We have a carrot cake tradition around here. My mom makes one for Jack whenever she comes to visit, and I make one for Jack every year for his birthday. I don’t know when the “Jeanine gets cake” tradition will ever start, but I can’t complain because, really, we both get cake and we eat it too.
This year, I took some liberties with my mom’s recipe and made a fully vegan version – frosting and all. Instead of cream cheese (or tofu cream cheese), I made a cream cheese-like frosting using macadamia nuts, cashews, lemon and Almond Breeze. And instead of powdered sugar, the frosting is sweetened with maple syrup.
I recommend making this frosting in a super high speed blender in order to get it really creamy. If you don’t have one, you could always make coconut whip or cream cheese frosting using a regular mixer. Or if frosting is too fussy for you, this cake is super delicious on it’s own!
- 2¼ cups flour (I use half spelt, half all purpose flour)
- 3 teaspoons baking powder (*see note below)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 3 teaspoons cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ cup applesauce
- 1 cup original Almond Breeze Almond Milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 cup cane sugar
- ½ cup (melted) coconut or canola oil
- 2 cups grated carrots, about 1 pound
- ½ cup raw macadamia nuts (soaked, drained and rinsed)*
- ½ cup raw cashews (soaked, drained and rinsed)*
- ¼ cup almond milk
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and grease a 9x13 baking pan.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the applesauce, almond milk, vanilla, sugar and oil.
- Mix the dry ingredients into the bowl with the wet ingredients.
- Fold in the carrots and stir until just combined.
- Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cake cool completely before frosting.
- Make the frosting: combine all frosting ingredients into a high speed blender. Start the blender on low and gradually increase the speed (the mixture will be very thick at first). You can add an extra tablespoon of almond milk if necessary to get your blade moving. Taste and add more sugar or lemon juice to make it more sweet and/or tangy.
- Blend until very smooth.
- Chill for at least 30 minutes before spreading. (It will firm up a bit).
- Store frosted cake in the fridge.
**Soak your cashew and macadamia nuts for at least 3 to 4 hours, preferably overnight, then drain and rinse before using. I recommend using a very high speed blender (vitamix, blendtec, or similar) for this frosting.