Gluten Free Vegan Carrot Cake Recipe
See if you can follow my train of thought here – when I think of Easter, I think of the Easter Bunny. When I think of the Easter Bunny, I think of carrots. When I think of carrots, I think of carrot cake.
If you are looking for a healthier version of carrot cake (you know, one that is not filled with gluten, refined sugar, cream cheese, and butter) but still tastes delicious, give this Gluten Free Vegan Carrot Cake Recipe a try.
This recipe happens to be grain free and vegan and also happens to be fabulous enough to serve at a holiday.
The cake starts off with almond flour lightened with some arrowroot powder or tapioca starch. To cut the sugar, I used unsweetened applesauce and agave. The frosting is made with cashews, coconut oil and orange juice and is such a fabulous complement to the cake, I didn’t even miss my usual cream cheese frosting that is filled with butter, cream cheese, and powdered sugar.
To keep the cake and frosting vegan, I used a little Wholesome! organic blue agave as a sweetener.
For the frosting, you can quickly soak the cashews by pouring boiling water over and letting them sit for half an hour or soak overnight in cold water in the refrigerator.
- 3 cups finely ground blanched almond flour
- ½ cup arrowroot powder or tapioca starch
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon kosher or fine sea salt
- 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1 medium orange zest finely grated and juiced
- ¼ cup Wholesome! organic blue agave
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- ½ pound carrots about 4, peeled and grated
- 1 cup raisins
- 1½ cups raw cashews
- Finely grated zest of 1 medium orange
- 4 tablespoons fresh orange juice
- 5 tablespoons Wholesome! organic blue agave
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil melted
- 2 tablespoons almond milk
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease 2 (8-inch) cake pans with coconut oil or spray with gluten free non-stick cooking spray. Place a circle of parchment paper in the bottom and grease it with oil or cooking spray.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the almond flour, arrowroot or tapioca starch, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.
In another mixing bowl, combine the applesauce, orange zest and juice, agave, and vanilla. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix. Stir in the carrots and raisins. Divide the batter equally among the prepared pans, smooth the top, and bake for 40 minutes or until browned and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Let cool in the pans for 15 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to finish cooling.
Place the cashews in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Let sit for 30 minutes or up to an hour. (Alternatively, you can cover with cold water and refrigerate, covered, overnight.)
Drain the cashews and rinse with fresh water. Place in a blender with the orange zest and juice, agave, lemon juice, and coconut oil. Add 2 tablespoons almond milk and process until very smooth, scraping down the sides of the blender often. If needed to get to a spreadable consistency, add more almond milk and process.
To assemble, place one cake layer on a serving platter, top side down. Spread with a thick layer of frosting and place the second layer on top, top side up. Press the top layer down gently so that some of the frosting seeps out of the side of the cake. Spread the top with a thick layer of frosting. Refrigerate the cake until ready to serve.
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