Carrot cake is one of those things that every single baker should be able to make. You should have your go-to recipe. In my case, that would be the recipe my mom passed down to me. I've been making it since I was a small girl and I am partial to it's taste. It is a version that uses crushed pineapple and I love how this added element makes the cake extra moist.
Now what's the twist? I've tweaked the recipe so that it is gluten-free, dairy-free and refined sugar free. You can also make it vegan by simply swapping out the eggs for flax eggs. I tried this last weekend and it worked a treat. I even went one step further and removed the vegetable oil to make it that bit healthier.
Let's be honest, I was worried how this would turn out and afraid it wouldn't taste anything like the version I've been used to for years. But alas, it is FANTASTIC! I honestly don't think I will go back to making the original version for the time being.
My mom used to make a simple chocolate icing for us when we were kids as she worried we wouldn't enjoy cream cheese frosting. I think a chocolate frosting would be wonderful but I happened to have vegan cream cheese on hand and so I turned that into a quick frosting with some Swerve Confectioner's Sugar substitute to keep away from refined sugars. Works a treat!
Enjoy this traditional cake with a cup of tea or coffee and you'll be in heaven.
TRADITIONAL CARROT CAKE
Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Refined sugar free
For the cake
2 eggs (or flax eggs if vegan)
1 1/4 cup grated carrots
1 cup crushed pineapple, drained
1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
1/4 cup coconut oil melted
1/3 cup date puree
1 cup gluten-free flour mix (I used Robin Hood's gluten-free flour)
1/3 cup monk fruit sweetener or erythritol
3/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp mixed spice
pinch of salt
1/3 cup chopped walnuts and more for decorations
For the icing:
1/4 cup vegan butter at room temperature
1 8 oz. container of vegan cream cheese (like Tofutti)
2-3 cups Swerve icing sugar substitute
1 tsp vanilla extract
In a large bowl whisk your eggs and mix shredded carrots, pineapple, applesauce and date puree.
In a second bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
Gradually add the dry ingredient to the wet ingredient and mix until well combined.
Fold in the chopped walnuts.
Pour into a greased cake tin (9" round cake pan) and bake in a 350°F oven for 45 to 50 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
For the icing, using a stand mixer or hand mixer whisk together the butter and cream cheese. Gradually add the icing sugar substitute until the you reach the desired consistency. Add vanilla and give a final whisk before using.
Note: Using a 9" cake pan will give you a cake about 1 1/2 to 2" in height. To make a nice layered version I would recommend using 2 x 6" cake pans and adjusting the baking time. Use your frosting of choice to stack the layers together.