Friday, July 22, 2011

Vegan Carrot Cake

Let me start with a disclaimer: vegan cakes are not healthier than non-vegan cakes. They may have less saturated fat from the dairy...but they're still cake.

Here's another one: putting vegetables in a cake does not make it acceptable to eat it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It's still cake.

Damn good cake.

Vegan Carrot Cake with Vegan Buttercream Frosting
from The Grit cookbook
serves 16
  • 1 1/2 cups plus 2 Tb. plus 2 tsp AP flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp allspice
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 Tb. brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 Tb. white sugar
  • 2 cups shredded carrots
  • 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 10 oz crushed pineapple in juice (normally 1/2 a can)
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract, divided
  • 1/2 cup vegan butter (I used Earth Balance buttery sticks), softened
  • 16 oz confectioners' sugar (approx 3 cups)
  • 1-2 Tb. soymilk or water (soymilk is much creamier)

The measurements are a little wackadoo because the original measurements were already weird and then I halved it - why? because I don't need 3 giant layers of carrot cake in my fridge! ;)

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease 2 (9-inch) round cake pans and dust with flour. The easiest way to shred 2 cups of carrots is with a food processor! I used 7-8 carrots and had some left over. 

Sift flour, baking soda, spices and salt together into a large mixing bowl. Add sugars and combine with the dry mixture.

Add all remaining ingredients (only 1 tsp vanilla extract, save the other tsp) and stir together thoroughly until mixture is uniform, using a rubber spatula to scrape down sides of bowl. If batter appears too thick, a small amount of additional water may be mixed in. I tried my best to show the optimal consistency in the picture; you're looking for a thickness in between regular cake and brownie batter. 

Divide batter between prepared pans.

Bake for 30-35 minutes, or just until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool 10 minutes on a wire rack. Remove from pans and allow layers to cool completely before icing.

Which is hard, trust me.

To make frosting, blend vegan butter, confectioners' sugar, remaining tsp of vanilla extract, and 1 Tb. soymilk together until smooth. It won't seem like it will come together, but just it time. 

You may need to add another Tb. of milk, but don't go overboard. I always "play" with my icing spatula to make sure the spreading consistency is right. 

When cakes are cooled, or when you have had enough already, spread about 1/3 of the icing between the two layers. I do completely recommend waiting for cakes to completely cool before icing but it was already 11 PM and I was cranky. Bahaha.

Place the rest of the icing on top of the cake in a giant mound. Spread the icing out and down the sides. An icing spatula really comes in handy here. I'm normally not a unitasker tool type of person but this one is definitely worth it. And it normally looks much better when you're not falling asleep while icing. I challenge you to make an uglier cake.

But looks don't always matter, taste does. And this baby is a winner. You can garnish with chopped walnuts if you'd like. But that had to wait for the next day.

Nutritional information (for 1/16 slice): 370 calories, 18g fat (5g sat), 52g carbs (1.2g fiber), 2g protein

The one requirement I have for splurges: they have to taste worth it. And this cake was worth every. single. calorie. However, I recommend inviting 15 friends over to help you eat it. Or pass it out to your neighbors. Otherwise, you won't be able to resist.

What's your favorite cake?
Mine is definitely carrot cake. Although red velvet is a close second! 


ownedbyIDI said...

Hi! I just found your blog and I'm so happy! Carrot cake is my favorite too. I can't wait to try your black bean burger recipe. -Kristen

Anonymous said...

Thank you!!

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