Monday, April 21, 2014

Raw carrot cake - finally

Raw carrot cake has intrigued me for a while now. In addition to the link I shared in my Easter recipe round-up, I have six other raw (or nearly raw) carrot cake recipes in my bookmarks folder. That's quite a lot of carrot inspiration.

This weekend, I finally progressed from admiring others' creations to making my own.

The result? If I was intrigued before, I am besotted now.

Dear readers, I love this cake. I think I love it even more than regular carrot cake. It is easy, delicious, and amazingly cake-like for a product that is not baked. Unlike many raw desserts, it is also satisfying without being overly dense. I opted not to use nuts in the cake mixture, which I think made a difference in that regard. I also chose to use oats (some recipes use coconut flour, or only nuts) and apple in the mix. I liked both.

On the day of making this, the cake is almost a little too moist. The carrots also dominate in flavour and texture - as Mr Bite noted, it is more carroty than regular carrot cake. With 24 hours, though, things mellow. The cake thickens up, thanks to the oats drawing in moisture, and the cinnamon and coconut become more noticeable. The resulting product is uncannily like a traditional cake, although obviously certain differences do remain. I suspect it would suit a wider audience than many raw desserts.

I gave less thought to the icing than I did to the cake. As a consequence, my version was pleasant but didn't deliver the cream cheese tang I like with carrot cake. That gives me a great excuse to make this again. Perfecting a raw vegan cream cheese icing to accompany the cake will not, I think, be a hardship!

Raw carrot cake
A delicious cake that would make a great first time raw vegan dessert
Makes one round cake to serve 8
Raw, vegan and wheat free
Food processor required

For the cake -
2 large carrots
1 medium apple, peeled and cored
1-1/2 cups dates
1-1/2 cups oats
1/2 cup dried coconut 
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

For the icing - 
1/2 cup cashews, preferably soaked for at least 3 hours (I only soaked mine for 45 minutes, so my icing was less smooth than it might have been)
3 tbsp maple syrup
1 to 2 tbsp lemon juice (I used 1 tbsp, but would use 2 tbsp next time to increase the tanginess)

Walnuts or other nuts, optional, for decorating

Prepare a round or square cake tin. A tin with removable sides would be perfect, and won't require any lining. If you don't have a tin with removable sides, line the tin with cling wrap or baking paper.

Use your food processor to grate the carrots and apples. Once grated, remove from the food processor and set aside.

Swap the grater attachment for a regular blade, and then use your food processor to process the dates, oats, coconut and cinnamon until ground. The mixture should be like a course flour. Add the grated carrots and apple back into the bowl and continue processing until all ingredients are well combined.

Transfer the carrot cake mixture to your prepared tin and use your hands to press down and distribute evenly. 

To make the icing, process the cashews, maple syrup and lemon juice in a clean food processor bowl or high-powered blender until smooth. 

Ice the top of the cake, and decorate with chopped walnuts if desired.

Allow the cake to chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, but preferably 12 to 24 hours, before serving.

Have you made or tried raw carrot cake?


  1. this looks very tempting - I don't do much raw baking (that is an oxymoron) but every now and I again I see great reason why I should - not only does this sound delicious but looking at your inspiration, it has a great heritage too.

    1. It does have a good history, this cake! I find terminology for raw desserts amusing too - a bit like my tangle with 'milky' non-dairy drinks in my last post. Sometimes you just need to use words that aren't technically correct, but make the most sense :-)

  2. I've had various raw carrot cake recipes in my bookmarks for ages as but still haven't got to making one yet. Spring seems like the perfect opportunity though.
    Yours looks gorgeous. I think I'd like a tangy cream-cheese-esque frosting too though.

    1. Perhaps you can perfect the frosting for me, and then I will use your version ;)

  3. YES to conquering raw carrot cake! I'm so glad you got the results you desired and then some. Totally delicious!

  4. Yum! I like how you added oats. I have been meaning to try a fermented cashew cream cheese frosting for a long time.... maybe you will beat me to it? :)

  5. I made a raw carrot cake for someone, but sadly never got to try it. Your cake looks good!

    1. I remember that! You'll have to make it again :)

  6. I love how this is mostly fruit and dates. All other carrot cake recipes I've seen are nut or coconut flour based. Well done!

    1. Thanks Gabby! I was really keen not to have it too nut-based, as so many raw desserts are :-)


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