Cute carrot cake

“I used to hate carrot cake as a kid, but it’s weird how my taste-buds have changed!”

I think my least favourites vegetable growing up were carrots which is probably why I cried a little inside when the birthday cake for my 6th birthday was brought out, and it was, you guessed it…a carrot cake. Laced with icing it looked delicious but I just couldn’t get my head around the fact that it contained carrots – worst thing was it was huge and seeing as most of the kids at my party were probably thinking the same thing, it’s fair to say it lasted a while.

Want to skip to the recipe?

The years following, my birthday cakes were kept a little more traditional – chocolate, Victoria sponge, you know the drill! And I didn’t touch a carrot cake again until my 20s.

It’s never really been my first choice when choosing a cake. But I often wonder why when it comes to eating it. It’s super sweet, super moist and usually delicious.

When it comes to baking, as a vegan one of the first things that you hear is how difficult it must be to bake a cake without eggs. Truth be told it really isn’t. In fact it’s probably a lot easier and as I always say, I’m never too scared to lick the spoon before I pop the mixture into the oven – when I used to bake with eggs I was.

It’s as easy as Bosh!

A lot of the recipes I’ve found require some fairly complex ingredients as a means of replacing the missing egg but after finding this recipe from the guys over at Bosh! I had to give it a try.

Carrot cake by Bosh!

Flaxseed is possibly the most obscure ingredient here but you can find it in your local supermarket just make sure it’s ground. I often use it in smoothies and overnight oat recipes too so you’ll find it has quite versatile applications.

In the past 3 weeks I’ve actually baked this cake 3 times because it’s just so easy and so good! 

The story behind the first bake was leaving work on a Thursday afternoon and having no plans. I was looking forward to just relaxing on the sofa, and maybe reading a book but I got itchy feet, and was restless.

I started flicking brought the Bosh cookbook a colleague had lent to me and spotted a few recipes with some common ingredients.

Next thing I knew I was dancing around Asda popping ingredients into my basket – 2 hours later I had baked 3 different types of cake ready to take into work the next day!

We’ll get to what they were as I continue to post recipes.  While I worried my colleagues would think me crazy for baking the number of cakes I did, by 3pm the next day every crumb had gone.

The best thing about baking vegan cakes

The best thing was hearing the compliments about just how good they tasted, people asking for the recipe and of course people not even recognising that they were vegan!

One of my friends commented a while ago about how I was doing a great job of using food as activism, and I think I never really noticed that until that day.

If I can prove to everyone just how simple vegan baking is by feeding them, then I sure as hell will, especially if I get to see them enjoy it just as much as they did!

I’ve made a couple of very tiny mods to the original Bosh recipe mainly due to trial and error and because I love a moist cake mixture…

The Recipe

Prep time: 20 mins

Cooking time: 45 – 60 mins

Cost: < £3

Ingredients:

Cake:

  • 5 medium carrots
  • 2 tablespoons of ground flaxseed
  • 300 grams of brown sugar
  • 250 grams of plain flour
  • 120ml of soy or almond milk
  • 120 ml of vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon of nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon of ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • 75 grams of sultanas
  • 50 grams of walnut halves
  • 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
  • 6 tablespoons of warm water
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda

Icing:

  • 80 grams of dairy free butter
  • 3 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • 450 grams of icing sugar
  • The juice and zest of half a lemon

Method:

  • Grease and line the bases of two circular loose-bottom cake tins using dairy free butter and grease-proof paper
  • Peel the carrots and grate by hand or using a food processor
  • Combine the flax-seeds and warm water together in a small pot or bowl and set to one side for 5 minutes
  • Put the flour, sugar, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and spices into a food processor and combine
  • Add the vanilla extract, vegetable oil, apple cider vinegar, salt, plant based milk and flax-seed paste and then whizz for approximately 3 minutes or use a large mixing bowl and beat with a whisk
  • Pour the batter into a mixing bowl and fold in the sultanas and grated carrot
  • Bake in the centre of the oven for between 45 and 50 minutes – or until a skewer inserted comes out clean
  • Leave the cake halves to cool on a cooling rack, until at room temperature
  • Meanwhile – using a clean food processing bowl add the icing sugar, butter, vanilla essence and lemon juice and blitz to a thick cream
  • Once your cakes have cooled spread a third of the icing over the base and sandwich the top half spreading the remaining icing onto the top of the cake
  • Decorate with the walnuts and grate the lemon zest over the top of the cake for the finishing touch

Have any hints, tips or ingredients you think may pair well with this or other recipes? I’m always down for new friends, get in touch.