I hope your weekend plans include time to make this fabulous naked vegan carrot cake with cashew cream cheese frosting.
It’s whole wheat, naturally sweetened, and the frosting is made from nuts. Whole wheat pastry flour is finely ground, which keeps the cake nice and light. Applesauce replaces some of the oil while keeping the cake moist.
The unique method of layering the cake is foolproof for all baking novices and delivers seriously impressive results, but you can always make a simple sheet cake if you like.
This recipe is one of my favorites from my new book, Vegan YUM: The Secrets To Mastering Plant-Based Cooking. In addition to recipes, the book also doubles as a handy guide to plant-based cooking, with hand drawn watercolor illustrations made by my Mom!
Here’s a little preview of the intro from the SWEET chapter. Aren’t they adorable?
Check out my new book, Vegan YUM here! To sample another recipe feature from the book, go make these Vegan Greek Meatballs with Cashew Tzatziki. They are absolutely ahhh-mazing!
- 2 cups (240 g) whole wheat pastry flour or gluten-free flour blend
- 11⁄2 tbsp (12 g) cinnamon
- 2 tsp (9 g) baking powder
- 2 tsp (3 g) ground ginger
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- 1 tsp allspice
- 11⁄2 cups (300 g) coconut sugar
- 1⁄2 cup (120 ml) aquafaba
- 3⁄4 cup (180 ml) melted coconut oil
- 1⁄2 cup (125 g) applesauce
- 1⁄4 cup (60 ml) non-dairy milk
- 2 tbsp (40 g) molasses
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 cups (330 g) grated carrots
- 1 cup (125 g) chopped walnuts
- Cashew Cream Cheese Frosting
- 3 cups (480 g) raw cashews, soaked for 6 hours or boiled for 10 minutes
- 1⁄2 cup (120 ml) melted coconut oil
- 1⁄3 cup (80 ml) maple syrup
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1⁄4 tsp lemon zest
- Pinch of salt
- For Garnish
- 1⁄2 cup (65 g) pecans
- Optional Equipment for Naked Layer Cake
- 6-inch (15-cm) springform pan
- 2 sheets clear acetate
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Oil a 9 x 13–inch (23 x 33–cm) pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, ginger, baking soda, salt, nutmeg and allspice. In a second bowl, combine the sugar, aquafaba, coconut oil, applesauce, milk, molasses and vanilla. Fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until just incorporated. Mix in the carrots and walnuts. The batter will be very thick.
- Spread the batter evenly in the pan. Bake for 22 to 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Check at 22 minutes.
- Make the frosting. In a high-speed blender, blend the cashews, coconut oil, syrup, vinegar, lemon zest and salt. This makes a very creamy frosting but requires a bit of effort. Use the tamper and stop frequently to scrape down the sides.
- Line a cutting board with parchment paper. When the cake is done, cool completely, then transfer to the cutting board. Use the ring of the springform pan to cut out two circles and two half circles from the cake. Clasp the bottom of the pan into the ring. Line with parchment paper. Place the acetate sheets on the inside of the ring to form the cake mold.
- Place the half circles and cake scraps into the pan to form the bottom layer. Cover with one-third of the frosting. Layer another cake circle on top, followed by one- third of the frosting, then repeat. Decorate the top with pecans. Cover well and freeze overnight to set. Remove the acetate when frozen and allow to the cake thaw on the counter for 2 to 3 hours before serving.