Vegan baking: a frosted carrot cake for Easter

Granville Island creates a recipe for the popular dessert with coconut milk and applesauce

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      If it's not one of the best midnight snacks ever, carrot cake is also an essential Easter dessert. The old-school treat is especially divine when it's topped with cream-cheese icing.

      Vegans craving a slice of frosted carrot-y goodness need not be left out. Granville Island Public Market has come up with a recipe for a dairy- and egg-free carrot cake to please.

      Serve it after Easter dinner—or once the clock strikes midnight.  

      Granville Island's One Bowl Carrot Cake

      Serves 4

      Cake ingredients 

      3 Tbsp flaxseed meal
      ½ c water
      1/3 c coconut oil, melted
      1 c unsweetened applesauce
      1 tsp vanilla extract
      ½ c light brown sugar
      ¼ c cane sugar
      2 tsp baking soda
      1 tsp baking powder
      1 tsp ground Saigon cinnamon
      1 tsp fine sea salt
      2 c finely grated carrots
      1 ¼ c all-purpose flour
      1 c almond flour
      ½ c chopped pecans, optional
      ½ c golden raisins, optional
      Edible flowers, for garnish

      Frosting ingredients

      1 ½ c raw cashews, soaked in hot water for 1 hour or overnight in cold water
      ½ c full-fat coconut milk
      ¼ c coconut oil, melted
      3 Tbsp maple syrup
      1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
      1 Tbsp lemon juice
      1 tsp vanilla extract
      ¼ tsp fine sea salt


      Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C). Grease two 8-inch round cake pans or three 6-inch cake pans with coconut oil and line the bottom of each with a round of parchment paper and set aside.

      In a large bowl whisk together flaxseed meal and water. Set aside for 10 minutes.

      To flax mixture add oil, applesauce, vanilla, sugars, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt and whisk to combine. Changing to a rubber spatula, fold in carrots. Add almond flour and all-purpose flour and fold into batter just until combined. If using pecans and raisins fold them in as well. Batter should be thick but pourable. Divide batter evenly among prepared baking pans leveling the top with the rubber spatula. Bake until a deep golden brown and a wooden skewer inserted in the centre of each cake comes out clean, about 40 to 45 minutes.

      Allow cakes to cool in their pans on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Carefully run a knife along the edge of each cake to loosen it from the baking pan and gently invert onto cooling racks. Allow cakes to cool completely.

      While cakes are cooling, make icing.

      Drain cashews thoroughly and add to a blender along with remaining frosting ingredients. Blend until smooth and creamy, scraping down the sides of the blender as needed. Transfer frosting mixture to a medium mixing bowl and place in the freezer to chill for 45 minutes. Whisk and freeze again for another 45 minutes. Whisk again and place back in freezer until semi firm to the touch, about another hour. Using a hand mixer, blend mixture until creamy and smooth. Refrigerate frosting until ready to use.

      When ready to assemble cake, place one layer of cake on a serving platter. Spread about ½ cup of frosting over top of cake before layering on the second layer of cake. Frost top and sides of cake as desired. Decorate with fresh edible flowers, if desired. Slice and enjoy. 

      Assembled cake will keep covered for 2 to 3 days in the refrigerator.