Cookbook author and cooking teacher Sonoko Sakai extends her passion for miso to this cake recipe. She explains, "When I moved to Los Angeles from Tokyo, my mother took us to a diner where she ordered us carrot cake for the first time. She was always encouraging us to try things, but a vegetable cake? I was skeptical at first, but when I took the first bite, I fell in love. Soon, I began making my own. I'd never baked with any of these ingredients before, so I felt a little more American every time. Later in my life, the Japanese in me wondered about adding miso to the frosting—after all, mochi sweets are often flavored with miso. I found it offsets the sweetness and gives it a punch of umami. I like to use both white and red miso. Since the flavor of miso varies, start small, taste and adjust to suit your palate."

EatingWell Magazine, March 2022


Credit: Rick Poon

Recipe Summary

30 mins
2 hrs 10 mins

Nutrition Profile:





Instructions Checklist
  • To prepare cake: Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat an 8-inch-square baking pan with cooking spray. Line the bottom with parchment paper and coat it with cooking spray.

  • Whisk all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Beat eggs, buttermilk, brown sugar, granulated sugar and vanilla in a large bowl with an electric mixer until well combined, about 2 minutes. Beat in coconut oil in a slow stream. Whisk in the flour mixture in 3 additions; beat until just combined. Fold in carrots and walnuts (if using). Scrape the batter into the prepared pan.

  • Bake the cake, rotating the pan halfway through, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Run a knife around the edges and turn the cake out onto a wire rack to cool completely, about 50 minutes. Peel off the parchment paper.

  • To prepare frosting: Beat cream cheese, butter and miso to taste in a large bowl with an electric mixer until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add confectioners' sugar and vanilla; beat on low speed for 30 seconds, then increase speed to high and beat until combined, about 30 seconds more. Frost the cooled cake. Garnish with walnuts, if desired.

Nutrition Facts

1 piece
317 calories; protein 4g; carbohydrates 41g; dietary fiber 1g; sugars 29g; added sugar 27g; fat 16g; saturated fat 10g; cholesterol 56mg; sodium 337mg; potassium 150mg.