CARROT CAKE TRAY BAKE WITH VEGAN FROSTING

Spring is in the air, the clocks have gone forward, and the shelves are stocked with Easter eggs, that can only mean one thing…it’s Easter time!

I used to love picking out my Easter egg in the supermarket with my mum and little sister, but since going dairy free seven years ago the options for dairy free, refined sugar eggs are thin on the ground. Most taste like dirt, candle wax or a mix of the two (some sage advice learnt from bitter experience: give supermarkets own dairy free chocolate a wide birth).

I usually just get a few raw chocolate bars but this year Montezuma’s* have expanded their absolute black range. If you’re not familiar, it’s a range of 100% dark chocolate (pure cacao no sugar) that I often show on my insta stories. This Easter they have a dark chocolate egg with peanut butter filled mini eggs. I repeat peanut butter + dark chocolate!!!! Yaaaassss please. [update: they sold out of the peanut butter one so I’ve got the button egg].

*not sponsered..I wish..just excited to eat these.

Anyway, back the recipe. I was racking my brain for what I could make for Easter, I thought about cream eggs, or chocolate bark but I feel everyone is doing that. And let’s be honest, you’ve probaby got enough chocolate right now. Whilst scrolling through instagram I was drawn to all the beautiful pastel frosted cupcakes that just kept cropping up on my feed.

After a mini batch test, I decided on carrot cake. And on a whim I picked up some vegan cream cheese to try, which I planned on having with salmon & rice pasta. Thankfully, before I ate it all, I whipped up the most delicious vegan cream cheese frosting. You’re welcome.

INGREDIENTS

½ cup + 1 tbsp almond meal
4 tbsp tapioca flour
2 tbsp coconut flour
½ tsp baking soda
Pinch pink salt
1 tsp Ceylon cinnamon
½ tsp ginger
¼ tsp nutmeg
2 eggs (or flax eggs)
1/3 cup virgin olive oil
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla
¾ cup grated carrot
¼ cup +2 tbsp walnuts pieces
2 tbsp currants / raisins
2 tbsp almond milk

CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
¼ cup vegan cream cheese (I used Violife)
2 tbsp maple syrup
½ tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp (a pinch) spirulina*
1/8 tsp cinnamon
Couple tbsp almond milk to thin (if needed)

*for pink frosting try pitaya or beetroot powder, for yellow use turmeric. 1/8 tsp won’t affect the flavour.

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Line and grease a baking tray (I used coconut oil & a dusting of tapioca).
  2. Add the almond meal, flours, salt, baking soda and spices to a bowl, and mix.
  3. Make a well in the middle and add the wet (eggs, oil, maple and vanilla) ingredients. Mix / whisk the wet.
  4. Combine the wet with the dry.
  5. Add in the grated carrot, broken walnut pieces and dried fruit.
  6. Transfer the batter to a lined & greased baking tray. Bake for 25 – 30 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean.
  7. Allow to completely cool before making the frosting.
  8. For the frosting: Add all the ingredients to a bowl (except milk) and whisk until smooth and well combined. If it’s a little too thick add the milk.
  9. Spread the frosting on the cake (I used a butter knife).
  10. Cut into squares. Store in the fridge, best eaten within 4 days. The cake can be frozen but the frosting doesn’t freeze so well.

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