This recipe for Vegan Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting started out as something called a "Carrot Cake Breakfast Bake" Simply because the ingredients are reminiscent of a sort of baked carrot cake oatmeal. But after one bite of this moist and rustic treat I realized it was totally dessert-approved and could easily rival traditional frosted carrot cake. And the best part: this cake is free of refined flour and there is no powdered sugar in the cream cheese frosting.
Flavors. Nutty walnuts, thick bits of sweet carrot, spices, orange zest, tender sweet organic raisins and that cream cheese frosting on top is everything you want from a carrot cake frosting .. minus the animal products. Try my recipe and you will be enjoying this healthy-delicious, easy carrot cake in a flash!..
Share this cake with someone you love!..
Flour free. I have been using homemade oat flour in a few recipes lately - like these Fresh Blueberry Muffins, and I love it. Instead of using "flour" I simply take whole rolled oats and process them for 1-2 minutes in my Vitamix (or food processor) and in seconds, I have silky, rustic oat flour. I keep it kinda textured so there are still a few whole oats in the mix.
Gluten-Free Carrot Cake. If you are OK with oats on a GF diet, this recipe is gluten-free too.
Powdered Sugar Free. I was THIS close to just tossing in some powdered sugar when making the frosting. But I am so glad that I used dates instead! This date-sweetened frosting is so creamy, sticky, fluffy and delicious. I was a bit afraid that the dates would turn the frosting brown, but instead it turned a textured caramel color that is actually kinda gorgeous. And you will be happy to hear that I didn't even use Medjool dates! I used a "cheaper" variety of pitted date since that was what I had on hand. So you can basically use any variety of date you'd like. Medjool would be even more amazing I think, but either way, amazing. I will be using this frosting in every "cream cheese frosting" dessert recipe from now on because I just hate using powdered sugar if I do not have to.
Ground Flax Seed. I recently bought an amazing new kitchen tool: A nut and seed grinder! I am IN LOVE. It does a few things my Vitamix cannot do like grind flax and chia seeds into a fine powder. I know some people use a coffee grinder, but this little device is pretty awesome since it is stainless steel and made specifically for nut and seed grinding. I used a generous helping of freshly ground flax seeds in this recipe. Grinding seeds makes them MUCH more digestible so if you can do it - do it. But do not buy the pre-ground seeds, as they do not stay fresh as well as whole seeds (I have found). - (Link to the product is below recipe.)
Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
vegan, pan size: 13" x 9" (one cake)
3 1/2 cups homemade oat flour (made from whole rolled oats)
3-4 Tbsp ground flax seed (freshly ground raw seeds)
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 Tbsp baking powder
dash of cayenne
2 1/2 cups non-dairy milk (I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk)
1 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
3 Tbsp orange or tangerine juice, freshly squeezed
1/2 tsp freshly grated orange or tangerine zest
1/4 cup melted Earth Balance, vegan butter
1 1/2 cups raw turbino sugar
1/3 cup raw walnuts, chopped
1/3 cup organic raisins
2 1/2 cups chopped shredded carrots
Cream Cheese Frosting:
8 ounces vegan cream cheese
4 ounces Earth Balance, vegan butter
1 1/4 cups pitted dates
pinch salt (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease your cake pan with vegan butter - set aside.
2. Process your oats into flour, process your flax seeds and finely chop your shredded carrots. Easy tip: I actually used a bag of pre-shredded carrots, stuck them in my Vitamix for 1 minute to process them into a "finely chopped" state. Easy! You can also shred your own carrots..
3. In a large mixing bowl, add all the dry ingredients, toss well.
4. Add the wet ingredients into he dry and fold.
5. Melt the buttery spread/Earth Balance and combine with sugar. Fold this melted sugar mixture into the wet mixture.
6. Fold in the carrots, nuts and raisins. Your "batter" will be VERY textured and thick. Not like a normal cake batter.
7. Pour the batter into the cake pan, smooth down with a spatula and bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes - or until the edges brown and start to pull away from the pan. (You could also make these into muffins, or layer cakes!
8. While the cake is baking, you can add all your frosting ingredients to a food processor or Vitamix. Process until smooth. Using a spatula, scoop the frosting into a small bowl and place in the fridge to chill.
9. Allow cake to fully cool before spreading frosting. Frost + add fresh orange zest on top. Serve chilled. Store in the fridge, covered. This cake will stay good for up to one week. If it begins to dry up a bit you can microwave a few seconds before serving to re-soften.
A Vitamix is a good idea for this recipe. Buy one here with free shipping! More of a BlendTec fan? Same deal here. Also here is that nut/seed grinder I love.. Buy it -> Cuisinart SG-10 Electric Spice-and-Nut Grinder