Paleo Carrot Cake Recipe
I love carrot cake, but had never actually made a carrot cake that I could recall. So, last week when I was invited to a surprise party and I was informed that the birthday girl had really been craving carrot cake, I was up for the challenge!
I went to the farmers market and gathered fresh carrots, I made my own flour and I cooked them into cute little mini cakes (as seen above). I was totally that girl, but all aspects of bringing it together were so enjoyable for me.
I love to bake and I may be a chef, but I am not a trained pastry chef. I am not a chemist by any means, and that's what a true baker or pastry chef really has to be. So, I looked up a cake from Jenni Hulet's book, My Paleo Patisserie for inspiration and used some of her formulas to create my recipe.
I tend to digest cashews better than other nuts, so that is my choice for a flour. You can also use store-bought almond flour or even hazelnut flour, but the taste will be slightly different. Almonds are pretty neutral and sweet and hazelnuts will leave a different flavor combination. Be sure not to substitute with cassava or coconut flour, as the texture will be totally off! Nuts and seeds have oils and are not absorbent, whereas cassava and coconut are fine and very absorbent. I am not certain, but tigernut flour could work here, for autoimmune protocol compliance, however this recipe cannot be made without eggs. Using an egg substitute will distinctly change the texture that makes this cake so nice.
I also made some of this batter into muffins, which were delicious! Do what is easiest and most suits your home, event or family.
Let me know what you think! xo, B
PALEO CARROT CAKE
By: Brandi Mackenzie | Yields 16-20 Muffins or Mini-Loaves
Ingredients 4 Eggs 1/2 cup Coconut Sugar 4 cups raw Cashew Pieces 1 teaspoon Cinnamon, ground 1/2 teaspoon Ginger powder 1/2 teaspoon Nutmeg, ground 1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda 2/3 cup pitted Dates 1/4 cup Palm Shortening, melted but cooled 1 teaspoon Lemon Juice 3 medium Carrots, shredded
1. Pre-heat oven to 300F degrees. Prepare muffin liners in a cupcake tray or mini-loaf cake liners on a cookie sheet, set aside. 2. Place eggs and sugar in a stand mixer (or large bowl, with hand held mixer) and mix on medium for 5+ minutes. 3. Place cashew pieces in food processer and process, with classic blade, into a flour. This will not be fine, but be sure it's small enough pieces that will mesh well with ingredients. *If you over-process these, the oils will start to come out and you will get a cashew butter. Timing is based on your machine and cashews. Remove from processor and place in a large bowl. Add dry spices and baking soda. Mix well. 4. Place dates in food processor and pulse until they are finely chopped but do not form a paste. They will begin to roll around in a ball in processor when they get small enough. When this happens, they're ready. 5. On medium speed, add shortening and lemon juice to egg mixture. 6. On low speed, add cashew flour mixture to create batter. Raise mixer from bowl if using stand, or set hand mixer aside. 7. Fold in dates and carrots by hand, gently combining to consistent texture. 8. Spoon batter evenly into muffin or mini-loaf liners. Bake muffins for 20-30 minutes, until golden in color and firm but not hard to the touch. Bake mini-loaves for up to 50 minutes (because the sides are exposed), until golden in color and firm but not hard to the touch. You can also toothpick test, but the center should remain moist. *This is a good time to make icing. 9. Remove from oven and from respective pan to let cool for 30 minutes, if icing. 10. Top with icing and garnish with shredded coconut. 11. Store, refrigerated, in airtight glass container for up to a week.
VANILLA ICING FOR CARROT CAKE
By: Brandi Mackenzie | Yields icing for 16-20 Muffins or Mini-Loaves
Ingredients 1.5 cup Palm Shortening 5 tablespoons Maple Syrup 2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract 3/4 teaspoon Cream of Tartar 1/8 teaspoon Vanilla Max Powder
1. On medium-low speed, combine shortening, maple syrup and vanilla extract in a stand mixer (or large bowl with hand mixer) until fluffy and cohesive texture without lumps. 2. Add dry ingredients, continuing to mix on medium low. 3. Place mixing bowl in refrigerator until your muffins or cakes are baked and completely cooled! 4. Gently spread with icing spatula or butter knife, evenly, over cakes. 5. Serve immediately or chill entire cake to keep icing firm, pulling 15-30 minutes before serving.