Posts tagged carrot cake
The healthiest ever... carrot, apricot & ginger cake!

It's been a while since I posted a new recipe... I've been busy working on the blog, but more behind the scenes- trying to sort my recipe index out (slow progress!) and also creating a book based on my mindset posts. I have also been coaching a lot more in recent months too and that hs been a priority.

That said I've missed creating sweet things and photography! Last weekend I was feeling in the mood to bake something... and put a post on my personal Facebook page asking what things people wanted 'healthanizing' ... billionaires shortbread got a mention (I'll try and get onto that before xmas) and so did carrot cake.

carrot ginger apricot cake.jpg

Well, it just so happens that a few weeks ago I did make a fantastic carrot cake, and the comment prompted me to get it up on the blog!  This is a blend of carrot, ginger and apricot for an indulgent twist on the classic.  It's super healthy- packed with fruit and veg, minimal processed ingredients and made with oats, I'm pretty sure it could be made entitely gluten free very easily. 

The carrot cake may not be particularly festive, but it's still great for a party of a gathering or bookmark it for a springtime treat :-)  If you love carrot cake BUT also love chocolate... you should definitely try this chocolate brownie carrot cake!

Final top tip before you go ahead and make it - this cake keeps well for a few days in the fridge, in fact I think it tastes even better the day after it's made- richer and cakier!

carrot ginger apricot cake 3a.jpg

Recipe: Carrot, Apricot & Ginger Cake!!

Ingredients:

  • 2tbs flax and 1/4 cup water- mixed
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil- melted
  • 1/2 cup non-dairy milk
  • 1 medium apple- cored
  • 1 tps baking soda
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 heaped tsp ginger powder
  • 1 cup finely grated carrot
  • 1 cup fine oatmeal
  • 1/2 cup spelt flour (you could probably sub a GF flour blend)
  • 1/2 cup ground almonds
  • 1/2 cup chopped dried apricots

Method:

Blend the flax mix with the melted coconut oil, non-dairy milk and the apple until fully pureed. In a sperate large bowl mix together the dry ingredients then add all wet ingredients plus any remaining ingredients to it, stir through until well mixed.

Spoon batter into two 8" cake pans- the layers will be fairly thin. Bake for approx 30 mins at 180C, loosely cover with foil if tops are browning too quickly. Allow to fully cool before frosting.

Meanwhile, make the frosting:

  • 1/2 cup non-dairy yoghurt
  • 1/2 cup thick coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1 tbs mild syrup

Method: Mix together and then allow to thicken in the fridge.

To decorate (optional), make the balls on top:

  • 1 medium carrot
  • 1 cup dates
  • 1 tbs ground ginger
  • 1/2 cup almond or cashew butter

Method: Blitz together all ingredients in a food processor and then make into balls. If the mix is a little too wet, allow to chill in fridge to firm up before forming.

carrot ginger apricot cake 6a.jpg

For some festive foodie vibes... I have a few treats planned for the coming weeks, feel free t leave me your ideas too!

In the meantime, I would love to share with you my top five festive recipes last year, I put them together in a mini book you can find here. 

 
 

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Carrot Cake Brownies (in time for Easter!)

This cake is a wicked cross between my all-time favourite courgette brownie cake and a carrot cake… I swapped the courgette for carrot and changed up the spices a little. I figured this would make fabulous Easter treat… Or any time of year (or week) really where you want to celebrate a little! 

Recipe: Carrot Cake Brownies

I have made variations of this cake (remember my PETA shortlisting!) so many times now and I know it works perfectly in a brownie pan, a round cake pan (this recipe is sized for an 8" pan), muffin trays or cupcake trays. You can leave the top plain or frost it. You can even add chopped nuts dried foods mixed through in the batter... so many possibilities!

This type of cake also freezes really well, some say brownies taste better once I've been frozen and defrosted- I'll let you be the decider of that. But I will say this is a great cake to always keep on standby in the freezer to satisfy a little chocolate craving when it strikes or if you have last minute unexpected company!

