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"Healthified" Carrot Cake {Gluten-Free, Vegan, Refined Sugar-Free}

“Healthified” Carrot Cake


  • Author: Audrey @ Unconventional Baker
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 23 minutes
  • Total Time: 38 minutes
  • Yield: approx. 12 servings
  • Category: Cake
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: Dessert

Description

A gluten-free, vegan, refined-sugar free carrot cake.


Ingredients

Cake:

  • 1 cup + 6 tbsp of my gf flour mix {½ cup brown rice flour, ½ cup tapioca starch, 6 tbsp sweet sticky rice flour/glutinous rice flour, ½ tsp guar gum}{or, if using a store-bought mix I recommend using 1¼ cups of Pamela’s Artisan Flour Blend}.
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • dash of salt
  • 1½ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • 1 cup maple syrup
  • ½ cup unsweetened applesauce {for a homemade version, see here}
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1½ cups finely grated carrots
  • 1 cup of add-ins of your choice: I used ½ cup raisins, ½ cup walnuts {other traditional add-ins you can try: other nuts or dried fruit, shredded coconut}

Frosting:

  • 1½cups cashews, presoaked for at least a few hours {or for 15 mins in boiled water, if in a rush}
  • ⅓ cup water or non-dairy milk, warm or at room temperature {milk would give it a slightly whiter look}
  • ¼ cup maple syrup, at room temperature
  • 34 tbsp coconut oil, softened
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice, at room temperature
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Optional Carrot Hearts Topping:

  • a few extra carrots and a tiny heart cookie cutter {I used the one that came with my linzer cookie cutters set}

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Generously butter an 8″ x 12″ cake pan {or anything of a similar size} and set aside.
  2. Sift flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a large mixing bowl. Add in sweetener, applesauce, and lemon juice and use a mixer to mix everything together. Add in the grated carrots mix through once more to incorporate. Fold in the add-in items. Transfer this batter into the prepared cake pan. Level the top using a spatula to even out the surface.
  3. Bake in a preheated oven for approximately 23 minutes until the top becomes golden and a skewer inserted down the center comes out dry. Remove from oven and set on a wire rack to cool completely.
  4. Prepare the frosting by placing all ingredients in a good blender and process until completely smooth {I used my Vitamix for this}. Adjust the sweetness to taste. Feel free to add a hint more water/milk to help blending as needed. Note that if your ingredients are not at room temp here, the coconut oil will begin to set before the frosting is blended through.
  5. Once the cake has completely cooled, spread the frosting over the top evenly. Place the cake in the fridge for at least an hour or two to help the frosting set a little {unless you don’t mind a very soft frosting, of course ;) }.
  6. If using the carrot heart topping, simply slice the carrots into thin rounds {1/16″ of an inch or so}, and then use a little heart cutter to cut out a heart out of each slice. Sprinkle the hearts over the top of the cake, cut the cake into slices and serve! {Note: the carrots will brown up after a few hours, so best to make them & decorate with them right before serving}. Enjoy!

Notes

Recipe easily doubles for a larger cake

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