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Channel your inner pastry chef and elevate your cake with these vibrant embellishments that are a cinch to make. Best of all, they are as tasty as they are beautiful, adding sweetness, texture, and whimsy. Make up to five days ahead, and layer between sheets of wax paper in an airtight container. Store at room temperature.

Recipe by Southern Living March 2015


Credit: Alison Miksch; Styling: Caroline M. Cunningham

Recipe Summary

15 mins
1 hr 35 mins
Makes 15 to 20 curls


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • PREPARE CARROTS. Preheat oven to 225°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and lightly grease with cooking spray. Remove 15 to 20 long strips from carrots, using a vegetable peeler. (Strips will get wider as you get close to the core of the carrot.)

  • COOK AND DRAIN. Bring 1 cup water and 1 cup sugar to a boil in a large heavy-duty saucepan over medium-high heat. Add carrot strips, and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer carrot strips 15 minutes. Drain in a wire-mesh strainer, and cool 5 minutes.

  • BAKE THE STRIPS. Spread cooked carrot strips 1 inch apart in a single layer on prepared baking sheet. Bake at 225° for 30 minutes. As the carrot strips bake, they will begin to look translucent. Remove from oven. (Strips will be warm but cool enough to handle.)

  • CREATE THE CURLS. Working quickly, wrap each carrot strip around the handle of a wooden spoon, forming curls. Gently slide off spoon. Sprinkle with sugar, if desired. Let curls sit at room temperature until completely dry (about 30 minutes).