Carrot Cake


ok. so every year i make the desserts for thanksgiving. it’s one of my favorite times of year, waking up on thanksgiving morning, well rested and all cozy in a big sweater. I work all day, sipping coffee while systematically whipping up a couple of desserts that i would normally not take the time to create.

i like to eat free of gluten, dairy, egg, and sugar, so that basically eliminates every dessert (and let’s be real, every food) ever. but i find my ways. when i first started baking with substituted ingredients, it sucked. most things i made only tasted good to me, and my family was polite and ate them so i had a warped view of what actually was good. one year, i brought my girlfriends some cookies i had made and they straight told me that they tasted like cardboard. we cried laughed (i just cried, jk) and i shied away from baking my desserts for anyone. i’ve been eating this way for several years, and so i’ve baked a lot. some are success stories, most are horror stories.

this thanksgiving i was inspired to make a carrot cake after listening to an episode of gastropod on my road-trip home. it was all about carrots and how they’ve come to be. i hate carrots raw, and don’t really like them cooked alone either. i’ll eat them in stews or soups—as long as the flavor is masked. cake also falls into this category, and oddly, i love carrot cake more than most other cakes (vanilla is my favorite though, in case you were wondering). i found this recipe online, and of course, tweaked it to my needs. this cake came out fantastic, and you can trust me because i tested it on unassuming guests at our holiday table. but don’t take my word for it, try it out for yourself!

carrot cake with cashew cream frosting (gf/v)


  • 3 batches flax egg (3 Tbsp flaxseed meal + 7 ½ Tbsp water)

  • 1/3 c melted coconut oil

  • 1/4 c maple syrup

  • 1 scant c unsweetened applesauce

  • 1/4 c coconut palm sugar

  • 3/4 tsp himalayan pink salt

  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda

  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder

  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon

  • 3/4 c unsweetened almond milk (I like Califa Farms)

  • 1 1 /2 cups loosely packed grated carrot

  • 1 1/2 cups almond flour

  • 1 1/2 cups oat flour

  • 3/4 cup chopped raw walnuts


  • 1/2 cup full-fat coconut milk or cream

  • cashew butter

  • 3-4 tbsp maple syrup

  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil

  • 1/4 tsp lemon zest

  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

  • 1/4 tsp sea salt

cake: preheat oven to 350 degrees F. oil and flour two 8-inch pans with coconut oil and dust with gluten-free flour. set aside. prepare flax eggs in a large mixing bowl. add oil and maple syrup and whisk to combine. add applesauce, sugar, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon and whisk together. add almond milk, add grated carrot, and flour. add walnuts. pour into cake pans and bake for 45 -50 min. toothpick should come out clean. remove from oven, cool for 15 minutes, and then gently turn over onto cooling racks. let cool completely and then layer with cashew cream frosting.

frosting: blend ingredients together in a vitamix or blender on high speed until combined. remove and pour into a bowl. cover and freeze for an hour. take out and mix. replace it in the fridge until somewhat firm and creamy. when cakes are cooled, remove from the fridge and let stand for a few minutes before applying to cake.

*adapted from the minimalist baker

Maya OrenComment