Bunny food never looked so good! 5 best carrot cakes in Shanghai

Happy National Carrot Cake Day on the 3rd of February!

By Coquina Restrepo

Photograph: courtesy Dosage

It’s the year of the rabbit so let’s dig into some carrot cake culture! Carrot cake has a surprisingly long history, which, according to several sources, was most likely developed during the Middle Ages in Europe when sugar was rare and incredibly expensive, so baking sweet cakes was out of the question. Instead, peasants and bakers would use carrots which are naturally sweet to add sweetness to their breads and cakes.*

Photograph: O'Mills via Dianping

Today, carrot cake is probably one of the most controversial desserts because it’s different from place to place. The sweetness can be adjusted. Spices can be added or subtracted. Even the overall flavor can be changed by how much carrots you add! Shanghai cakes typically tend to run sweet and sugary, but carrot cake has less sugar than most cakes. Given the local taste for classical dessert ingredients like red dates, red beans and sesame, you can expect Shanghai to have its own unique interpretation on this classic Western pastry.

Photograph: Coquina Restrepo (SMAKA)

Whether you’re a bunny or carrot lover, finding a tasty slice of carrot cake is a great way to spend a chilly afternoon! Below we listed our top five favorite carrot cakes in all of Shanghai. Each café / bakery is a local Shanghai legend that puts their own spin on this classic dessert. Check out these beautiful bakeries and treat yourself to some healthy cakes.


Photograph: courtesy Dosage

Popularity voted that Dosage has the best carrot cake in Shanghai, they even quoted it on their website! Dosage is a stellar little café that bakes its own cakes and pastries in-house with great attention to design. They’re innovative in how they mix colors and flavors together to re-interpret classics. Just take a look at their carrot cake!

Photograph: courtesy Dosage

You wouldn’t normally think pink and orange goes together but with Dosage it totally does. They blended in the natural sweetness of carrots with fig together perfectly. There’s a nice, subtle carrot flavor in this cake and the cream cheese frosting just adds the best palette cleanser in-between.

Pair it with: Rooibos Latte

Photograph: courtesy Dosage

Dosage Bread & Wine (Julu), 616 Julu Lu

Dosage Bread & Wine (Yuyuan), 1421 Yuyuan Lu


We are nothing but totally in love with Egg’s baked goods and this carrot cake is no exception! Its focus on bringing out the natural sweetness of the carrot makes it stand out from the rest that usually reminds us of ginger bread. Their standout design is very “Spring Picnic” forward and its refreshing flavor helps make the chilly weather feel brighter!

Photograph: courtesy Egg

There’s a balanced carrot flavor to the cake that’s very nice and is less focused on the scent of cloves or ginger taste that you usually get with carrot cake. The cafe always uses all-natural ingredients so you can count this as your vegetable of the day. While your primary school kid might not love it, you definitely will!

Pair it with: Chai Latte

Photograph: Egg via @eggshanghai

Egg, 12 Xiangyang Bei Lu


Photograph: @smakacafe

If you want a little cultural experience then stop by one of our favorite local cafés: SMAKA! “Smaka” comes from the Swedish word “to have a taste” and we definitely encourage you to taste this cake! It’s one of our TOP favorites in Shanghai as the cafe creatively uses raisins and walnuts together to make a delicious work of art.

Photograph: Coquina Restrepo

The carrot flavor isn’t very strong but you can see carrot shavings in the actual cake. It’s not too sweet, perfect amount of cream cheese frosting, delicate in flavor and very similar to ginger cake without the spices overpowering it. So take a cultural “fika” break and have a slice!

Pair it with: Black coffee

Photograph: Coquina Restrepo

SMAKA (Changning), 769 Yuyuan Lu

SMAKA (Huangpu), 1F, Block B, Soho Fuxing Plaza, 277 Danshui Lu


Photograph: @omills.shanghai

If you want a more down-to-earth flavor then check out Shanghai’s favorite artisan bakery: O’Mills. O’Mills is famous for its seasonal menu and Insta-worthy brunch selection, and its carrot cake is no different! Using a gorgeous mix of naturally sweet fruit and nuts to enhance both the flavor and color palette, you will love to share this dessert on your feed.

Photograph: courtesy O'Mills Bakery & Bistro

The carrot concentration is just right and has a lot of depth! Because O’Mills master bakers are so good at their craft, you’ll taste hints of clove and citrus that really compliment the carrot flavor.

Pair it with: Cappuccino

O’Mills Bakery & Bistro (Xuhui), 110 Yongjia Lu

O’Mills Bakery & Bistro (Jing’an), 1F, South Block, Jing’an Kerry Center, 1515 Nanjing Xi Lu

Dutch Pies

Photograph: dutchpies.cn

If you want to trick your kids into eating their vegetables or getting a guilt-free dessert, Dutch Pies has the cake for you! Dutch Pies is great for curing a sugar craving and it didn’t disappoint us with their interpretation of carrot cake. They stuck to the basic design and recipe, nailing the taste and flavor of classic American carrot cake!

Photograph: Coquina Restrepo

This carrot cake was by far the least “carrot-y” even though there are a lot of carrot shavings in the actual cake. If you’re not a big fan of cream cheese frosting then you’ll be happy that there’s only a small layer on top of the cake! It’s very sweet with raisins and walnuts mixed in so each bite is a little bit different from the last!

Pair it with: Eggnog

Dutch Pies, B1, Financial Street (Jin Rong Jie), 780 Wanhangdu Lu

*Special thanks to The Kitchen Project (kitchenproject.com) and The Tasting Table (tastingtable.com) for helping in this research.

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