I made this carrot cake for my birthday this year and it truly exceeded all expectations. Light, sweet , tangy carrot cake that retains its moisture without being all mush and no cake.
Perfect birthday cake or for any celebration including weddings , showers and braai’s. I had vegan and non-vegan friends tasting the cake at the party and it is undetectably vegan and gluten-free .
Make it your own :
- Nuts: I used a combination of walnuts and pecans but you can use only walnuts , only pecans or sunflower & pumpkin seeds if you have a nut allergy.
- Fruit: I used dried pineapple and dried date pieces but you can use raisins or canned pineapple pieces.
- Frosting: I did a cashew base cream cheese frosting with coconut yoghurt to give it that tanginess, lemon zest for flavour and passion fruit pulp for acidity . You can also do a regular cashew frosting with coconut milk or a buttercream with coconut cream or coconut whip.
If you try out this recipe , let me know how it goes . Leave a comment and tag the photo #thegoodroots on instagram or tag me @thegoodroots .
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time : 45 minutes
Servings : 12 slices
Cuisine : gluten-free, vegan
Freezer friendly : 3 weeks
Fresh for : 3-4 days
- 3 Tbsps groud flaxseeds + ½ cup water
- ¼ cup agave (maple syrup or honey)
- 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted ( sub any neutral oil)
- ½ cup coconut sugar ( sub brown sugar)
- 1 ½ cups almond flour
- 1 ½ cups gluten-free flour
- 1 ½ tsps baking powder
- 1 ½ tsps baking soda
- ¾ tsp salt
- ¼ cup coconut sugar ( sub cane sugar)
- 1 Tbsp cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp nutmeg (optional)
- ¼ tsp cloves (optional)
- ¼ tsp cardamom (optional)
- ½ cup walnuts, chopped & lightly roasted
- ¼ cup pecans , chopped & lightly roasted
- ½ cup dried pineapple, chopped (optional)
- ¼ cup dried date pieces (optional) (sub raisins)
- 1 cup unsweetened apple sauce
- 1 ½ cup grated carrot, loosely packed
- 3/4 cup almond milk
- 1 ½ cup raw cashews, soaked in hot water for 1 hour
- 1 Tbsp lemon zest
- 6 Tbsps passion fruit , adds acidity ( sub 3 Tbsps lemon juice )
- 4 Tbsps agave (maple syrup or honey if not vegan)
- ¼ cup coconut oil, melted (adds richness & thickens when sets)
- Pinch of salt
- 2/3 cup coconut yoghurt ( sub ½ cup coconut cream )
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 ½ tsp apple cider vinegar ( tangier frosting)
- Roast chopped nuts in 180 ℃ oven until light golden colour and fragrant. Soak cashews in hot water for 1 hour. Spray or butter and lightly dust with gluten-free flour either 3 round 15 cm cake tins or 2 cake tins of 20 cm. Shake out the excess flour and set aside.
- Bowl 1 : In a large mixing bowl prepare the flax eggs and then add the rest of the ingredients listed under bowl 1 and whisk with a hand mixer for 2 minutes until combined and a little lighter.
- Bowl 2: Whisk the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, sugar and spices together. Then add the grated carrot, roasted nuts , apple sauce and dried fruit but don’t mix in yet.
- Slowly start to incorporate the contents of bowl 1 into bowl 2 by mixing in a 1/3 cup of bowl 1 into bowl 2 until everything is combined.
- Then add 3/4 cup almond milk and more (1/4 cup extra) if still too thick. Cake mixture should be thick but still pourable.
- Divide evenly among cake tins. Bake for 45 – 50 minutes until golden brown and fork comes out clean. Note that the size of the pan used will vary the baking time. Begin with frosting.
- Blend all the ingredients for the frosting except passion fruit in the blender until smooth. Then mix the passion fruit in by hand. Transfer the frosting into a container and let it thicken up in the fridge until it is time to frost the cake.
- Remove from oven and let cool down for 15 minutes before running a knife on the sides of the tin and then gently taking the cake out of the tin and placing it on a cooling rack to cool down completely.
- Once cooled you can start to frost. Note that if using coconut yoghurt or coconut whip to frost the cake needs to be stored in the refrigerator and taken out 10 minutes before serving.
- I used the gluten-free flour from Woolworths as it’s the only one I like.
- I used coconut sugar but brown sugar and cane sugar do provide an even better texture (light and fluffy) for the cake.
- If nut-free substitute the almond milk for any other milk , almond flour with sunflower seed flour, oat flour or more gluten-free flour.