For other highly recommended easy Easter treats... have a look at these Easter nests I made for Real Food Source and also the Hot Cross cookies are a great non-chocolate option that I also love to make each year. Finally these 'cream eggs' from 4 year ago now (whaaaaat- 4 years!) are a little more fiddly- but fun ;-) 

What have you got planned for Easter treats?

Recipe: Carrot Cake Brownies

Recipe: Carrot Cake Brownies

Makes 1 x 8” round or square cake

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup packed dates (soaked then drained for easier blending)
  • approx 3 tbs coconut syrup (other other preferred syrup)
  • ½ cup water or non dairy milk
  • 1 cup finely grated carrot
  • 2 tsp cinnamon and/or nutmeg
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil- melted
  • ¼ cup ground flax seed 
  • ¾ cup cocoa powder
  • 1 cup oat flour (I ground some regular porridge oats)
  • 1/3 cup dark chocolate chips (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 heaped tsp baking powder
  • 1 heaped tsp baking soda

Method:

Blend all the wet ingredients with the flax seed to form a smooth fairly runny paste. Allow to stand for a couple of minutes. Stir through the gated carrot (save a little for the top).

Mix the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl and then add the wet. Mix lightly but well to form a thick soft batter. Add a little extra water if necessary. Taste test for sweetness and add a little extra syrup if necessary.

Spoon the batter into a lined/greased muffin pan or round cake tin (you could also make cupcakes) and smooth the top as best you can. Add the remaining sprinkles of grated carrot and press down lightly to reduce chance of burning.

Bake in a preheated oven at 180C for approx 30 minutes, after 10-15 minutes it is advisable to lightly cover the top of the pan with foil to prevent the top browning before the centre is cooked through.

Allow to cool before slicing.  Store in the fridge for up to 1 week…this cake tastes even better the next day!

Here are my Hot Cross Cookies.... a bit like like a bun but sooooo much easier to make!

Here are my Hot Cross Cookies.... a bit like like a bun but sooooo much easier to make!

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DAY TEN: Carrot cake baked oatmeal

The weekend before last, the morning before I was due to go on holiday…the very morning I had so much to do I told myself there was no way I would go into the kitchen and make a thing! I did venture into the kitchen, I just couldn't resist.

You see, a little idea had crept up on me, an idea that simply screamed ‘brunch’ and since I was hungry and the idea was simple I ended up in the kitchen whipping up a quick and simple baked oatmeal dish- carrot cake style. The perfect healthy filling mid-morning brunch, perfectly double portion sized so I saved the rest for the following morning for a hassle free breakfast before my flight. It was just as yummy served cold straight from the fridge! 

I’d come across various recipes for baked oatmeal in the past, not least from two of my favourite blogs Chocolate Covered Katie and Oh She Glows, but I’d never made a baked oatmeal dish of my own before. I’m often an impatient kinda girl when it comes to my breakfast so bowls of oats and two minute breakfast cookies are my usual style. But this was worth the short wait and the bonus of a ready-made breakfast the following morning... oh yeah!

You could sweeten this up with a little more agave or a pinch of stevia if you preferred, I wanted a very lightly sweetened breakfast snack so for me this was perfect. Add some choc chunks and a little more indulgence and you could also have yourself a dessert!

My oven dish was slightly too small (note the dribbles down the sides), so I packed the remaining mixture into a silicone muffin pan hence the muffin in the photos. You make all the mixture the into muffins if you fancied. I reckon this mix would make between 4 and 6 muffins depending on size of the pans.

Recipe: Carrot cake baked oatmeal

Ingredients

  • 2 carrots grated
  • 1 tbs chia/flax seed
  • 1 cup soy milk (or other vegan milk)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp nutmeg or ginger
  • ½ cup oats
  • 2 tbs chopped pecans or walnuts
  • 2 tbs dried cranberries (or raisins)
  • 2 tbs desiccated coconut
  • 1 tbs coconut sugar/rapadura/agave
  • Topping- sprinkling of desiccated coconut and coconut sugar

Method

Mix all ingredients together until well coated  and spoon into a greased oven dish*. Press down and smooth the top before sprinkling with a little extra desiccated coconut and coconut sugar (or other unrefined granulated sugar as desired).

