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Simple Carrot Cake with Cashew Frosting


  • Author: Joscelyn Abreu
  • Prep Time: 30 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 50 mins
  • Yield: 8-inch cake 1x

Description

This simple one bowl carrot cake is moist and delicious! Topped with a cashew “cream cheese” frosting, it’s vegan friendly, refined sugar free, and includes a gluten-free option as well!


Ingredients

Scale

Carrot Cake: (gluten-free version below)

  • 1 1/2 cup almond milk or other milk of choice
  • 1 tablespoon white or apple cider vinegar
  • 3 cups (393g) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups (269g) coconut sugar
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup avocado oil, melted coconut oil, or other oil of choice
  • 2 cups grated carrot (197g)
  • 8 oz can crushed pineapple, drained
  • 1/3 cup (25g) finely shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts, optional
  • cashew frosting (below) or other frosting of choice*

Gluten-Free Carrot Cake:

  • 1 cup milk (a little more may be needed depending on your gf flour blend)
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 2 cups (252g) gluten-free all-purpose flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour, in the blue bag)
  • 1 cup (124g) blanched almond flour
  • 2 cups (269g) coconut sugar
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup avocado oil, melted coconut oil, or other oil of choice
  • 2 cups grated carrot (197g)
  • 8 oz can crushed pineapple, drained
  • 1/3 cup (25g) finely shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts, optional
  • cashew frosting, recipe below, or other frosting of choice*

Cashew “Cream Cheese” Frosting:

  • 3 cups (16oz) raw cashews, pre-soaked, rinsed, and drained
  • 1/31/2 cup maple syrup or honey, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 12 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/41/2 teaspoon cinnamon, optional
  • pinch of salt
  • 13 tablespoons almond milk (or other milk of choice), if needed. Use less milk for a firmer frosting.

Instructions

Carrot Cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Generously grease three 8-inch cake pans and line the bottom with a piece of parchment paper cut to size. Set aside.
  2. Stir together milk and vinegar in a small glass bowl. Let sour while preparing the rest of the batter.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour(s), sugar, baking powder/soda, cinnamon, and salt. Stir in sour milk and oil, mixing just until combined. Fold in grated carrots, drained pineapple, shredded coconut, and nuts, if adding. (For gluten-free cakes: depending on your gf flour you may need more or less milk to get the right consistency. Start with less and add more only if the batter is too thick. It should be thick, but pourable. It should not be thick like cookie dough.)
  4. Divide batter evenly between the cake pans and place into the preheated oven.
  5. Bake for 18–25 minutes, just until center is set and a toothpick inserted comes out mostly clean.
  6. Remove from the oven and let pans cool fully before inverting cakes onto a wire rack to continue to cool.
  7. Allow to cool completely before frosting. Can even make the cakes the night before.

Frosting Cakes:

  1. Place one of the cooled layers on your serving platter and top with a generous dollop of frosting. Spread across evenly and top with another cake layer. Repeat for remaining layers.
  2. For the naked cake. Frost top of cake and carry some frosting onto the sides. Use a minimal amount of frosting and leave open spaces for a rustic “naked” cake. For the little piped kisses around the border, I used a Wilton Round tip #1A. I finished the edges with a light dusting of cinnamon.

Cashew Frosting:

  1. Place drained pre-soaked cashews into a high powered blender (like Vitamix or Blentec) or food processor, along with the lesser amount of sweetener (can add more to taste), vinegar, lemon juice, vanilla, and salt. Add cinnamon only if you want. Begin blending, adding milk 1 tablespoon at a time, ONLY IF NECESSARY to help it blend. The less milk used, the more thick and frosting like it will be. Taste and adjust sweetness level and flavorings, to taste. Frost cake or refrigerate until needed.

Notes

*Another frosting idea: This maple cream cheese glaze (http://www.wifemamafoodie.com/vegan-pumpkin-bundt-cake/) would be great on this cake. Just double or triple the recipe and use less milk to make it more of a frosting than glaze. It’s easy, refined sugar free, and delicious! Just use dairy-free cream cheese if needed.

  • Category: Dessert, Vegan, Gluten Free