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!
- 2 1/4 cups flour (I used half spelt, half cake flour)
- 3 teaspoons baking powder (*see note below)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 3 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoons nutmeg
- 1 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 cup applesauce
- 1 cup original Almond Breeze Almond Milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 cup cane sugar
- 1/2 cup (melted) coconut or canola oil
- 2 cups grated carrots (just shy of 1lb)
- 1/2 cup raw macadamia nuts (soaked, drained and rinsed)
- 1/2 cup raw cashews (soaked, drained and rinsed)
- 1/4 cup almond milk
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 325 and grease a 9x13 (or similar) 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 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cake cool completely before frosting.
- For the frosting: combine frosting ingredients into a high speed blender. Start the blender on low and gradually increase 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 to make it more sweet and/or tangy.
- Blend until very smooth.
- Chill for at least 30 minutes before spreading. (it'll firm up a bit).
- Store leftover frosted cake in the fridge.
*Make sure your baking powder is fresh in order for the cake to rise (since there aren't eggs in the recipe). If your baking powder has been in the back of your pantry for too long it may be less effective.
Feel free to sub whole wheat pastry flour for the spelt flour.
Soak your cashew and macadamia nuts overnight. I recommend using a very high speed blender (vitamix, blendtec, or similar) for this frosting.