I have a confession; I’ve never been a huge fan of carrot cake. It definitely had something to do with the texture of all the little carrot pieces. However, when we were invited to a friend’s house for Easter dinner, we asked what we should bring, and our friend said, “How about dessert because I hate to bake.” Heck yes! I love sweets! I jumped on that challenge. And I knew I wanted to make something that fit with a traditional Easter dinner.
One of my goals when I started my health journey was to make healthier sweets. As someone who has had cancer, I know how important it is to cut out sugar, despite my sweet tooth, as it can lead to inflammation and disease. Now I use maple syrup, honey, and coconut sugar to sweeten whatever it is I need to be sweet.
I don’t ever really make cake, so I decided to challenge myself to make a cake. But not just any cake, a that says “spring.” I decided to make a carrot cake, yep! My least favorite. The carrot cake challenge was definitely a success! This was my first time making homemade icing, and that alone was hard to resist. I almost ate it all before spreading it on the cake! Even though this is a dessert, I attempted to make it somewhat healthy by adding healthy fats (ghee and coconut butter). And for extra measure, I added some turmeric, both for its health benefits and to make sure the carrot cake had an extra tint of orange. It is a carrot cake with sweet potato after all!
1 cup brown rice
1/2 cup arrowroot starch
1 cup coconut sugar
1/2 cup coconut flakes
2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 teaspoons ground cardamom
2 teaspoons nutmeg
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 cup chopped pecans
2 medium carrots, grated
1 cup sweet potato, diced
3 tablespoons coconut oil
2 eggs (or chia paste*)
1/4 cup almond milk
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup ghee
1/2 cup coconut butter
3/4 cup raw honey (local is even better!)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-2 tablespoon coconut oil
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
2 teaspoons arrowroot starch
* To make chia paste, grind 1 tablespoon chia and add 1/4 cup of warm water. Mix together and set aside to let it become goopy. Yes, that’s a technical term. This recipe calls for 2 eggs, so you will need 2 tablespoons chia seeds to 1/2 cup warm water.
1) Preheat oven to 350.
2) Wash, peel, and dice the sweet potato into small cubes. About half a sweet potato chopped should equal about 1 cup. The smaller you chop the sweet potato, the quicker it will steam into a soft texture making it easier to mash.
3) Steam the 1 cup of sweet potato for about 10 minutes, or until soft. Did you know that steaming a sweet potato is not only the easiest way to make it soft enough to mash, but it is the best way to help preserve the vitamins and minerals?
4) Make chia paste if not using eggs.
5) In a large bowl, mix all the dry ingredients together and set aside.
6) Check on the steaming sweet potato. If it is soft enough, remove from steamer and mash thoroughly.
7) In a small bowl, mix together wet ingredients.
8) Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients. Mix thoroughly. If the batter seems a bit too dry, add more almond milk a tablespoon at a time until you get a cake batter consistency.
9) Grease your cake pan with coconut oil, pour in cake batter, and smooth it out evenly.
10) Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes. You want your cake to be golden brown, and when in doubt, use the ole trusty toothpick test. Stick a toothpick in the cake and then pull it out. If it comes out clean, it’s done; if not, bake for another 5-10 minutes.
11) While cake is baking, make the icing. Place all the ingredients for the icing into a food processor. Blend until smooth. If your kitchen is warm, it may be a little liquified. That’s OK! It’s because of the coconut oil. To turn it into more of a solid form, place the icing in a bowl and set in the fridge to harden while the cake bakes.
12) Once the cake is done and out of the oven, let it cool before you put the icing on the cake. Ha ha! See what I did there? 🙂
13) Now time to eat. Serve it up and enjoy!
Question: What was your favorite kind of cake growing up?