My husband had a birthday fairly recently, but we were on vacation and I didn't have a chance to make his favorite cake. So last night, we broke up our nightly salad routine and had cake for dinner. We had some apricots in the freezer from the harvest at the local "pick-your-own" farm, and these added a nice color and flavor. My husband had juiced earlier, and when I promised him cake, he saved a bowl of carrot pulp that would have normally gone into the compost. This cake is made with nuts, and a generous slice is equal to a good-sized handful of almonds, macadamias and walnuts. We have cut back on our nut consumption and are no longer eating nuts as frequently as when we first discovered raw food. So for us this was fine as an occasional treat. I did use honey for the frosting, but if you are vegan and do not eat honey, substitute with your favorite sweetener. This cake is not a diet food, but it's much better for you than the alternative.
Carrot Cake with Apricots (Raw and Plant Based)
1 cup dates
1 cup dried apricots
1 1/4 cups apricots with juice, frozen and thawed, or about 1 cup of fresh apricot puree
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp ground ginger (next time I want to try grated fresh ginger)
1/2 tsp sea salt
6-8 cups carrot pulp
1 cup almond flour
1 1/2 cups macadamia nuts, soaked and drained
Juice of one lemon
1/2 of one vanilla bean
2 tablespoons honey or sweetener of your choice
20 drops of orange flavored stevia (I used SweetLeaf)
pinch of sea salt
up to one cup of water
1/2 cup walnuts, (optional)
For the cake: Pulse the first 7 ingredients in a food processor until well-combined. If you do not have a food processor, chop the dates and dried apricots finely, then mix in the remaining ingredients, using a fork to mash and break the thawed apricots down.
Place the mixture in a large bowl and begin stirring in carrot pulp. You want enough carrot pulp that the mixture is not too wet, but no so much that the mixture doesn't hold together. The type of juicer you have may make a difference in the amount of carrot pulp you'll use. Drier carrot pulp is less dense so you can use more of it. Just keep stirring it in until it starts to remind you of carrot cake. Next, stir in the almond flour until well combined.
(Notes: If you don't have a juicer, you can substitute with grated carrot. Grated carrot is more dense than carrot pulp, and you'll need about half as much. You may need to increase the amount of almond flour to compensate for the moisture in the grated carrot. You can buy almond flour, or you can make it. I placed raw almonds in the dry container of a high speed blender and ground them finely. It took about 20 seconds. Alternately, you can dehydrate the leftover pulp from making nut milk. Ideally, the nuts should be soaked for 8 hours, rinsed, and dehydrated prior to grinding.)
For the frosting: Place all of the ingredients except the water in a high speed blender. Blend, gradually adding enough water to achieve a frosting-like consistency. Taste and adjust for sweetness.
To put it together: I formed the cake mixture into a large ball, then placed the ball on a plate. Using my hands, I formed the cake into a traditional round cake shape. It was kind of fun, like making mud pies as a kid.
Frost, sprinkle with walnuts, and serve!
We had some leftover frosting. No worries. I stirred in a capsule of pro-biotic and set it aside to make a delicious cream cheese-like spread for the raw bagels planned for a breakfast in a the near future!
|Yes, this was dinner!|
Many thanks to the following amazing bloggers for their carrot cake recipes that were the inspiration for this one. They make life just a little sweeter. In no particular order:
Chef Amber Shea's Enlightened Carrot Cake
Emily von Euw's Raw Carrot Cake With Cashew Cream Cheese Frosting
Laura-Jane The Rawtarian's Raw Carrot Refrigerator Cake
Karen Knowler's Raw Carrot Cake
Russel James's Carrot & Orange Cake