vegan carrot cake!

More specifically, Coconut Ginger Macadamia Nut Carrot Cake as the happy birthday cake for the farmer!

Happy Birthday to my old man!

This is a recipe that I tried years ago from Vegan with a Vengeance; I didn’t love it then, but when I was thinking about which cake to make for his birthday this one popped into my head. Despite moldy all-purpose flour (which I chucked, of course), despite breaking the cake into three pieces as I was putting it on the cooling racks,  and despite being a wee bit overcooked, it still turned out quite well. Of course I want to share it here, because the end result was beautiful and tasty!

Coconut Ginger Macadamia Nut Carrot Cake with Maple Ginger Frosting

(adapted from VwaV by Isa Chandra Moskowitz; makes one 8×8 cake; a note: check out this quick post if you are going to make this cake! These are some pointers! )

3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour (see note below)
1/2 cup white spelt flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
pinch sea salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup apple juice
1/4 cup liquid coconut oil
6 tbsp turbinado sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup ground macadamia nuts
1 cup shredded carrots (about 3 carrots, grated on a cheese grater)
2 tsp grated fresh ginger

  1. Preheat the oven to 350degrees. Line a square or round cake pan with parchment paper, and grease the sides with coconut oil.
  2. In a large bowl mix the flours, b. powder, b. soda, salt, spices, and coconut. Stir to combine.
  3. In another larger bowl mix the juice, oil, sugar, maple syrup, and extract. If your apple juice and/or maple syrup are in the fridge, you will have to warm this liquid mixture to keep the coconut oil from solidifying. I simply put my pyrex bowl (oven safe!) in the preheating oven until all the coconut oil was melted and the mixture was blendable).
  4. Pour the dry ingredients into wet, mix for a few strokes, and then add the nuts, carrots, and ginger. Combine gently until just mixed (no dry spots). Pour into your prepared pan and smooth the top.
  5. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean from the center.  Cool on racks (try to not break it!).

don't break the birthday cake!

A note on the flours: As I was making this recipe I realized that my all-purpose flour was a bit sticky and off (which explains why my cookies didn’t turn out well yesterday!).  I made a quick substitution with whole wheat pastry flour, which is always a good substitute for at least half the flour in a recipe.  But I wanted to make sure the cake retained the lightness of the AP flour, so I used a white spelt flour, which is significantly lighter than whole spelt flour; I also just learned that in order to substitute with spelt you should add some extra flour, which is included in the above measurements.  If you opt to use all-purpose, or a combination of AP and WWPF, keep the flour measurements to 1 cup + 3 tbsp only.

Another note: be sure to use parchment and grease the pan. Let it cool completely before removing from the pan, and do so very gently! Also, so choose the turbinado sugar; I tried using coconut sugar for another batch and it did not work out as nicely as the photo!

pretty..... delicious

Maple Ginger Frosting

1/2 cup toasted coconut
1/4 cup toasted shredded carrot
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup earth balance, room temperature
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 tsp maple extract
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
1 tsp dried ground ginger

  1. While your oven is preheating for the cake, toast the carrot and coconut.  Simply add to a pan and put in the oven for about 10 minutes, until you can smell the coconut toasting.  Be careful to not let it burn- when it comes out of the oven it will still cook.  Toss with the cinnamon, and let cool on the side.
  2. Whip the EB with a whisk until smooth.  Sift in the powdered sugar, 1/2 cup at a time (very important to sift, or you get clumpy frosting!).  Add in the extracts and ginger, and whip until well combined.  Add a splash of soymilk if the frosting is too dry; alternatively, add more powdered sugar if it is too saucy.
  3. When your cake is cool, frost with a thin layer, then add a thicker layer and spread evenly across the top.  Sprinkle the toasted carrots & coconut on top.  Enjoy!

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