! Yes, it should have a cake-like texture – I’m guessing it may require a longer cook time since you’re using a bowl. Glad you liked the taste though ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Sangeeta says

    4 stars
    I tried your recipe and it turned out good, except that I felt that it was not sweet enough. Otherwise, I love that itโ€™s gluten-free and a healthy dessert.
    Can I use sugar instead of honey? Or any other substitute?

    • My Heart Beets says

      Thanks Sangeeta! Yes, you can use sugar! If you liked it then maybe just follow the recipe again but add an extra couple tablespoons of sugar – that’s what I’d do ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Pushpanjali says

    Hi Ashley, this recipe looks amazing! I have a quick question. I want to make this for a friend who has a lot of food allergies and restrictions. Is there a way to make this without the egg? She cannot have eggs. Otherwise this is perfect.

    Thanks in advance!


    • My Heart Beets says

      I haven’t tried this without egg but I have heard of others successfully using egg replacers like chia seeds with water or flax seeds with water! Let me know if you try it this way ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Deb says

    5 stars
    This is my favourite recipe for a gluten free and paleo dessert. I have made it countless times. Thank you for a wonderful recipe. I attempted carrot halwa many years ago for a young coupleโ€™s first Christmas away from India, so great story about your cakeโ€™s inspiration.

  8. Heather says

    Just letting you and your readers know that I made your recipe (exactly) as well as a version substituting the carrots with zucchini and the raisins with dark chocolate pieces. Both tasted great, although my family and I are partial to the modified recipe. Unfortunately we didnโ€™t refrigerate the carrot cake and it spoiled after two days – lesson learned for the zucchini cake that was baked today! Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  9. Mor says

    Hi there!
    Looks like a great recipe ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m thinking of baking it for my 2 year old’s birthday.
    I have a few questions:
    Should the carrots be finely or roughly grated?
    Do you have an idea for a smooth frosting?
    Would the cake be easy to cut? I would like to cut it into a shape of a horse ๐Ÿ™‚

    • My Heart Beets says

      Hi Mor! You can grate the carrots either way. As for cutting the cake – it’s pretty textured so I’m not sure how easy it’ll be to shape after it bakes. If you try this please let me know how it turns out and how your daughter likes it!

  10. JL says

    5 stars
    I’ve made this before and it was huge hit. Such a big hit, that I’d like to make it again. Problem is, a bunch of us are counting calories. Any chance you have the nutrition break down for this and any of your other recipes?

    • My Heart Beets says

      Hi JL! I’m so glad you like the cake ๐Ÿ™‚ I don’t have calorie/nutritional info available on my website but I’m sure there are calculators on the web that you can use to help you figure that out?

  11. Margot Wing says

    5 stars
    I spent a few years of my childhood in India, and always loved halwa, the one made with cream of wheat! Fast forward 40 years and no longer eating wheat, so I would make it with cream of rice. But now limiting all grains, I find this! It’s even better than all of my memories of it!! I love your site and every one of your recipes that I have made. Thank you so much!

  12. Nikki says

    Hi Ashley,

    This recipe looks great! I wanted to ask you if there’s a way to make the cake without eggs? Or can I substitute it with something else?

  13. Brooke S. says

    5 stars
    Thank you so much for this recipe!!! We made it for my son’s birthday party and everyone loved it. I appreciate having a healthy option to serve my family and friends.

    BTW, we made a honey butter glaze for the top and it was delicious.

  14. Simmy says

    HI, I’m just wondering is it possible to leave out the raisins when making this recipe? as my husband can’t eat raisins and the rest of the recipe sounds great and simple so I would really like to try ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. Lenore says

    I’ve had this at Kashmire in Boston, and it was awesome. But there was some kind of white cheesy topping on it. What do you think that could be? Can you recommend a sweet topping for the same outside of typical cream cheese frosting? I want to make this recipe with something sweet on top.

    • My Heart Beets says

      Hi Lenore! That topping is called “koya” – it’s basically just whole milk but reduced until dried. It takes a looong time to make. You can read more about it on Wikipedia: Here in the United States, I know people make it with ricotta cheese, powdered milk, sugar and butter because it’s faster. I don’t really share dairy recipes on this blog so I don’t have a recipe for it but you basically just melt butter, then add the rest of the ingredients. If you want a dairy-free topping, make coconut whipped cream and spice it with cardamom ๐Ÿ™‚ Hope that helps!

  16. Angela Privin at Paleo Kitchen Lab says

    5 stars
    This was the perfect carrot cake. I made and served it for my birthday celebration and even people that don’t like carrot cake ate it and raved about it. This is a true keeper. And so healthy with 4 cups of carrots. Yum. And cardamom is one of my favorite spices.

