Carrot Cake & Lemon Cream Cheese (V + GF)
reading time: 3 min
How are you spending this lovely spring day today? I'm with my boyfriend and his family at the moment, co-hosting a mafia themed murder mystery dinner, and eating waaayyy too much food, whoops. Including this moist wheat-free carrot cake with a zingy lemon "cream cheese" frosting – which is actually a little bit of a fail...
While the cake turned out great, the frosting I whipped up was too runny and not stiff enough to stay in place, let alone to cover the sides of the cake. It's a delicious yoghurt custard cream though (just not a good frosting) and would make for a great vegan cheesecake if you added something firming such as soaked and blended cashews to make it set. So you better replace the cream cheese frosting with something like whipping cream (flavoured with raw cane sugar and lemon zest), and use the lemon "cream cheese" for another dessert like a parfait or some other yoghurt dish.
But now, on to the cake.
Preparation time: 1 h 30 min
Main ingredients: carrots, buckwheat flour, nuts
difficulty level: easy
makes: one 9-inch spring form
suitable for: vegan, lactose-free, wheat-free
2 1/4 cups (250g) ground almonds or hazelnuts
1 1/2 cups (200g) whole grain flour (I use 1 part whole spelt and 1 part buckwheat)
2 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp cardamom, ground
1 tsp ground cinnamon
pinch sea salt
200g (1 1/2 cup) coconut sugar or raw cane sugar
4 cups (400g) carrots, grated (about 5 medium-sized carrots)
2 tbsp ground flaxseed + 6 tbsp water (this will be your "flax eggs")
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 pinky fresh ginger, minced
8 tbsp neutral oil (sunflower, coconut, canola)
250 ml (1 cup) plant-based milk (I used almond milk)
juice and peel of 1 organic lemon
2 cups (500ml) plant-based milk
1 package (40g) vanilla custard powder
2 tbsp raw cane sugar
2 tbsp maple syrup
2 cups (400g) vegan cream curd cheese
peel of 1 organic lemon
Prepare your "flax eggs" by mixing 2 tablespoons of ground flaxseed with 6 tablespoons of water in a small bowl, and setting it aside in the fridge.
Pre-heat oven to 160°C / 320°F.
To a large mixing bowl add flour, ground nuts, baking powder, cornstarch, cardamom, cinnamon, sugar, and salt. Whisk to combine.
Next add your wet ingredients to the bowl: grated carrots, minced ginger, oil, plant-based milk, vanilla extract, flax eggs, lemon juice, and lemon peel. Mix everything together until an even batter forms. Fill batter into a greased spring form, and bake in the oven for abou 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.
In the meantime, prepare the frosting (see notes above).
To make the lemon cream, cook the custard in sugar and plant-based milk, according to package instructions (basically: bring the milk to a boil, add the custard powder and stir until done). Let it cool completely. Once cooled down, fold in vegan cream curd cheese, maple syrup, and lemon zest.
Carefully cut the cake in half horizontally, using a pie cutter or a long serrated knife. Evenly spread your filling – in our case: the lemon cream cheese, but feel free to use a better frosting! – over the bottom cake half. Re-stack the upper half onto the bottom half. Spread the frosting using a palette knife, a butter knife or a spatula, so that the entire cake is covered. Garnish with tiny marzipan carrots, chopped almonds, or pistachios.