I’ve had a hankering for carrot cake for a few weeks now. I was too busy baking pumpkin this and spiced that to cure the craving. The other day, I held open the pantry door and stared at probably 10 cans of pumpkin purée and my ever-growing collection of alternate flours, along with the other dry goods on the shelf. Seeking inspiration from all of my friends in the cabinet, I began to dream about the carrot cake again. I love its hearty garden-filled cake and would gladly indulge in cream cheese frosting anytime.
Day dreaming away, I took a second glance at the row of canned pumpkin. “Why didn’t I think of this sooner?” I’ve been making pumpkin versions of everything else in the world, why not carrot cake? And just like that, the spirit of fall was still alive and a pumpkin carrot cake was born.
Still riding on my grain-free wagon, I made a flourless version. It’s also gluten-, dairy-, and refined sugar-free. I used a tofu cream “cheese” for the frosting, which is amazingly similar to regular cream cheese. If you steer clear of soy, your favorite cashew cheese recipe would work just fine. And of course, traditional cream cheese frosting would pair well if you prefer. I load my carrot cake up with a hefty amount of veggies, fruits and nuts, but you can substitute or add in anything you’d like. Carrot cake is really a “kitchen sink” kind of thing. That’s what I love about it.
For the cake:
• 3/4 cup coconut flour
• 3/4 cup almond flour
• 5 small (or 3 large) carrots, peeled, grated
• 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
• 1 cup shredded coconut
• 1/2 cup raisins
• 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
• 1 cup pumpkin purée
• 1 cup Grade B maple syrup
• 1 cup crushed pineapple, drained well
• 2 teaspoons fresh ginger, grated
• 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 5 eggs
1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line a cupcake pan with papers or grease with coconut oil.
2. Sift the coconut and almond flours into a large bowl.
3. Add the grated carrots, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, pumpkin pie spice, shredded coconut, raisins and walnuts, and mix with a fork to thoroughly combine. Set aside.
4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the pumpkin purée, maple syrup, pineapple, ginger, coconut oil, vanilla and eggs.
5. Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and stir with a spatula until combined.
6. Use an ice cream scoop or a spoon to divide the batter into the cupcake pan. The batter should fill each tin to the top.
7. Bake for 30 minutes. Let cool completely.
Note: If you’d like to bake a cake instead, grease two cake pans with coconut oil and divide the batter evenly. Bake for 1 hour.
For the frosting:
• 8 ounces tofu cream cheese (or regular cream cheese)
• 1/4 cup raw honey
• Pinch ground cinnamon
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1/4 cup almond milk
1. Using an electric mixer, whip all ingredients together until smooth. Should only take 30 seconds to 1 minute.
2. Frost the cupcakes after they are completely cooled. Cupcakes will keep in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
Photos by Rachael Bratene
Malorie Davis is a classically trained chef, holistic nutrition counselor, wife and mother. She created the True American Diet and has a passion for natural homemaking. Malorie offers up recipes and nutrition tips on her new blog, Malorie Davis Nutrition, as well as online nutrition counseling services.
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