To those who do not like carrot cake, I ask you this. Do you like a moist and tender cake? One that is at the edge of being delicate but stands up tall to glorious shiny ribbons of frosting? This is the cake for you. I know it might have some alarming ingredients. "Flax eggs"?! "Applesauce, what am I, a toddler?" or "please don't tell me you're making me buy almond flour". Hear me out. This isn't a big deal! It's just no eggs, and it has some flax and water. Fugghedaboudit arrit? It's just a flippin delicious cake and you would know that if you made it.
recipe adapted from the Minimalist Baker, www.minimalistbaker.com
3 flax eggs (3 Tbs flaxseed meal + 7 1/2 Tbsp water)
1/3 cup neutral oil (grapeseed, melted coconut oil, etc)
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 tsp sea salt
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4-1 cup liquid (water, milk, non-dairy milk)
1 1/2 cups loosely packed grated carrot
1 1/2 cups almond flour or meal
1 1/2 cups flour of choice
3/4 cup chopped raw walnuts
1 stick of butter
1 8 oz container of full fat cream cheese
4 cups of powdered sugar (sift after measuring)
a gurgle of vanilla extract (1.5 Tbsp)
Maple syrup- try three Tbsp, add more if needed
If you like raisins, add 1/2 cup! I like to soak my raisins in hot brandy or liquid before mixing them in. It makes them plump during baking.
Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease, line with parchment paper, and flour three 6-inch cake pans, or two 8 or 9-inch pans. Set aside. If making the frosting that day, set out the butter and cream cheese to come to room temperature.
Combine the flaxseeds and water and stir to combine. Add the other ingredients one by one, stirring to combine. It's nice to whisk or aerate the flour if it's tightly packed. Gently fold in the carrots, and don't stir too much when you add the flour because you don't want to overdevelop the gluten, which makes the cake less tender. Pour carefully and evenly into tins, and bake for 30 minutes, checking in on them. They are done when a toothpick or knife inserted comes out clean.
Set on a wire rack to cool. Clean your kitchen and take a break, or move on to the frosting.
Mix butter on medium speed, then add cream cheese. Or mix both together. It does not matter! After a couple minutes, slowly add the powdered sugar. It will puff out and protest and try to leave the bowl. This is normal, growing pains of making frosting. Continue on and you will be rewarded. Add the vanilla extract and maple syrup. Stop and taste, and interrupt anyone around you and beseech them to taste as well. Soak in the compliments as they gush in.
Tips for frosting cake:
It's important your cakes are at room temperature or chilled, because there will be less crum-mage this way. Doing a basic "crumb coat" and then popping it in the freezer for 15 minutes is a good way to catch all the crumbs so that they don't show up on your second and final frosting round.
Decoration: Candied Carrot Roses. It looks more like lox than carrots perhaps, still tweaking it!