Bake at 180C for approx. 20 mins until the topping is golden. Serve immediately.  This also tastes good cold the next day!

*my oven dish was approx. 20x10cm in size and I had a little mixture left over that wouldn’t fit in so I filled a silicone muffin case as well.

What Vegan MOFO means to me.

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Carrot cake pancakes

So, on Saturday pancakes got to me again….!  I hadn’t planned for this little distraction at all since I had a nice bowl of oats lined up in my head (hmm, that sounds odd?)

But then Facebook happened and somebody had posted about pancakes- how much they really wanted some….so then I really wanted some too! So I figured I really ought to do something about that.

Meet the newest addition to the pancake family. Carrot cake pancakes!

It’s still only a relatively small pancake family but there are plenty more flavour combos bubbling away in my mind awaiting a future weekend brunch trial.

Check these ones out too:

What’s your favourite flavour?

You will see the note below about carrot content. I made these originally with quite a large carrot, and therefore the ratio of ‘wet ingredient to dry’ was fairly large as carrot releases more moisture whilst cooking. You will see from the photos that the pancakes were more dense and moist than fluffy, I liked it this way as a nice change but my mum (who I’d shared them with) preferred a slightly fluffier version. Therefore I have slightly reduced the amount of carrot in the recipe below. Also note that the carrot should be finely grated so that it cooks through quickly.

P.S wish me luck for tonight, as I have my first new Pole Fitness class to teach…I’m a big ball of nerves and excitement!

P.P.S do you notice how there are 4 pancakes in these photos yet the recipe makes 6- well guess who ate four pancakes and who ate two! (yes I was hungry!)

Recipe: Carrot cake pancakes

Makes approx. 6 smallish pancakes 

Ingredients

  • ½ cup white spelt flour
  • 4 tbs oats
  • 1 tsp cinnamon or mixed spice
  • ¾ tsp baking powder
  • pinch salt
  • 1 smallish carrot finely grated (or larger carrot for a less fluffy pancake)
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbs maple syrup
  • 1/3 – 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1tbs melted coconut butter

Method

Mix coconut butter, orange juice and vanilla in a bowl and heat in microwave to melt the coconut butter into the mixture. Combine dry ingredients in a separate small bowl then add the wet and mix. Add finely grated carrot last and lightly mix through. Spoon dollops on a lightly oiled hot frying pan and fry till golden for a few minutes each side.

Serve with soy yoghurt and walnuts with a dusting of extra cinnamon as desired.

Note: when I first made these I added a medium- large carrot to the mixture which made for a wetter pancake due to the moisture in the carrot as it cooks. I enjoyed this texture, but if you prefer a more traditionally fluffy pancake then you may wish to reduce the carrot as noted.

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Single serve carrot cake

I’ve enjoyed making my ‘2 minute breakfast cookies’ so much recently, more for dessert than breakfast! I’ve tried out lots more flavour combinations so I will be sharing those with you soon, but today I fancied a single serving more of the mug cake variety.

Using this gluten free raspberry cheesecake mug cake recipe as a basis I set about making a super nutritious ‘fill me up’ type dessert with some added oats for oomph. To make smaller portions you could divide the mixture into two small ramekins to serve two.

Instead of serving it straight from a bowl or mug I decided to line the ramekin with lightly oiled clingfilm so that once cooked I could easily lift it out and peel away the clingfilm to serve. It worked pretty well although if I’d waiting a couple of minutes for it to cool and firm up slightly it probably would have been even easier….me impatient…never!

Using orange juice instead of soy milk really helps to bring out the flavour of the carrot, and the ground almonds really help add to the moistness of the crumb, you could probably get away without the added oil since the texture was in no way dry. You could serve it with a dollop of nut butter or a creamy cheesy style frosting. Here I served mine with a thick  cashew cream made with much less water than usual.

Single serving 'microwave' cakes are great as a time saver and also as an ingredient saver particularly when being a bit adventurous or experimental and you don’t want to make a whole batch of cake to find it tastes awful! Today this ‘5 minute cake’ really did the trick and meant that I could have a 10 minute time-out before rushing off the do the next thing on my list…so much to do today…busy busy busy, I will reveal all very soon!

