My Favorite Vegan Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
April 12, 2020
昨天我醒来的时候多一点的亮度在我的心脏比曾经来过earlier this week。And when I’m feeling lighthearted, my first instinct is to bake.
There are so many things I might have posted on this Easter Sunday. Hot cross buns, which I’ve been wanting to make (and make well—my last batch was a total fail) for a while. Pie. A brunch dish, like French toast. Chocolate eggs. Any number of different cakes.
But all I’ve been able to think about is carrot cake. Maybe not surprising, since carrot cake is my favorite cake. And since cake is my favorite dessert, that puts carrot cake at the top of my treats hierarchy.
It’s exactly how that particular cake should be. And that’s how a lot of carrot cakes are: very dense, studded with dried fruits and nuts, unmistakably carrot-y. I love that kind of carrot cake, which is the type of carrot cake I’ve most often found in vegan bakeries here in NYC. Lately, though, I’ve been craving a carrot cake recipe that’s a little more traditionally cake-like: light and airy. I want this cake to be carrot cake, for sure—carrots, raisins, and walnuts included—but I want it to be a little fluffier than usual.
You can imagine how excited I was when I saw that Coral Lee had posted a胡萝卜蛋糕Food52that features a genius trick: grating the carrots on a microplane, rather than shredding them. So smart. In Coral’s words, “fine-grating with a microplane yields carrot shreds—even wisps!—that better meld with the batter, and make for a more ubiquitous carrot flavor, without the salad-y texture.”
This carrot cake, which is inspired by Coral’s recipe, is my new favorite cake. I say that semi-regularly about new cakes, so take it with a grain of salt, but I think it’ll at least be true of carrot cake. It’s my dream carrot cake: as hearty and spiced and orange as it should be, but tender and light enough on the inside to meet my cake lover’s expectations of a nice crumb. And, true to classic carrot cake form, it features a whipped and creamy, yet rich cream cheese frosting.
You could get fancy with the decoration here. Chopped nuts, frosting carrots, flowers: they’d all look pretty. But part of what I love so much about carrot cake is its slightly rustic, homey feel. This may be a classy carrot cake, but it’s still carrot cake. I frosted the cake and was happy enough with its swirled exterior to call it a day.
If you’d rather use a microplane grater, that’s fine. If you have a box grater with a fine setting, good. And if you only have a regular grater, don’t worry! Your carrot cake will taste delicious, only it’ll have the more traditional texture.
My Favorite Vegan Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
3/4cup(6 ounces) neutral vegetable oil, like safflower or grapeseed, or olive oil
1cup(213 grams) lightly packed light or dark brown sugar (substitute coconut sugar)
1/2cup(100 grams) cane sugar
4中型/大型的胡萝卜,去皮,精细粉碎with a microplane grater or on the fine shred side of a box grater (about 211 grams after preparation)
1/2cup(80 grams) raisins (optional)
For the vegan cream cheese frosting
1/2cup(4 ounces/113 grams) vegan cream cheese of choice, at room temperature
2sticks (8 ounces/226 grams) vegan butter of choice
4杯(454 grams) confectioners' sugar
1茶匙white vinegar (if you don't have this at home, you can omit)
Preheat your oven to 350F. Lightly grease two 8 or 9 inch round cake pans with removable bottoms. Line the bottoms of the cake pans with a round piece of parchment, then dust the pans lightly with flour.
Combine the ground flax seed with 3 tablespoons of water and set them aside.
把面粉,烘焙粉,发酵da, cardamom, cloves, nutmeg, and salt in a large mixing bowl.
In another roomy mixing bowl, combine the oil, brown and cane sugars, vanilla, applesauce, and the flax/water mixture. Whisk these wet ingredients well, then add them to your dry ingredients. Use a spatula to fold the batter together. When the batter is almost mixed (a few streaks of flour are OK at this point), add the grated carrot and nuts/raisins if using to the batter. Continue folding it until it's just entirely combined and the carrots are distributed evenly. Try not to over-mix the batter.
Divide the batter into your two prepared cake pans. Bake for 45-50 minutes, rotating the pans once halfway through baking. When a toothpick inserted into the cakes emerges clean and the tops are firm, they're ready. They'll be a deep golden brown. Remove the cakes from their pans and set them on a cooling rack to cool for at least 2 hours, so that they're completely cool before frosting.
Frost your cake! You can trim the tops and sides of the cakes to make them even for frosting if you wish. (If you do this, save the scraps for crumbling onto fruit, vegan yogurt, or ice cream, or just for snacking.) Place one layer of cake onto a cake stand and cover the top with frosting. Place the other layer on top, then proceed to frost the tops and sides with straight and offset spatulas (or a butter knife), maintaining a thin layer of frosting to start with (according to Coral Lee's carrot cake recipe, this is called a "crumb coat"). If you have time, refrigerate the cake after the crumb coat application for 20-30 minutes. Then, use the rest of the frosting to cover the entire cake, making some nice swirls as you go. Make any additional decorations you like, then slice and enjoy your cake.
蛋糕切片将保持长达覆盖在冰箱5天。This recipe may give you slightly more frosting than you need, but I think that's a good thing! More frosting is always better than getting halfway through cake decoration and realizing you haven't got enough.If you'd like to make the cake gluten free, use a 1:1 gluten free, all purpose flour/starch blend that you trust and have worked with before. I like King Arthur Flour Measure for Measure flour!