I’ve always been that mom who prepares a made-from-scratch cake or cupcakes for the kids’ birthdays. Let’s face it store-bought cakes can be pretty unreliable when it comes to taste and quality – especially when you feel like you’re having a nibble or two of cake after you cut through the ribbons of hyper-sweetened frosting store bakeshops tend to use. Now that our family is vegan, preparing homemade birthday cakes for the gang (myself included) is just as much about knowing what goes into our birthday treats as it is the yum-factor. Today I’m thrilled to share my recipe for Janik’s birthday dessert of choice: Frosted Carrot Cake.
In truth I have probably eaten a slice of carrot cake only a handful of times in my life. With a sweet tooth like mine I’ve always passed on the likes of carrot cake and pumpkin pie in favour of devil’s chocolate or strawberry shortcake. When I asked Janik for his birthday “order” I admit I was a little disappointed when he request carrot cake lol. On the heels of my baking adventures preparing my daughter’s birthday cake last month (check out our Vanilla Bean Cake with Dark Chocolate Frosting here) I was hoping he would choose a double chocolate cake (much like he does for ice cream) but it was pretty clear that carrot cake was his first choice. The things we do for love 🙂.
It was love at first bite for Janik. “It’s one of the best carrot cakes I’ve ever had!” he exclaimed. I chuckled. One of my earliest “foodie” observations about Janik (during the first few months of dating) was that he seemed to have a penchant for frosted cake – specifically of the carrot or lemon variety. For months he kept two boxes of M&M Food Market prepared cakes in his freezer until his new girlfriend put them to rest on the grounds of freezer burn. The more I started to compile the ingredients for this recipe the more excited I became. The fragrant spices alone teased my senses. This cake is moist and dense with delicate hints of ginger, cinnamon and clove that don’t overpower the sweetness from the carrot. The frosting has a subtle vanilla flavour and hits that ‘sweet spot’ perfectly. I recommend topping the icing with some grated nutmeg to add a kick of warm spice to this tasty dessert.
Before I sign off on this post I wanted to give a shout out to a new product I used in this recipe. SweetMonk® is a natural sweetener made from pure monk fruit. The extract is 200 times sweeter than sugar. Unlike agave syrup — which is becoming increasingly popular as a sugar substitute — pure monk fruit extract contains no sugar which means it has zero impact on your glycemic index (not to mention it has no calories!) Considering I used less than 1 cup of brown sugar (frosting aside) this cake has your sweet temptations covered 😜. Just one half teaspoon of SweetMonk® was all I needed to balance the sugar content. Sweetness without a sugar spike. And all natural too. This extract is definitely a keeper in my baking arsenal.
- 1/Prepare two flax eggs (To make 1 flax egg: Combine 3 Tbsp cold water with 1 Tbsp ground flax seeds. Let chill in the refrigerator for 10-15 minutes)
- 2/Combine wet ingredients (one flax eggs have chilled) in a large mixing bowl; set aside
- 3/Grease a cake/loaf pan (Earth Balance vegan butter or Coconut Oil spray are good options!)
- 4/Preheat oven to 350F
- 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (420g)
- 3/4 cup brown sugar (100g)
- 2 tsp baking powder (<5g)
- ½ tsp baking soda (<5g)
- ½ tsp salt (<5g)
- 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice OR 1 tsp ground ginger, ½ tsp cinnamon + ½ tsp allspice (5g)
- ½ tsp ground nutmeg (<5g)
- ½ tsp ground cloves (<5g)
- 2 flax eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ tsp SweetMonk ® natural sweetener
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1 cup soy milk
- Ground nutmeg (garnish)
- 1 large carrot, grated (175g)
- 1 cup cane sugar (200g)
- ½ cup Earth Balance vegan butter (80g)
- 5 Tbsp soy milk 70g)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract (5g)
- 1/Add dry ingredients to your Thermomix mixing bowl. Mix 10 sec/Speed 5.
- 2/Add the reserved wet ingredients into the TM bowl. Knead for 10 sec. Once again, scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl.
- 3/Add grated carrot to the TM bowl. Knead for 10 sec.
- 4/Transfer batter to pre-greased cake pan. Bake at 350F for 40-45 minutes or a toothpick test returns a dry result.
- 5/Let cake cool on a wire rack; remove from pan. Once completely cooled down frost with prepared Frosting. Garnish with grated nutmeg (optional).
- 1/Add cane sugar to your Thermomix mixing bowl. Grind 10 sec/Speed 9. The sugar will now be powdered.
- 2/Add butter to the TM bowl (Note: Heat 1 min/90C/Speed 1 to soften the butter)
- 3/Add soy milk and vanilla extract. Whisk 30 sec/Speed 3.5.
- 4/Repeat: Whisk 30 sec/Speed 3.5.
SweetMonk natural sweetener
Note: This recipe was made using a Thermomix appliance; however, it can easily be adapted using similar food prep tools (e.g. multi-function processor, immersion blender etc).