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Black Sesame Carrot Cake

Recipe adapted from  Bon Appetit. Photo by Bon Appetit. 

Recipe adapted from  Bon Appetit. Photo by Bon Appetit. 

Carrots play a crucial role in our Imperfect boxes and end up being the anchor of many meals. They are the perfect snack, dipped in hummus, or addition to a hearty stew, but this recipe lets carrots shine as the dessert stars. Bon Appetit calls this a cake "worth throwing a party for." It's incredibly moist, expertly spiced, and even vegan! We're sold. 


  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray
  • 1½ c all-purpose flour
  • 1½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ¾ c granulated sugar
  • ⅓ c (packed) light brown sugar
  • ½ c vegetable oil
  • ⅓ c applesauce
  • ¼ c unsweetened almond milk or regular milk
  • 2 tsp finely grated peeled Imperfect ginger
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 medium Imperfect carrots (about 8 oz.), peeled, coarsely grated
  • 2 Tbsp black sesame seeds


  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Coat a 8x4” loaf pan with nonstick spray. Whisk flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a medium bowl.
  2. Whisk granulated sugar, brown sugar, oil, applesauce, almond milk, ginger, and vanilla in a large bowl. Gradually whisk in dry ingredients, then fold in carrots (be careful not to mix too much). Scrape batter into prepared pan; smooth top and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
  3. Bake cake until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 75–85 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack and let cake cool completely in pan before turning out.

Recipe Notes and Variations:

Cake can be made 3 days ahead. Store wrapped tightly at room temperature. Vegetable cakes are a great chance to get creative with your spices. Try using a teaspoon of ground cardamom or allspice in your spice blend. If you want a more interesting texture, try adding some chopped hazlenuts or almonds to your cake batter!