This weekend, I finally progressed from admiring others' creations to making my own.
The result? If I was intrigued before, I am besotted now.
Dear readers, I love this cake. I think I love it even more than regular carrot cake. It is easy, delicious, and amazingly cake-like for a product that is not baked. Unlike many raw desserts, it is also satisfying without being overly dense. I opted not to use nuts in the cake mixture, which I think made a difference in that regard. I also chose to use oats (some recipes use coconut flour, or only nuts) and apple in the mix. I liked both.
On the day of making this, the cake is almost a little too moist. The carrots also dominate in flavour and texture - as Mr Bite noted, it is more carroty than regular carrot cake. With 24 hours, though, things mellow. The cake thickens up, thanks to the oats drawing in moisture, and the cinnamon and coconut become more noticeable. The resulting product is uncannily like a traditional cake, although obviously certain differences do remain. I suspect it would suit a wider audience than many raw desserts.
I gave less thought to the icing than I did to the cake. As a consequence, my version was pleasant but didn't deliver the cream cheese tang I like with carrot cake. That gives me a great excuse to make this again. Perfecting a raw vegan cream cheese icing to accompany the cake will not, I think, be a hardship!
Raw carrot cake
A delicious cake that would make a great first time raw vegan dessert
Makes one round cake to serve 8
Raw, vegan and wheat free
Food processor required
Adapted from raw carrot cake recipes on This Rawsome Vegan Life (x2), The Taste Space, Chef Amber Shea, The Healthy Chef, An Unrefined Vegan, and Simply Vegan Living
For the cake -
2 large carrots
1 medium apple, peeled and cored
1-1/2 cups dates
1-1/2 cups oats
1/2 cup dried coconut
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
For the icing -
1/2 cup cashews, preferably soaked for at least 3 hours (I only soaked mine for 45 minutes, so my icing was less smooth than it might have been)
3 tbsp maple syrup
1 to 2 tbsp lemon juice (I used 1 tbsp, but would use 2 tbsp next time to increase the tanginess)
Walnuts or other nuts, optional, for decorating
Prepare a round or square cake tin. A tin with removable sides would be perfect, and won't require any lining. If you don't have a tin with removable sides, line the tin with cling wrap or baking paper.
Use your food processor to grate the carrots and apples. Once grated, remove from the food processor and set aside.
Swap the grater attachment for a regular blade, and then use your food processor to process the dates, oats, coconut and cinnamon until ground. The mixture should be like a course flour. Add the grated carrots and apple back into the bowl and continue processing until all ingredients are well combined.
Transfer the carrot cake mixture to your prepared tin and use your hands to press down and distribute evenly.
To make the icing, process the cashews, maple syrup and lemon juice in a clean food processor bowl or high-powered blender until smooth.
Ice the top of the cake, and decorate with chopped walnuts if desired.
Allow the cake to chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, but preferably 12 to 24 hours, before serving.
Have you made or tried raw carrot cake?