Ok, what season is it... Sometime in early spring(!) I made a delicious baked chocolate carrot cake, and promised to share the recipe later. Except you know how life gets... 6 months later, I got a nice "Hey, where's that cake?!" reader email reminding me of the aforementioned promise.
So where was the cake? Well by this point the recipe had gotten a bit buried, but luckily after a rummage through paper / sticky notes and online docs, the long lost chocolate cake was rescued from the depths of my chaotic baking archives. Yay :)
Now any lost recipe hunter knows that the only responsible thing to do when so much time has lapsed since the original recipe was documented is to... you know, test it again. Just
for the excuse to be sure it's the correct rich, gooey, mega-chocolatey cake recipe you remember.
Happy to report it's just as good as it was 6 months ago. Yep, delicious alright...
This is a layer cake recipe, left "naked" for the sake of simplicity by only frosting the middle and top. If you're not a layer cake kinda person, or don't have a special occasion to make this for, it works well as a sheet cake, too -- single pan, single layer of delicious frosting, zero fuss. All the chocolate.
And speaking of frosting, when I made this the first time I didn't include the cashew butter in the frosting -- the result was more of a firmer chocolate ganache. With the added cashew butter in there this time though, it became thick and fluffy, and uber satisfying.
A pinch cinnamon thrown in is lovely, though optional. This frosting would work great with other flavors, I'm sure -- like peppermint, or a hint of almond extract, orange extract, etc. Somehow the warm tone of cinnamon made a lot of sense to me with a carrot cake profile.
By the way, unlike a regular carrot cake, you can't taste too much carrot in this chocolate version. You're basically relying on the goodness of sneaking veggies in there more for nutritional content, moisture, and a hint of flavor.
Rich, gooey, mega-chocolatey baked carrot cake with layers of vegan chocolate frosting. Gluten-free and refined sugar-free.
Cake -- Wet Ingredients:
- 5 steamed carrots
- ¼ cup water
- ¾ cup agave
- ¼ cup cashew butter
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
Cake -- Dry Ingredients:
- 6 tbsp cocoa powder
- ¼ cup white rice flour
- 3 tbsp tapioca starch
- 3 tbsp sweet sticky rice flour
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ⅛ tsp salt
- 1 ½ cup chopped chocolate bar of your choice (or chocolate chips)
- cream from 1 can of full fat coconut milk chilled overnight (only the solid white part; roughly just over ½ cup)
- ½ cup cashew butter
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- optional: ½ teaspoon raw ground vanilla bean
- ⅛ tsp salt
- Pre-heat oven to 350F. Lightly oil 2 6" round cake pans and line the base with a parchment paper circle. Set aside. (Note: if you prefer, use an 8"x8" square pan or a pan of a similar size for a sheet cake instead of a layer cake).
- Process all wet cake ingredients into a puree in a food processor (as smoothly as you can). Add in dry ingredients and process again to blend the mixture together. Divide the cake batter between the two prepared pans. Bake in a pre-heated oven for 40 mins, or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out dry. Remove from oven and cool completely on a cooling rack.
- While cake is baking, prepare the frosting by melting the chocolate on a double boiler. Remove chocolate mixture from heat, stir in remaining frosting ingredients and stir vigorously to combine. The mixture will be soft / runny at this point, so place it in the freezer until ready to frost to firm up a bit (for an hour or so, or until you get to your desired consistency). When the cake is cooled, check on the frosting -- if it is too firm, simply re-warm it for a few minutes on a double boiler, stirring as it softens, until it reaches a good spreadable consistency.
- Assembly: Place the first cake layer on a plate (or serving tray). Spread about half the frosting evenly (leaving about ½ an inch all around the edges unfrosted). Cover with the second cake layer and press down gently in the center to set the cake. Then frost the top with the remaining cake frosting. (Alternatively, you can just divide the frosting between the two cake layers, and frost the top of each evenly. Then layer one over the other). Place the cake in the refrigerator for about 30 mins for the frosting to settle. Then enjoy! (Store leftovers in the fridge).