This carrot cake is vegan and gluten free... Plus it tastes amazing!
Traditionally in a carrot cake recipe you would add raisins, but I'm not a huge fan of them so swap them for dates, this gives the whole cake a sweeter, fudgier taste and it keeps it really moist. I topped mine with extra walnuts and raspberries which help cut through any sticky sweetness left by the dates and syrup with that fruity sharpness and the earthy walnuts.
The cake lasts really well, it actually gets better with age! I'm really impatient and always want to eat my bakes warm and fresh out the oven, but after a day in the fridge the frosting firmed up and those spices really dance on your tastebuds.
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
125g walnut pieces
300g grated carrots
1 tbsp nutmeg
2 tbsp cinnamon
150g of dates
120ml maple syrup
210g ground almonds
210g gf self raising flour
30g coconut oil
8 tbsp Chai Seeds
3 tbsp Flaxseed
240ml date syrup
Pinch of salt
200ml soya milk
1tsp vanilla extract
The first thing you need to do is to soak the cashews in a bowl of water for at least 45 minutes, you can leave them to soak while you mix the rest of the ingredients. Preheat your oven to 175 celsius. Grease two 8-inch shallow cake tins with some vegan spread or oil and set aside. You'll need two mixing bowls, one for wet ingredients and one for dry. You will need to mix up your flax and water, as well as the chai seeds and water so they have time to set before adding them to your wet mix later.
Measure out and put all of the dry ingredients in one bowl, mixing them as you go. Once that's done you'll need to blend up your dates and walnuts that are going inside the cake, I use a Nutribullet and it gets the job done in less than a minute. Once blitzed up (they can be as fine or as chunky as you like, depending on how chewy you want your cake to be!) add them to the dry mix.
In your other bowl begin to add the wet ingredients, including your egg replacement seed and water mixes. Once these are all stirred together, you can add this and the grated carrots into your dry mix, and stir thoroughly. It will be a bit thick and lumpy because there's so many dry ingredients, but if it looks too powdery then just add a splash more water until it will gloop into your cake tins.
Then into the tins and bake for about 30 minutes. If you're not vegan and you've decided to use eggs you can knock about 5-10 minutes off the total bake time.
For the frosting drain your cashews and put them all, plus the syrup, salt, plant milk, and vanilla into a blender and cream them. Chill the frosting until your cakes are cooked and cooled (as you can see below I didn't quite wait long enough...) then smooth it over and decorate!