Vegan Carrot Cake!
My adorable niece turned two years old the other day. I took it upon myself to provide a vegan cake for the occasion, especially since I wasn’t the only vegan at the party (imagine that)! Carrot cake seemed like the natural choice (no pun intended) for a kid’s birthday. Why not instill the love of veggies from an early age? In fact, my niece is already smart enough to love her veggies! I wish I could say the same for some of the adults in the room. There was one ignoramus who wouldn’t even TRY my cake because it was vegan. That’s fine. That’s his choice, just like it’s my choice to eat vegan. However, I was offended that he yelled at everybody else not to eat it. How rude! Oh well, everybody else DID try it and said they liked it. His loss.
I used a recipe from the February 2009 issue of Vegetarian Times. This is a great way to use one of those frozen bananas from my last post!
1 medium ripe banana,
frozen, then thawed
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups grated carrots
(2 medium carrots)
1 1/4 cups flour
1 Tbs. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1. To make Cake: Preheat oven to 350F.
Coat 9-inch cake pan with cooking
spray. Mash thawed banana in large
bowl. Whisk in sugar, oil, and carrots.
Whisk together flour, baking powder,
salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg in separate
bowl. Stir flour mixture into banana
mixture, until no lumps remain (blog author’s caution: I disagree! Mix until the dry ingredients are just moistened. Over-mixing will make the cake tough.) Fold in raisins and walnuts (if using).
2. Pour cake batter into prepared baking
pan. Bake 25 to 30 minutes, or until
toothpick inserted in center comes out
clean. Cool 10 minutes in pan. Transfer
to wire rack, and cool completely.
I omitted the raisins and walnuts to make it more kid friendly, and I used whole-wheat pastry flour, which is one of my favorite secret weapons. It has all of the nutrition of whole wheat, but it is finely milled to give it a less tough texture.
I iced it with my favorite Cashew Creme frosting recipe, which I got from The Gluten-Free Vegan Cookbook by Susan O’Brien. It’s super simple and decadently rich:
Just put 2/3 cup of coconut milk, 1/3 cup of dates, 1 cup raw cashews, and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla in a food processor, and blend until smooth, scraping the sides occasionally. Let is thicken in the refrigerator for an hour or so. I accidentally used light coconut milk, but it came out fine.
I did add some (not-so-natural) sprinkles. It needed some color.
I hate to say this, but I’m really not sure how much it cost to make this cake.
Between the small quantities of baking powder, and spices, and vanilla extract, which I’ve had around for a while and didn’t keep track of the prices, it would be hard to calculate. I would venture to guess, though, that it was a lot cheaper than buying a vegan cake (or any all-natural cake without all the chemicals you get from grocery store bakeries).
Ever since I started this blog, though, I have been keeping track of the cost of all of my groceries, so I will get better at figuring the savings associated with baking as time goes on and I have to buy fresh sundries.