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Beloved Carrot Cake

Although my cookbook, Vegetarian Traditions, contains 150 of my favorite recipes during my tenure at Inn Season Cafe, the ever-popular Carrot Cake is not one of them.  This was the most popular dessert for many decades and is the most requested recipe on my blog.  A decadent, moist cake with a healthy density that works well as a sheet cake, round-layered cake or even a wedding cake.  

Vegan frostings have evolved as better and better vegan ingredients come available. This frosting recipe uses vegan cream cheese.  My preferences are Miyoko’s Cream Cheese, for a tangy cream cheese frosting, or Violife Original Cream Cheese for a mellower version.

Beloved Vegan Carrot Cake

Chef George Vutetakis

Serves 12

Dry

1 1/3 cups organic all-purpose flour

1 cup organic whole wheat pastry flour

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon nutmeg

¼ teaspoon cardamom

¼ teaspoon allspice

¼ teaspoon cloves

1/8 teaspoon salt

Wet

6 tbsp flax seed meal

3/4 cup warm water

1½ cup coconut sugar

1 cup vegan butter

1 cup plant-based milk

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 cups organic carrots, peeled and shredded

½ cup raisins

1 cup toasted walnuts, chopped

Mix and Bake

Preheat oven to 350º F.  Line two nine-inch springform or cake pans with parchment paper.  Or, lightly oil the sides of a parchment-lined half-sheet baking pan.

Put all dry ingredients into a large bowl and whisk together. Set aside. 

In another bowl, whisk together flaxseed meal and water. Beat in coconut sugar and plant butter. Add plant milk, vanilla and carrots, mix until combined. 

Add dry mix and to wet mix, stir vigorously for one minute to develop the gluten in the flour (do not overbeat). Fold in walnuts and currants. 

Pour equal amounts into each baking pan. 

Bake for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes clean out of the center of the cake. Remove from oven. Separate cake from pan by running a knife around the outside edge then turn over onto cake rack.  Remove parchment and cool.

Cream Cheese Frosting

8 oz vegan cream cheese

¼ cup plant butter, softened

1 tsp vanilla

2 cup organic powdered sugar, sifted

1.3 cup toasted walnuts, chopped

In a medium bowl, beat together cream cheese and plant butter.  Add vanilla and powdered sugar, whip until smooth. Apply frosting to the top of the first cake layer. Place second layer onto first, frost. Garnish with chopped walnuts. Serve cold or room temperature. 

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