  17. Jack says

    This was my first paleo recipe — I followed the directions to a tee. When I loaded into the springform, it seemed dry and not enough liquid to bind it. After cooking it looked crumbly. After releasing the springform, I cut it and it crumbled. More like consistency of dry cereal. Isn’t there supposed to be more liquid to bind it together ? Tasted delicious but not cake light.

  18. Colette says

    5 stars
    Hi Ashley! My brother just found out he is CANCER-FREE! When he found out he had Cancer he said, “When I’m all through with this I want a Carrot Cake!” Well, that day is here. He said being sick has been a wake-up call for him. He still wants Carrot Cake, but he wants it to be healthy. You never let me down when I need a great recipe! Thanks! ๐Ÿ™‚ HE LOVED IT!

  19. Sian says

    5 stars
    Yum!! I can’t wait to try this version, it sounds and looks amazing. Thanks so much, I just love so many of your recipes. Also, how cute are those pictures of you and your Dad. What a handsome man, and a beautiful daughter.

  20. Kylah Genade says

    I cannot bake to save my life – but its my husband’s birthday and he is anti-sugar, white flour, starch carbs etc…so I came across this recipe by chance and it looked completely do-able….Its in the oven right now…Im a little nervous as I have a history of burning the heck out of things (good thing we like our food – well done I guess)… but I am praying. It smells incredible…I had a friend from India who made us this ‘TO-DIE-FOR’ Rice pudding with cardamon in it and that is why I decided to give this a try…. very excited! Thank you for the great recipe – I am hoping it tastes as good as it looks. (I risked death just to sneak some of the batter – that whole salmonella raw egg thing – Im living on the edge but it was worth it!!) Kylah from South Africa!!

  21. Lisa says

    5 stars
    This was fantastic. SO fantastic, that I brought it to our local Indian restaurant for a friends birthday , and the staff were raving about it! They asked for the recipe ๐Ÿ™‚ How cool is that? I directed them here…Maybe the restaurant will start experimenting with your recipes…THAT would be perfect!!! I LOVE Indian but try to limit going out for it due to Paleo, but you have made it possible for me to enjoy it even more than ever! I made a Cashew Butter frosting to go with it, and it complemented the flavors of the cake perfectly. The first time I made it, I left it without frosting and it was equally delicious…doesn’t really need frosting, but it was a birthday ๐Ÿ™‚

  22. Gale says

    This recipe sounds so incredibly delicious! Definitely trying this week. And you look SO beautiful and happy in those photos with your Dad! You are both very lucky.

  23. Dottie B. says

    I’ve just recently gone Paleo and have never felt better; I want to make this for my moms birthday so I can have some too. All I have is coconut flour; can I substitute?

  24. Zahra says

    My husband started paleo and I was really all about trying to eat healthy, nothing else mattered. Then I started seeing a major change in his entire being (weight, mindset, positive vibes, overall happiness…) then I came across this recipe, and as I’m eating it, I finally get it!! Paleo is not only worthwhile, but enjoyable thanks to your recipes!! Thank you ๐Ÿ™‚

  25. Lauren says

    Looks great! Can’t wait to give it a try…do the pistachios need to be unsalted? Just wondering since all I have is salted pistachios. Thank you!

      • Lauren says

        I enjoyed your carrot cake recipe, Ashley! The salted pistachios worked well! I have one question, what size pan did you use? I used a standard cake pan but I think next time I need to keep it in the oven longer.

  26. Jen says

    Hi! I’m making this right now and just wondering how many cardamom pods should I add? And do I add them whole? Thanks!

    • My Heart Beets says

      Hi Jen, you can just use 1 tsp cardamom powder – I suggest pods because I think cardamom tastes best when freshly ground. I usually remove the shell and just use the seeds inside – Let me know how this turns out for you!

  27. Salma says

    Hello, I made this for my family and they absolutely loved it! I couldn’t believe how similar the taste was to gajrela. I am off to try a few more recipes ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank you!

  28. Amy says

    Made this today with traditional cream cheese frosting – beautiful! Will definitely be making again!
    Found your blog via Things My Belly Likes ๐Ÿ™‚

  29. Joanna says

    This looks amazing, and having had success with your carrot fudge recipie, I am going to try this soon! I can’t get ghee where I live (Ethiopia), but I can get butter, coconut milk (which solidifies in the fridge), and I already have coconut oil. Which of these would you suggest as a substitute? Thanks!

    • My Heart Beets says

      Hi Joanna! So glad you liked the carrot fudge! If you can get butter – I’d suggest making your own ghee. Just cook the butter on low heat until the milk solids caramelize/turn brown. Then strain the butter and you’ve got ghee ๐Ÿ™‚ If you don’t want to make your own ghee then you can use butter but you’ll lose a little bit of the toasted/nutty flavor that comes with using ghee.

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