The harvest in our little community garden is finally in full swing and got me all inspired and daydreaming about new recipes using fresh, home-grown veg. This moist, spiced carrot cake with vegan cream cheese icing is one of my favourite new creations.
It’s is just all sorts of right. Great texture, full flavours, spicy but not overpowering with a cream cheese icing which compliments the cake perfectly.
It’s a great recipe for transitioning from summer to autumn, combining the flavours of fresh produce with warm, autumnal spice combinations.
I used gluten free flour for this recipe but it’ll turn out just as nicely if you use regular white all purpose flour instead. And to be perfectly honest, I used store bought carrots for the cake you see in the photos since I couldn’t stop myself from munching on our community garden ones before they made it home. The cake’s lifespan was even shorter. We gathered for a sunset picnic in a park and the cake was gone within 10 minutes.
- Carrot cake:
- 3 Tbsp ground flax seeds
- ⅔ cup white sugar
- ⅓ cup light brown sugar
- ⅔ cup margarine
- 1 ¼ cup flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 ½ tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp ground cloves
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups grated carrots
- ⅔ cup apple sauce
- Cream cheese icing:
- ¾ cup macadamia nuts (soaked)
- ½ cup plant-based cream (I used soy)
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 ½ tsp lemon juice
- 1 ½ Tbsp maple syrup
- pinch of salt
- Pre-heat the oven to 175˚C.
- For the cake mix 3 Tbsp ground flax seeds and 6 Tbsp water in a glass or bowl and set it aside.
- In a mixing bowl whisk together the white and light brown sugar and margarine.
- Then add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ground cinnamon, ground cloves, the ground flax seeds mixture and vanilla extract and mix until combined.
- Grate carrots (the number of carrots varies depending on their size) and add 2 cups of grated carrots and ⅔ cup apple sauce to the cake batter. Mix again and pour/scape the batter into a greased cake pan.
- Bake for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- For the cream cheese icing soak the macadamia nuts overnight or boil them for 10 minutes.
- Add the nuts, cream, vanilla extract, lemon juice, maple syrup and salt to a blender of food-processor and blitz until smooth and creamy.
- Let the cake cool completely, then add the icing. Enjoy!