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 juice, 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 its 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 almond milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 cup cane sugar
- ½ cup melted coconut or canola oil
- 2 cups grated carrots
- 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. Blend until very smooth for 1 to 2 minutes or more, scraping down the sides occasionally. You can add an extra tablespoon of almond milk if necessary to get your blade moving.
- 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.