By Gillian Burdett

A dessert that can pass for a serving of vegetables, what’s not to love?  Everyone’s favorite root has been the star of sweet confections since the Middle Ages when carrots were steamed, sweetened with honey, mashed with eggs and baked into a delectable pudding.  Today’s variations come standing as tiered torts or baked loaves akin to fruit breads. Carrots are loaded with beta-carotene and fiber. The addition of nuts gives each moist wedge a boost of heart-healthy omega-3s, just what the doctor ordered.  Here are our picks for the best spots to fill your own carrot cake prescription in Connecticut.

Take the Cake
2458 Boston Post Road
Guilford, CT 06437
(203) 453-1896

For more than two decades, this small bakery in the shoreline community of Guilford has been turning out some of the best cakes baked in Southern New England. Originally launched as a wholesale operation, Take the Cake established itself by providing area restaurants with the finest desserts. A retail bakery and coffee shop soon followed. Customers rave about their sweet, nut-filled carrot cake, which is swirled with cream cheese icing. Cakes may be purchased whole or by the slice.

Marjolaine Pastry Shop
961 State St.
New Haven, CT 06511
(203) 789-8589

You might not think a French pastry shop is a go-to place for a cake with English origins, but the pastry chefs at Marjolaine’s do a fabulous carrot cake. Their version is loaded with coconut, pecans and raisins. Covered in a creamy cream cheese frosting and decorated with marzipan carrots, this cake has great eye-appeal and taste.

The Pantry
1580 Post Road
Fairfield, CT 06824
(203) 259-0400

The bakery at The Pantry is a favorite in Fairfield County. The bakers use fresh, locally sourced ingredients and jump on the latest trends in the industry, continually update their offerings of baked goods in response to customers’ desires. The shop is loaded with atmosphere that suggests a European marketplace. The Pantry’s carrot cake is a light version packed with nuts. They do a large volume of business ensuring everything is at its freshest.

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Farm River Plaza
5 Foxon Road
North Branford, CT 06471
(203) 488-2800

The carrot cake here is moist and hearty. JCakes gourmet version of the classic carrot cake includes dried cranberries and coconut for super texture and sweetness. Their two-layered creation is filled and covered with a thick layer of cream cheese frosting. This award-bakery is best known for its wedding cakes, and the pastry chefs are true artists when it comes to cake decorating. JCakes is a good choice if you want to impress dinner guests with an amazing dessert. All cakes are custom made. You must call ahead with your order.

767 Farmington Ave.
Farmington, CT 06032
(860) 409-0667

For those that need help with portion control, Truffles offers a rich carrot cupcake. It’s swirled in classic cream cheese frosting, and a whimsical carrot is piped on top. Currently, all baking is done at the Avon shop and sold fresh at both locations. Truffles is a runner-up in the Hartford Courant’s Connecticut’s Sweet 16 contest, a readers choice poll that uncovers the state’s sweetest shops.

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