Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Vegan Carrot Cake with Apple & Coconut

This is my first attempt at a carrot cake and it was delicious! :D  With truly yummy vegan options like these, there's really no reason to go back the dairy-cakes way! :)

The original recipe called for some kind of boxed egg replacer and canned crushed pineapple, but I didn't have either, so I used freshly grated apple instead of the pineapple (my guess is my option is healthier anyway!), and I use my personal favourite egg replacer - ground flax seeds mixed with water.

What made me decide to try a carrot cake was because I had lots of left over carrot "pulp" from the carrot juice I made, and I always hate to just throw that away....what a waste!  So obviously the natural thing to do was make a carrot cake.  :)

2 1/4 cups cake flour
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp pumpkin spice or allspice (I used the latter)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup light brown sugar
3/4 cup white sugar
3 tbs ground flax seed mixed with 6 tbs water - let stand for 5 mins before using
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup sunflower oil
2 cups finaly grated carrot
2 cups finely chopped apples (i peeled, cored and put them in food processor for few seconds)
1 cup desiccated coconut
nuts & raisins, optional

I didn't add raisin because I wasn't sure how I'd like it in a carrot cake, but after tasting the cake, I think raisins will got perfectly, so I'll add some next time, as well as chopped walnuts (I didn't have any of these on hand).

1.  preheat oven to 175 degrees C / 375 degrees F.
2.  in a medium bowl mix flour, baking soda, spices, baking powder & salt
3.  in a large bowl mix sugars and flax seed mixture with a spoon until well combined.  Then add vanilla and mix.  Lastly add oil.
4.  add dry ingredients to wet ingrediets and mix well until combined.  Stir in carrots, apple & coconut.  Add nuts & raisins if using.
5.  Grease a cake tin and pour mixture in.  Smooth batter and bake for 40-45 minutes or until tester stick comes out clean.

Note: I baked the cake on one of the higher racks in the oven for the full 45 minutes, but the cake was nonetheless a little underbaked in the centre (even though my tester stick came out pretty much clean)....which wasn't a big problem since there are no raw eggs or things in there, so it was still good (not gooey either - you can see from the photo it's not so bad), but I'd bake it just a teeny bit longer next time, maybe on a lower shelf? just to try and get the centre a little more cooked.  The rest of the cake was perfect and moist.

And I won't even bother trying it with pineapple next time, the apple in there was perfect and I think healthier than any canned item anyway. :)
I also didn't bother with the icing / frosting - it really doesn't need it at all, it's sweet and delicious enough just as is.

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