Carrot Cake

I cannot believe this is the first recipe that I am posting this year..and it’s actually a revised version of a recipe that I have posted before (previously ‘Bare carrot cake with creamy cashew icing’).   I have made it a lot lately, even for my wedding cake in February where I got messages from friends afterwards commenting on the carrot cake. I just love it, and so does my 13 year old step-son who usually prefers a muffin from the tuck shop to a paleo cake of’s so moist and delicious and always goes down a treat no matter what the occasion..most recently the occasion was a ‘We’re here for the sex party’ for our friends Christie and Carl where I made the cake with pink icing in the middle revealing the unknown to all but me, gender of their baby due in August.  It was so fun!  I wish I’d known about this as an idea when I was pregnant with my kids.  Lucky for me the note from the ultrasound guy said ‘congratulations it’s a girl’ as pink icing is so easy to make naturally using beetroot juice..who knows how I would have done blue..I probably would have made mint green instead using a greens powder of some sort.

This cake can be made paleo, it’s refined sugar-free and dairy free and I have included two icing options. Both are a great accompaniment to carrot cake, one is the cashew cream cheese (dairy free option) and the other is my ridiculously amazing sugar-free real cream cheese frosting, for those that tolerate dairy.

The cake recipe below is for one 22cm round carrot cake.  I made this recipe 3x for the 3 layers in the gender reveal cake.  It also makes a lovely loaf, muffins and mini muffins too which I often make for lunchboxes and snacks.

You will need:

1 1/2 cups ground almonds

1/2 cup brown rice flour (or 1/4 cup coconut flour for paleo)

1/2 cup coconut thread

1/2 cup walnuts, chopped

1/2 t Himalayan sea salt

1 1/2 t baking soda

1 t cinnamon, ground

1 1/2 t mixed spice

1/2 t ground ginger

1/2-3/4 cup coconut sugar

2 cups grated carrot

4 eggs

1 cup coconut oil (melted) or olive oil or a blend of the two

1 t vanilla essence (organic and sugar-free)

The Process: Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.  Grease and line a 22cm round cake tin (or muffin pans) with baking paper. In a large bowl mix all of the dry ingredients.  Mix the carrot through.  In a separate and smaller bowl mix the eggs, oil and vanilla.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir with a fork until just combined.  Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 35-40 mins.  Muffins will take 15 mins.  They are ready when they are browned on top and slightly sugar crispy and bounce back.  Let cool completely before icing (two icing options below).

Cashew Cream Cheese Icing (dairy free).

You will need:

1 1/2 cups raw cashews (soaked in boiling water for 2-3 hours and rinsed in fresh water),

4 T coconut oil (melted)

2 T rice malt syrup or raw honey

1 t vanilla essence (organic and sugar free)

juice of one large fresh lemon

1/4 t sea salt

water for blending

To make: Blend all ingredients except water in a high powered food processor or blender until smooth and creamy.  Add water as necessary to blend, you may need to stop and scrape down the sides.  Put in a bowl in the refrigerator for 30 mins minimum, as it chills it sets firmer. To make icing pink, grate a beetroot and squeeze the juice from the grated beetroot into a ramekin until you have 1-2 t of juice.  Blend this through the icing but remember to reserve half of it and keep white if you are doing a gender reveal cake.  Spread the icing all over the cooled cake and top with chopped nuts and seeds and dried fruit or whatever decoration you choose.

Amazing Cream Cheese icing:

1x 250g tub cream cheese (Philadelphia brand is best)

200g butter, softened

1/4 cup rice malt syrup

1 t vanilla essence (organic and sugar free)

1/2 t cardamom

To make: Beat all of the ingredients really well with electric beaters until there are no lumps of cream cheese or butter (can take a few minutes).  You want a beautiful smooth frosting.  To make pink, Take 1/3 of the icing out and put into another bowl and beat with 1-2 t of beetroot juice which I got from grating a beetroot and squeezing the juice from the grated beet.  Place the pink icing between the cake layers to sandwich them together and ice all over with the reserved white icing and decorate how you wish.

It’s a crazy feeling being the cake maker for a party like this and knowing the baby’s gender before the parents but what a beautiful moment it was to watch them find out with their friends and family that they would be having a little girl.  I have heard of more and more gender reveals lately, some using pinatas with coloured sweets inside and I’ve heard of people pouring coloured champagne too but what could be more perfect than cake?

xx.  Lonnie


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