Recipe: single serve carrot cake

Serves 1

Ingredients

  • 2 tbs GF flour mix
  • 1tbs ground almonds
  • 1 tbs oats
  • 1 tbs rapadura
  • Tiny pinch salt
  • ¼  tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp mild flavoured oil (coconut or rapeseed)
  • 1 small carrot grated- approx. 3tbs
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • 2-3 tbs orange juice
  • Nuts to sprinkle on top- optional

Method

Add all the ingredients to a small bowl adding orange juice last just enough to achieve a medium thick batter. Mix well so there are no lumps or dry patches of unmixed flour.

Pour into a mug or large ramekin (line it with clingfilm if you want to be able to take it out to serve). Note the mixture should only fill no more than just over half the height of the mug/ramekin. Sprinkle nuts over the top if you like. 

Cook on full power (900W) in microwave for 1 min. check with a cocktail stick until stick comes out almost clean. Cook for 20 seconds more if necessary (up to two times) until cooked.

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Carrot Cake Loaf

Well I know I said my my sticky toffee pudding was a final indulgence after the overload of Christmas naughtiness…well, maybe that was a tiny fib, but I do have an excuse for this cake… and it’s a good one!

For Christmas as a bit of a novelty gift, I made my very own ‘Including Cake vouchers’ to give each of my family so that they could trade them in for a tray of sweet treats of their choosing.

My sister is going back to university this weekend after her holiday’s back at home and so decided to trade her voucher in so she had a little treat to take back with her. So you see, this cake is not for me at all!

She opted for a good old classic carrot cake…super healthy style!

I’ve made a few variations of carrot cake before, but as yet they have not appeared on my blog. The recipe I use makes for quite a dense sponge best suited to mini loaf pans (as I have used here) or muffin/cupcake tins.

When I previously made it using a regular sized loaf tin I felt it was a little gummy in the centre, don’t get me wrong it still tasted really good but would be best suited to a smaller pan so the centre maintains a cakier crumb. I've also used spelt flour here but I would imagine that my typical 30/30/30 combo of ground almonds, buckwheat flour and tapioca starch would work well as a GF sub (note- this hasn't ben tested in this recipe)

I haven’t frosted these loaves as they really don’t need it, but you may want to add some frosting if you are opting for cupcakes.

I haven’t included a frosting recipe here as I have yet to create a ‘white’ frosting that I really love. My previous investigations lead me down the route of blending firm tofu, coconut butter, orange zest and agave syrup- but although this does create a viable healthy frosting, I simply felt it needed a little more work…feel free to experiment!

I promise I do have some soups coming up very soon! Soups are great for all seasons, all times or day and for wherever you happen to be. They are the perfect healthy winter comfort food and what could be better than that?

(ok, well maybe a little bit of cake for dessert!)

I also have some granola style bar investigations underway. I want to create the perfect healthy snack bars for all situations… a slow release energy bar, an quick release energy hit, a high protein snack. This has been inspired in part by one of my colleagues who asked my to create him a healthy sugar free energy bar. Not one to turn down a challenge…investigations are well underway…I’ll keep you posted!

Recipe: Carrot Cake Loaf

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup apple sauce (or soy yoghurt)
  • 1/3 cup crushed pineapple
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • ½ cup agave and a pinch stevia
  • ¼ cup soy milk
  • ¼ cup orange juice
  • ½ cup coconut oil
  • 2 cups spelt flour
  • 1tsp salt
  • 2tsp baking powder
  • 1tsp baking soda
  • 2tsp cinnamon
  • 1tsp mixed spice
  • 2 cups grated carrot
  • ½ cup chopped nuts
  • ½ cup chopped dates or raisins (optional)

Method

Preheat oven to 180C. Blend together wet the ingredients in a food processor then mix in melted coconut oil. Mix dry ingredients together in a large bowl (except nut/dates/carrots) then add wet mixture and stir until thick. Fold in grated carrot, chopped nuts and dates last. Pour mixture into 3 mini loaf tins or

12 cupcake / muffins pans. Bake for approx. 20-30 minutes depending on pan sizes used. Check to see when a toothpick comes away clean.


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