A few days ago was my friend’s birthday, and last week I asked what he wanted. He asked “Who makes the best carrot cake in New York?” Well, knowing he’s very health conscious and ingredient focused, I thought about how cream-cheese goopy and sugary most carrot cakes are and replied. “I will make you a carrot cake.”
We discussed what he wanted in his cake, and decided it would be vegan, with raisins, ginger, chocolate chips, and nuts. I suggested a coconut milk frosting to top it off. This is a no-holds-barred cake using all organic ingredients.
I’ve never actually made a carrot cake from scratch before, except for once at a catering company I freelance for, so it was a new adventure. I was hoping to score their recipe, but wasn’t able to get in touch with them, so I did some research for all kinds of carrot cake recipes, combined some ideas and inserted my own.
It took a bit longer to make this cake than I anticipated—there are a lot of steps between combining the dry ingredients, grating the ginger and carrots, beating the sugar and ‘eggs’ together, and actually mixing everything together and baking it, letting it cool, and making the frosting and applying it to the cake. Phew! A few hours of combined effort, but it’s a labor of love.
It came out a bit denser and darker than I anticipated, and the ginger and orange in it were not as strong as I was hoping for, but it was tasty and well received by all. Probably a carrot cake you have never had before. Try it out!
Recipe: Fruity Snowstorm Carrot Pecan Cake
My friend named it this because of the way the free-form frosting was sort of melting over the sides looked as if it had been hit with a snowstorm.
2 1/4 Organic All-purpose Flour
2 teaspoons Baking Soda
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Sea Salt
1 tablespoon Cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon Cloves
1/2 teaspoon Allspice
1 cup Organic Sugar
3-egg equivalent of Ener-g Egg Replacer
3/4 cup melted Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil (could use Organic Canola instead)
1/4 cup Organic Grade ‘B’ Maple Syrup
1 teaspoon Organic, Fair-Trade Vanilla Extract
1 cup Organic, Unsweetened Soy Milk
juice from 1 orange (about 1/3-1/2 cup)
2 1/2 cups grated Organic Carrots (about 4-5 medium large carrots)
3 tablespoons grated Organic Ginger (3-4” piece)
3 teaspoons Organic Orange zest (2-3 oranges)
1/3 cup Organic Raisins
1/2 cup Organic, vegan Chocolate Chips
1 cup Organic Pecans, chopped
1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
2. In a large bowl, sift together the dry ingredients. In the bowl of an electric mixer or a mixing bowl, beat together the sugar and egg-replacer mixture until fluffy.
3. In a separate bowl, combine the coconut oil, maple syrup, vanilla, soy milk, and orange juice. Then add in the beaten sugar mixture. Fold in the carrots, ginger, zest, raisins, chocolate chips, and 2/3 cup of the pecans.
4. Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and fold until combined. Do not over mix. If it still seems a little dry, add in a bit more orange juice or soy milk until a pourable, but thick batter is formed.
5. Pour the cake batter into a lightly greased 9-inch cake pan, or two 2 8-inch cake pans if you want to make a layer cake. Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
6. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for at least 1 hour before frosting.
Recipe: Coconut Milk Frosting
Makes about 4 cups
This frosting also makes a great vegan substitute for whipped cream that requires little additional sweetening and offers a light coconut flavor.
2 cans chilled Organic Coconut Milk (Full-Fat only)
3-4 tablespoons Organic Agave Nectar, to taste
2 teaspoons Organic, Fair-Trade Vanilla Extract
1. Chill the bowl and whisk attachment of an electric stand mixer in the freezer for 15-30 minutes.
2. Open the cans of coconut milk and transfer the semi-solid white fat that has risen to the top to the chilled mixing bowl. Discard the liquid.
3. Add in the agave and vanilla. Beat the mixture on high speed for about 5 minutes, until fluffy. Frost your cake or keep chilled until use.
4. You may want to chill your cake after frosting it to keep this frosting from melting off (as it will do, if it is kept in too warm of a place).
Note: You can also make this with a hand mixer though it may not come out as fluffy.