Coconut Carrot Cake

How was your Valentine's Day?  I hope it was full of love, sunshine and good food.
I LOVE Valentine's Day; and not because I have a "Valentine", but because it's a holiday that reminds us all to love one another. The weather was incredible in New York City.  I can imagine that even the V-Day haters had a smile on their face and gratitude in their hearts for the 50 degree air and warm sun.  Vitamin D starved New Yorkers crowded the streets, and everywhere I walked I felt as if it were a Sunday afternoon in the springtime.
I must admit, I didn't get out of my apartment until 3pm, when I had to go grocery shopping for the romantic vegan dinner I had planned.  I spent the morning baking a cake, using a recipe I developed after a bit of research on vegan carrot cakes.  I don't know where I got the idea, but I wanted to wow my boyfriend (and myself) with a vegan Coconut Carrot cake for dessert.

I'm so proud to introduce this recipe; as I never give myself much credit as a baker.  But after this delicious cake, my Champagne Poppy Seed muffins and winning the church bake off last Sunday with my Walnut Macaroons, I'm ready to admit that I'm a pretty good baker.  Sure, I've got room to grow.  I've never baked anything fancy, like a pie (!), but I've got potential.  Tomorrow, Wednesday, I start an informal internship with the pastry chef, Kristin, at Peacefood Cafe.  I am so excited to learn the secrets of vegan baking, who knows, before long I might take the plunge and become 100% vegan.

Until then, I give to you my recipe for a delightfully rich and fairly healthy vegan cake.  Alone, the cake is not too sweet, but the coconut glaze with crystallized ginger kicks the sugar up a notch. My favorite thing about this cake is the heavenly marriage of flavor created by the cardamom and coconut.

May you always live in Love. 

Coconut Carrot Cake
(For egg replacer I used Ener-G, and with fine results.  Next time I make week, I may use silken tofu--but first I'll consult with Kristin at Peacefood Cafe. )

2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon 
1/2 tsp cardamom
1/8 tsp cayenne  
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 c coconut oil, melted
1 ripe banana, mashed
3 cups carrot, peeled and grated
1/2 cup coconut milk
2 egg replacers, 3 tsp Ener-G + 4 tbsp water mixed separatly then added to wet ingredients

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Oil a small non-stick bundt pan or a 9x4in loaf pan.

In a medium sized bowl mix and sift flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cardamom, cayenne, and salt; set aside.

In a large bowl mash a ripe banana, add coconut oil, carrot, coconut milk and egg replacer and mix thoroughly. 
Begin to add dry ingredients to this wet mixture.  Add a little at a time, stir, then add more until you have a thick batter.  Pour into the pan, and place in oven at 350 degrees for 50 minutes.  

Test to make sure it's done after 50 minutes by sticking a paring knife or toothpick into the cake, it should come out clean : )

Enjoy, and let me know what you think. 

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