Carrot Cake with Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting
Ever just have the most insane hankering for something? I usually get it for sweets, lets be real, but Last week I just knew that I needed some carrot cake with a cream cheese frosting and all the fixings. It wasn't exactly my dessert of choice - seeing as I tend to be a chocolate girl, but there's something about a carrot cake with the raisins, nuts and crunch that I just love about it. And knowing that I wanted to make a dairy free 'cream cheese' frosting, I knew I had to spend some time experimenting to get this one to taste like the real deal - and if I quote my friend who tried it, it was straight 'wizardry' in how good it was. So, I guess I'll leave it for you to whip up and decide.
Another key component to this cake is one very secret ingredient that helps to make it extra fluffy and soft: SELTZER. Just like my sweet potato cinnamon rolls recipe, I have vivid memories of my dad putting seltzer into cake or pancake recipes because it brings in those air bubbles making things super fluffy.
My one big trick for dealing with those carrots, instead of grating by hand, pop them into your food processor and pulse until they break down to a more manageable size. It only will take a few minutes. Once that's ready, set it aside and pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl mix together all your dry ingredients - give a quick stir before adding in nuts and raisins. Then in another small bowl, whisk together all the wet ingredients, when you're ready pour the wet ingredients into the dry (you can also do this in a stand mixer if you'd prefer) and thoroughly combine. Next, pour in the carrots and mix. Last, but certainly not least, pour in that little bit of seltzer and stir - you'll hear it fizz and maybe bubble a little!
I knew I wanted to make a 3 layered 6 inch cake - there's something so much more playful about a smaller cake with more layers. Given that I only have one 6 inch round, I baked all 3 layers separately for 30 minutes each time - or until a knife comes out clean. I evenly pour 1 1/2 cups of the batter into the parchment and greased pan so each one came out exactly the same. You very easily could do a larger round and just do two layers, or a sheet pan if you'd prefer. Even muffins!
Once each layer is complete and cooled its time to make the frosting. How the heck this magic happens, I'm not sure - but combining powdered sugar, vanilla coconut yogurt and cashew butter for some reason makes it taste EXACTLY like cream cheese frosting. For a thicker frosting add a little more powdered sugar, but I ran out :D So my frosting was a little more like a glaze - either way, it tasted amazing and soaked right into the cake. Frost each layer and the top before topping with chopped walnuts or pecans, and store in the fridge until you're ready to serve.
Carrot Cake with Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting (DF + can be GF)
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes for each 6 inch round (I had 3)
½ cup coconut flour
1 cup spelt flour (or GF flour if you need to)
½ cup almond flour
1 cup oat flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger
1 tablespoon flax
1/3 cup maple syrup
3 tablespoons ghee/vegan butter
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
2/3 cup shredded coconut
2/3 cup raisins
1 ½ cups shredded carrots
¼ cup almond milk
1 ¾ cup club soda/plain seltzer
Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients
2-3 cups powdered sugar
3-4 tablespoons vanilla coconut yogurt
1/4-1/3 cup cashew butter (I love Justin's Maple!)
** Adjust the frosting to your liking of a thicker frosting or thinner glaze.
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
In a food processor – finely shred carrots and set aside.
Mix together all dry ingredients and raisins and coconut in one large bowl. Set aside.
In a small bowl, whisk together eggs, maple syrup, vanilla, almond milk, apple cider vinegar and ghee.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and add in the carrots. Thoroughly stir.
Lastly, pour in the club soda (it’ll fizz!) and stir thoroughly.
Bake at 350 degrees. For a small 6 inch pan that’s layered, bake for 30 minutes or until knife comes out cleanly. I baked separate because I only have one 6 inch round pan – 1 ½ cups of batter in each one, baked separately, greased and lined with parchment. Allow to cool thoroughly before frosting.
For frosting, whisk together all ingredients and dress cake however you'd like.
Store in refrigerator until you serve.