Happy National Carrot Cake Day! For some reason, February 3 has been deemed the day to celebrate the moist and spiced root vegetable-enhanced cake covered with cream cheese frosting. While many carrot cakes may look like the glowing specimen above, I'm going to use this holiday as an opportunity to point out my favorite carrot cake in the world (so far).


It make look like a boring, brownish-orangish lump, but the carrot cake from M&I International Food in the Russian community of Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, is easily the best chunk of carrot-enhanced cake I've ever eaten. Frosting is my least favorite part of the typical carrot cake since it sometimes seems excessive and if it's bad, it has the ability to destroy what could be a perfectly good cake. M&I's version is naked, preventing any potential harm by way of overly sweet frosting. Even better than the crust being unadorned is that it has a crisp texture when fresh—cracking through reveals the main star of moist, tender cake beneath.

Serious Eats New York dessert goddess Kathy YL Chan describes it best in her review of the cake:

A thin, super crisp crusty surface and innards that will blow your mind if nothing else. Thick forests of shredded carrots (not the thin shredded carrots you find in American carrot cakes, but thiiiick shredded), handfuls of walnut chunks and tons of raisins, of both the dark and golden breed. The cake itself? Incredibly moist with soft tender crumbs.

Kathy also said on at least one occasion that she'd want to serve this cake at her wedding. It's good stuff. We just wish it wasn't so far out on Brighton Beach. Any other favorites?

M&I International Food

249 Brighton Beach Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11235 (map)


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