So right off the bat, I am thinking I will not get too many readers on this blog post as most people are frantically trying to pull their diet together after months of indulgence. However, for you foodies who keep it all in balance throughout the year, this post is for you!
My husband is one of the many unfortunate people who's birthday falls right around the most festive time of year. The December babies, like my brother, always seem to get a bit gypped in the present department, which really stinks. And sadly, for Michael, by the time January 3rd rolls around, both my husband and I are a bit partied-out and tired, and so rarely does he get the celebration he so deserves!
It seems men, for the most part, tend to be simple and easy to please; so when my husband requests a "Carrot Cake" for his birthday celebration, my God, I'm gonna make the best damn cake I can! So that is what I did!
No, I did not rob the cradle (If you are counting candles.)! We have hit the age bracket where fewer candles is best as to not set the entire cake ablaze! With age comes wisdom ... heehee (sorry babe)!
So this Gluten-free, Casein-free (dairy-free) Carrot Cake created lots of smiles around the birthday table. It was moist, rich, and perfectly sweet. And thanks to "Follow Your Heart", we even got to experience the decadent blanket of cream cheese frosting with every bite! (It is dairy-free) I do confess, I cheated a bit by using a pre-mixed bag of flour, but time was of the essence! Actually, I embrace these "cheats" as "victories" as our autistic son Logan is no longer allergic to 35 foods due to following The Air Diet ( www.theairdiet.com/store ). We can now enjoy a bit more freedom with our food choices in our family!
Although this cake was awesomely delicious, there are a few changes I will make next time around. I am sharing these with you in hopes of helping you create an irresistible cake!
Carrot Cake (Gluten & Dairy-Free) Recipe*
What You Need
- 2 1/4 cups Pamela's Artisan Gluten-Free Flour
- 1/4 cup Hazelnut flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 Tablespoon cinnamon (Next time, I will change this to a heaping 2 teaspoons of cinnamon, and add 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg and perhaps 1/4 teaspoon ginger and/or cloves. I felt the cake was missing some spice and depth)
- 1 cup organic sugar
- 1/2 cup organic light brown sugar (You could probably use coconut sugar)
- 1/2 cup organic canola oil
- 1/2 cup organic unrefined coconut oil (I may change this to 1/4 cup next time, but it does add nice flavor and moisture. You could use 3/4 - 1 cup canola oil and omit the coconut oil.)
- 3 eggs
- 2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup vanilla coconut or almond milk mixed with 2 teaspoons of lemon juice
- 2 1/2 - 3 cups shredded, peeled, organic carrots
- 1/2 cup pureed organic carrots
- 1/2 cup finely shredded coconut flakes
- 1/3 cup raisins (or more)
- 1/3 cup chopped pecans (I attempted to nicely toss these on and around the cake. Harder than it looks! Next time I may add 1/4 cup of coarsley chopped pecans to the batter. You could use walnuts, but we are allergic!)
- 1/3 cup toasted coconut flakes
What To Do
- Preheat the oven to 350'.
- Grease (I used Spectrum Palm Shortening) and flour (you should but I didn't) two 9 inch cake pans. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients: GF flour, Hazelnut flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon (and extra spices like nutmeg & cloves/ginger).
- In another bowl, use an electric mixer to combine the organic sugar, brown sugar, oils, vanilla, and eggs.
- Carefully mix the dry ingredients into the wet mixture while adding the lemon milk into the batter.
- Stir in the shredded carrots, pureed carrots (applesauce), coconut flakes, and if desired, chopped pecans.
- Pour the cake batter into the greased pans. Bake the cake at 350' for 35 minutes. I highly recommend checking the cake after 30 minutes. With some of the ingredient changes, baking time may need to be adjusted. I honestly forgot to set the timer, so this is a guesstamate! It may take longer like 35-40 minutes until the center is fully baked. Check the center of each cake with a toothpick. If it comes out clean, they are ready.
- Allow the cakes to cool for a few minutes on a cooling rack before turning them over.
- Make sure you let them completely cool before attempting to frost them!
*My recipe was inspired by the carrot cake recipe found on pinterest by Divas Can Cook
Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe
What You Need
- 2 1/2 cups confectioners sugar (or use a package for GFCF frosting like Pamela's Vanilla Frosting or Cherrybrook Vanilla Frosting)
- 1 container of Follow Your Heart Vegan Cream Cheese (Dairy Free)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (omit if using Vanilla packaged frosting mix)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla coconut/almond milk
- 4 Tablespoons Earth Balance Buttery Spread (GFCFSF)
What To Do
- Allow the butter to soften, not melt. Add the cream cheese and mix well until nicely blended.
- Use an electric mixer to combine the confectioners sugar with the buttery cheese mix. Add the vanilla and milk. Mix until it becomes a creamy, fluffy, white frosting.
- Frost the top of the bottom layer of cake. Place the top layer on the cake and frost the entire outside, starting with the top flat surface. Smooth the frosting into the desired appearance. Sprinkle the outer circle with toasted coconut and chopped pecans.
- Refrigerate. Slice. Eat. Eat some more!! (You will!)
My frosting was really runny on this cake. It was fine once I refrigerated the cake, but I was a bit nervous that it would all slide right off onto the plate! I had to frost in sections and keep placing it in the refrigerator. I have heard that this is typical of using a dairy free cream cheese. You may find adding more sugar or using less or no milk may solve that issue. Once completed it was no problem. Just don't leave it out for a long time or you may be licking the plate! So good ... might as well. ;-)