Raw carrot cake
With Stockholm experiencing some unseasonably warm weather, it felt like the perfect time to make a raw dish. And seeing as how it’s been awhile since I’ve made a dessert, I thought I’d treat you to some raw carrot cake!
While carrots (and many other vegetables) are available to most of us year round, I still think of this time of year as harvest time – especially for small, backyard gardeners. There are certainly a whole lot of things you can do with carrots, but I think you’ll agree that nothing quite beats a tasty, homemade carrot cake! To make this cake as smooth and creamy as possible, grate your carrots finely – using the area on your grater that has the small holes with a cutting edge at the bottom – in order to make the pieces finer. Then, use a thin dish towel or some paper towels and squeeze the grated carrot a little to get rid of some of that excess moisture.
Did I mention that not only is this cake vegan and raw, but that it’s also gluten free AND free from refined sugar! It’s nuts, I know, but it’s true! No, really, I mean it is “nuts”. There are almonds in the cake itself, and cashews, which are a great way of replacing all types of cheese, in the frosting. The dates in the cake are on double duty, both as a natural sweetener and as a binder, to hold the whole mess together, and the frosting contains just a little maple syrup.
I have made this cake many times, sometimes with almonds and sometimes with walnuts. And I have to say that this almond version turned out to be one of the smoothest, most moist cakes ever! (So much so, that I was almost going to call this carrot pie!) If you want your cake to be a little bit firmer, or drier, start by squeezing the heck out of the grated carrots. Then, either use walnuts instead, or try giving the almonds time to dry again after you soak them, because you DO soak your almonds, don’t you? Soaking removes phytic acid and tannins, neutralizes enzyme inhibitors and helps make proteins and vitamins easier to absorb. I often use blanched almonds, without the skin, but this time I used organic, skin-on almonds. After soaking, the skins were so soft, it didn’t even matter!
As with any dessert made with an orange vegetable (carrot cake, pumpkin pie, uhh, OK I guess that’s it) the vegetable itself doesn’t have a lot of flavor. And while raw, vegan carrot cake, might seem new and modern, there’s nothing like traditional flavors. Like they say, “If ain’t broken, don’t fix it!”. So, I stuck with cinnamon, nutmeg and a touch of allspice – three things found in most delicious carrot cakes!
Apart from the almond soaking and cake freezing times – which you can spend sleeping, watching football, mowing the lawn… – this cake is quick and easy to make! You just mix the daylights out of two different sets of ingredients, squish ’em into a pan one after the other, and chill while it chills! That’s all there is to making this seriously good, amazingly healthy, raw carrot cake!
- 2 Cups (4.8 dl) – carrots, finely grated
- 1¼ Cups (3 dl) – almonds, soaked overnight, drained and rinsed
- 8 oz (225 g) – dates, pitted
- ¾ Cup (1.8 dl) – shredded cocount
- 1 tsp (5 ml) – cinnamon
- ½ tsp (2.5 ml) – nutmeg
- ¼ tsp (1.25 ml) – allspice Frosting
- 1 Cup (2.4 dl) - cashews, soaked overnight, drained and rinsed
- ⅓ Cup (.8 dl) – coconut oil
- ¼ Cup (.6 dl) – maple syrup
- ¼ Cup (.6 dl) – water
- 1½ tsps liquid vanilla extract OR 1 Tbsp (15 ml) – vanilla sugar. Note: Using the extract will give the frosting a slightly beige tint.
- juice from ½ lemon, ca 2 Tbsps (30 ml)
- Add all the cake ingredients to a blender and mix until smooth, stopping to stir or redistribute the mix when needed.
- Add all the frosting ingredients to a blender and mix until smooth, stopping to stir or redistribute the mix when needed.
- Line the bottom of an 8 inch (20 cm) round spring form pan with parchment paper.
- Pour and then push the cake mixture into the form first, trying to make the mix level. Then pour the frosting on top and spread with a spatula or broad knife.
- Freeze for at least 2 hours. Remove the cake and wait about 30 minutes before serving and enjoying!