Can I just say, I am so proud of myself today. For the first time in my life I have worn holes into my gym shoes. That’s right, HOLES. So Alex told me to go treat myself to a new pair of shoes. That pretty much sums up about 95% of all womens dreams (a handsome man telling you to buy shoes!), but my response was: “I can still wear them!”
Sheesh! So I went out and found a pair of New Balance Minimus shoes on clearance. I am a sucker for a good deal. They are all bright and shiny. I love it!
Did I mention it’s Easter? Alex is out of the country, so it’s just me and the pup right now. Not much of a celebration on my end, but I did decide to go ahead and whip up this carrot cake recipe. I am a baker by trade, so there is no way this can compare to real carrot cake. It’s not a bad substitution, though. Especially for being raw, vegan and Paleo. The “cake” part is reminiscent of a Larabar, just a little more moist due to the raw carrot and the icing is good-but not like overly sweet cream cheese icing. This is still rich and creamy, just nuttier.
In the case of ingredient substitution, I would not swap raw cashews for roasted. You will not get the same end result at all. Also, I’ve tried the cashew cream icing in a food processor and a blender; the blender wins. Though, I would recommend a higher-end bender (Vita-mix or Ninja) because it takes about 5-8 minutes of blending to get the cashews smooth.
I decided to use raw almond in this recipe, I’ve seen a lot of similar recipes that use raw pecans or walnuts, I think these two are a little too bitter untoasted; while almond are nice and sweet.
Raw Carrot Cake
- 2 1/2 cups shredded carrot (3-4 large carrots)
- 1 cup dates, pitted
- 1/2 cup raw almonds
- 1/4 cup dried raisins
- 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ginger
- pinch of salt
- zest from 1/2 a lemon
Line an 8×8 square pan, or equivalent sized loaf pan with parchment paper so that the edges hang over the sides of the pan.
By hand or in a food processor with the grating attachment, shred carrots. Place in large bowl and set aside.
With the blade attachment, blend together almonds, raisins and dates until mostly smooth, with a few smaller chunks. Add coconut, spices, and salt and blend together. Add carrots and zest and blend until well combined, scraping down the sides often.
Scoop cake into prepared pan, smooth top, and chill.
Cashew Cream Frosting
- 1 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight-this is important to achieve a smooth consistency!
- 1/4 cup water
- 3 tbsp real maple syrup
- 1/2 vanilla bean pod, just the guts
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- pinch of salt
- 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
Drain and rinse soaked cashews in clean water. In a food processor or blender combine cashews, water, maple syrup, vanilla, salt, and lemon juice. Blend VERY WELL, scraping down the sides often, until VERY SMOOTH. Depending on the strength of your blender this make take up to 10 minutes.
Add melted coconut oil and blend to combine. Spoon onto chilled cake and smooth the top. Freeze for 2 hours.
Pull from freezer and remove cake from pan by pulling up the sides of the parchment paper. Let thaw 10 minutes. With a hot, sharp knife cut cake into (approximately) 1 x 2 inch pieces. Decorate with walnuts and dust with cinnamon. Let thaw an additional 15 minutes before serving or return to freezer, thawing 25 minutes before eating.
Recipe inspired by Hail Merry.