I’m updating this recipe. Just spoke with my son and daughter-in-law who said it was good but it wasn’t sweet enough! I admit, I don’t like my desserts as sweet as most people so I’ll adjust the recipe so that those of you who want a sweeter cake can still use this recipe.
I love carrot cake but I love my carrot cake to be more like a spice cake with some carrots in it. So unlike most carrot cakes, I add more spices. If you don’t, feel free to stop with the cinnamon. I was easily able to divide this cake into two bowls and mix some ground walnuts into one bowl (for my son and his family) and some chopped dates and pumpkin seeds into the other for me. This cake only takes one bowl and is fairly easy to mix even for me with 2 rotator cuff tears.
First, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 2, 8″ baking pans (I used one square and one round so that I knew which was which!). In a medium-large bowl, combine:
3 tablespoons ground flax
7 tablespoons warm water (1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon)
Whisk to combine and then let sit for 5 minutes or so to form flax gel. When ready add to it:
1/3 cup avocado oil
1/4 cup maple syrup
Whisk or stir to combine and then add:
1 scant cup unsweetened fruit sauce (apple, pear, peach, oh pineapple would be good) [I actually only had 7/8 of a cup and it worked fine]
1/2 to 1 cup date sugar (depending on how sweet you want it)
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
Stir or whisk to combine. Add:
3/4 cup non-dairy milk
Stir or whisk to combine (by now the whisk will be having a difficult time so use a hand mixer if necessary). Add:
1 cup grated carrots
1 1/2 cups all-purpose gluten-free flour
1 cup oat flour
Stir to combine adding another 1/4 cup of non-dairy milk if necessary. Stir in:
1/2 to 3/4 cup chopped walnuts, feel free to mix it up using chopped pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and/or dates, chopped raisins, cranberries, or dried pineapple also work (Optional)
Spoon the batter equally between the two pans and bake for 40-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean (I would actually bake it about 5 minutes more after the toothpick comes out clean). Don’t worry if it’s slightly overbaked since gluten-free baked goods take longer to cook than regular ones, it still comes out fine.
Remove from oven and let cool, on a cooling rack, for 15-20 minutes before removing from pan. Let cool completely before frosting or serving. For faster cooling, place in the refrigerator for about a half hour. Serves 8-12.
Vegan “Cream Cheese” Frosting
One just has to have cream cheese frosting on carrot cake! I’ve tried several nut-free, tofu-free recipes for vegan cream cheese and none of them worked very well until I found this one, delicious! Of course, if you don’t care for sweet potatoes, it may not be your cup of tea. It uses white flesh sweet potatoes which are starchier and not as sweet as the ones we’re used to here in the U.S. They can be called Japanese, Hannah, or Batata.
Wash, peel and dice:
1 large or 2 medium-sized white flesh sweet potatoes
Since we don’t want to add any liquid to the sweet potatoes, it’s very important that they are steamed rather than boiled. Steam until fork tender. Place in a small to medium bowl. Using a potato masher, mash and then measure out 2 cups.
Transfer the 2 cups to another medium bowl (or the same one if it used all the mashed potatoes). Add:
1/3 cup avocado oil
Juice from one lemon (about 2 tablespoons)
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1/8 teaspoon salt
There’s the basic recipe for vegan “cream cheese”. To make it into frosting, whip in using a hand mixer:
1/4 to 1/2 cup maple syrup, agave nectar, honey, etc.
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Will frost two layers of a naked cake (no frosting on the sides).