Vegan Carrot Cake

This cake is rich, spicy, and totally delish. It’s also free from refined flours, artificial ingredients, cholesterol, animal products, and hydrogenated oils. Recipe from my first cookbook - Radiant Health, Inner Wealth.

Carrot Mixture:

1 cup each: grated carrots and pure maple syrup
1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon each: ground nutmeg, ground ginger, and ground allspice
½ cup each: water, raisins, and orange juice (the fresher the better)

2 cups whole wheat pastry flour (or gluten-free all-purpose flour)
2 teaspoons baking soda
⅛ teaspoon sea salt
½ cup oil (sunflower, non-virgin olive, or coconut)

Creamy Lemon Frosting: 
One 8 oz. container nondairy cream cheese
¼ cup non-hydrogenated margarine
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Zest of two large organic lemons (minced or grated)
⅛ teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2½ cups organic powdered (confectioner’s) sugar

Garnish: the zest of one large lemon (minced or chopped) 

1. Combine the ingredients for the carrot mixture in a large bowl and stir well. You can now choose one of the following methods to marry the flavors: You can allow the items to soak overnight in the fridge in a covered container. Alternatively, you can place the items in a saucepan and bring them to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for five minutes. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.

2. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Place the flour, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl and whisk or sift until well combined.

3. Stir the oil into the carrot mixture and combine well. Pour the wet mixture into the bowl with the dry ingredients and stir until everything is well combined. However, do not over-mix.

4. Lightly oil an 11.5 x 8-inch cake pan. Pour the batter into the pan, using a rubber spatula to make sure you get all of the goodness into the cake pan. Bake for about 45 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow the cake to cool slightly before frosting it.

5. To make the frosting, place the cream cheese and margarine in a medium-large bowl and whip with electric beaters until well combined—but don’t over-mix or your frosting might lose its consistency. You may also want to have a rubber spatula on hand to scrape down the sides of the bowl, as this will ensure a consistent frosting. Add the remaining items for the frosting and whip just until well combined. Refrigerate the frosting until the cake has cooled.

6. When the cake is cool enough not to melt the frosting, slather on the good stuff using a rubber spatula or butter knife. Scatter the lemon zest on top and serve. Oh yes. Yes, yes, yes!

Makes one 11.5 x 8-inch cake; GF (with substitution)/Purple (according to the health guidelines in my books)