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Have you ever tried a cake made with vegetables? This vegan carrot cake recipe is just one of many vegetable cakes that tastes amazing despite the hidden veggies!
It’s thought that using sweet vegetables, like carrots, in cake recipes originated back in England during World War II. It was a cheap way of making delicious cakes. Adding carrots to the cake batter adds texture but also sweetness to the cake. It also helps to keep it light and moist. Whilst spices like cinnamon and ginger also add some warmth to the cake.
The plant-based carrot cake is then topped with a lemon dairy free buttercream alternative and walnut halves but you could also use a cream cheese frosting if you wish. How you choose to decorate your cake (with nuts or otherwise) is up to you!
Once it’s out of the oven, stacked and frosted, it’s ready to serve! Why not enjoy it with a hot cup of tea or coffee.
For the cake
200 grams self-raising flour
100 grams light brown sugar
100 grams caster sugar
1.5 tsp cinnamon
0.5 tsp ground ginger
1 pinch salt
150 grams apple sauce
150 ml vegetable oil
115 ml plant milk
1 tsp vanilla paste
2 large carrots grated
50 grams chopped nuts e.g. walnuts or pecans
50 grams raisins
For the frosting
300 grams icing sugar
150 grams dairy free butter alternative
1 tsp lemon juice
Preheat your oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4 and prepare 2 6 inch square cake tins by lining them with baking paper.
Sift the flour, sugar and spices into a large bowl.
In a separate bowl or jug, mix the apple sauce, vegetable oil, plant milk and vanilla paste.
Mix the ingredients so they are just coming together before folding in the grated carrots, the chopped nuts and raisins.
Spoon the cake mix evenly between the two tins and place into the centre of the oven to bake for 45 minutes – 1 hour (until the cake is springy to the touch and a toothpick comes out clean).
Let the cakes cool for 15 minutes before removing from their tins.
Allow the cakes to cool completely before frosting.
For the frosting, add the icing sugar, butter alternative and lemon juice to a mixing bowl.
Beat together until they are soft and creamy.
Spread half of the frosting across your bottom layer of your cake, add the next layer and frost the top.
Decorate with more walnuts.
For a pop of flavour this vegan carrot cake also contains raisins and for some extra crunch it contains chopped walnuts. As a substitute for the walnuts you could also use pecans which are common in American variations of this cake recipe.
Making the cake is easy. It’s an all in one recipe where you simply mix the ingredients together in a single bowl. It doesn’t get easier than that. When folding the ingredients together you do want to be careful and avoid overmixing. Fold the wet ingredients into the rest ingredients gently just until they are all combined.
All that’s left to do is to divide the cake batter between two tins and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour. The cake has quite a long bake time as it’s super moist!
To test that the cake is ready use a skewer or sharp knife and poke it into the centre of the cake. If it comes out clean then the cake is fully baked. If there’s a little cake batter stuck to the skewer or knife then it will need another 10 - 15 minutes or so. Just keep an eye on it.