Vegan Spicy Carrot + Walnut Cake

Vegan Spicy Carrot + Walnut Cake with Zingy Lemon + Cashew Frosting

The original version of this recipe produced 12 deliciously spicy Carrot & Walnut Cupcakes, but more recently I’ve been turning it in to a slightly more grown up cake.

The recipe remains fundamentally the same, however I swapped the gluten-free brown rice flour for spelt flour. The taste and texture of spelt compliments the other flavours, and although it means the recipe is no longer suitable for people with coeliac disease, spelt flour does have slightly fewer calories than wheat flour and is somewhat higher in protein. It’s also easy to digest, but is lower in fibre than wheat.

The new recipe has proved popular with friends, family and the patrons of Palmers Green Market N13, so I thought I’d share it with you. I am also working on a refined sugar-free version of this recipe, so keep your eyes open for that too.

As previous, you can pretty much make the cake itself by hand, but you will need a high powered blender for the cashew frosting.



INGREDIENTS

For the cake:

· 2 ¼ cups of organic spelt flour, I like Doves

· 3 tsp baking powder

· 1 tsp baking soda

· 3 tsp cinnamon

· ½ tsp nutmeg

· 1 tsp pink Himalayan sea salt

· ½ applesauce (I make my own sugar-free, recipe here)

· 1 cup almond milk

· 2 tsp vanilla extract

· 1 cup light brown cane sugar

· ½ cup coconut oil, melted

· 3 large carrots, peeled and grated

· 1 cup crushed walnuts, plus extra halves for decoration

For the icing:

· 1 cup cashews

· ¼ cup almond milk

· ¼ cup maple syrup

· 2 tbsp coconut oil, melted

· 1 tsp vanilla extract

· 2 tsp fresh lemon juice

· ½ tsp pink Himalayan sea salt

METHOD

For the cake:

1. Preheat oven to 180C

2. Grease your 9 x 5 inch cake tin, and line with grease proof paper in preparation – this will make it easier to remove from the tin once baked

3. Sieve spelt flour in to a large mixing bowl and whisk together with the baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt (I used a Kitchen Aid to mix, but it’s just as easy by hand)

4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the applesauce, almond milk, vanilla, sugar and coconut oil

5. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix together

6. Fold in the grated carrots and crushed walnuts

7. Pour cake mixture in to your cake tin

8. Bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes – cooking times may vary according to you oven, so keep checking on your cake. You want it to be a deep golden brown colour, but still springy to the touch. It’s ready when you can pull a toothpick out clean

9. Remove your cake from its tin and leave to cool on a wire rack, while you turn your attention to the zingy cashew icing

For the icing:

10. Place all the icing ingredients in to a powerful food processor (I used a Vitamix) and blend together, slowly at first increasing the power as you go, until you have a thick, smooth icing

11. Depending on your taste buds you can add a little more maple syrup or lemon juice, but be careful not to thin the mixture too much as you want it to hold its form once on your cake. If too thin, blend in a few more cashew nuts to thicken again

12. Chill in your fridge for at least 30 mins. You want the mixture to be firm, but still pliable enough to ice your cake

13. Once chilled, smooth your icing across the top of your cake – I find a silicon spatula does the job quite well

14. Divide in to slices and top each one with half a walnut as decoration

Best served straight away, but as per the original recipe, any left overs can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for around 2-3 days.

As per my previous cupcake post, I’ll reiterate that you don’t need to soak your cashews overnight before making you icing. I used to do this, but always found the mixture too wet, and as long as your food processor is powerful enough, soaking isn’t necessary.

So that’s that. An update on an old personal favourite. Let me know what you think of the new (and improved?) recipe. Come back soon for more vegan recipes and reviews, but in the meantime take a look at my Instagram @my_vegan_kitchen

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5 thoughts on “Vegan Spicy Carrot + Walnut Cake

    1. Pre-soaking the cashews, preferably overnight, would definitely make it easier for your blender Bethany. Most recipes do suggest soaking first, I just find the “icing” sets better without this step. Try it and let me know how you get on!

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