In honor of National Carrot Cake Day (Feb 3), I thought I would create my own version of the famous Commissary Cake. A good friend made the decadent Commissary Cake for my birthday three years ago. That cake came to mind when I saw that we have a National Carrot Cake Day (and a whole lot of other national and international food days), but since that birthday I no longer eat eggs or dairy (or any other meat products). But I wanted to make a carrot cake as good as that one! What’s a good home cook to do? I know, I’ll do it my way (I hear Frank Sinatra in my head right now singing “And I did it my way!”). Oh, and I want it gluten free so my gluten free friends can enjoy carrot cake too. While I was fly free and loose with the rules, I used applesauce instead of the 1-½ cups of corn oil (!) called for in the original recipe (saving 218 calories in a single serving).
I have to say that my alterations and new rendition created the best vegan carrot cake – ever. This triple layer carrot cake is outstanding. It’s dense, moist and flavorful. It has a walnut caramel filling (I use coconut milk instead whipping cream). The cake is loaded with carrots and has wonderful bits of raisins and walnuts. And who doesn’t love cream cheese frosting?!?!
I taste tested this Best Vegan Carrot Cake Ever with friends and neighbors to rave reviews. It’s the kind of cake you want to share because if you don’t you’re going to end up eating too much of it yourself. I confess, I had a piece for breakfast and one for dessert.
I hope you’ll give this recipe a try soon and let me know what you think.
Happy Carrot Cake Day!
Best Vegan Carrot Cake Ever
|Dietary||Gluten Free, Vegan|
- 1/2 cup coconut (sweetened, shredded)
- 1 1/2 cup organic Sugar
- 1/4 cup brown Rice Flour
- 3/4 teaspoons salt
- 1-1/2 cup coconut milk (Full fat, not lite)
- 6oz Earth Balance vegan butter (or 3/4 cup)
- 1-1/4 cup walnuts (chopped)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 8 tablespoons Follow Your Heart VeganEgg (or other egg replacer to equal 4 chicken eggs)
- 3/4 cups ice cold water
- 1-1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 2 cups sugar
- 2-1/2 cups gluten free all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 cups carrots (about 1 pound of carrots)
- 1 cup walnuts (chopped)
- 1 cup golden raisins
- 8oz Earth Balance vegan butter
- 8oz Tofutti vegan cream cheese
- 16oz powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
|Open a can of coconut milk and put the solid top into a 2 cup measuring cup. Add enough remaining coconut milk from the can to measure 1 ½ cups. Gently warm the milk to melt the solids. |
|In a heavy saucepan, blend well the flour, sugar and salt. Gradually stir in the coconut milk. Add the butter. |
|Cook and stir the mixture over a low heat until the butter has melted, then let simmer for 20-30 minutes until light golden brown in color, stirring occasionally. |
Cool to lukewarm.
Stir in the walnuts and vanilla.
Refrigerate, preferably overnight. If too thick to spread, bring to room temperature before using.
|Mix Follow Your Heart VeganEgg with the ice cold water and set aside to thicken (or other egg replacer prepared as directed on the package)|
|Preheat oven to 350 F. |
Have ready 3 greased and floured 9” cake pans. Optional: put a round piece of parchment paper in the bottom of each pan.
|In a large bowl whisk together the egg substitute, sugar and applesauce until well emulsified and light in color. |
|Sift together the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum and salt. |
|Add dry ingredients in thirds to the wet. Let each addition of dry ingredients get incorporated before adding more. |
Add the carrots, raisins, and walnuts.
|Pour into the prepared pans (about 2 ½ cups of batter per pan) and bake for 30-35 minutes. |
Cool for 10 minutes before removing the cake from the pan. Let the cakes cool on a rack until room temperature. If you are not using the cake that day it can be removed from the pan, wrapped in plastic and stored at room temp.
|Blend the softened vegan cream cheese and vegan butter in a bowl until well blended. Sift in the powdered sugar and add vanilla. Whip until the frosting is light and there are no lumps. If the frosting is too soft to spread, refrigerate for a little while. |
|Optional coconut topping: |
Preheat oven to 300 F.
Spread the coconut on a baking sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes until it colors lightly.
Toss the coconut occasionally while it is baking so that it browns evenly Cool completely.
Have the filling and the frosting at a spreadable consistency.
Put the first cake layer on a serving plate and spread filling almost to the edge. Add second layer and spread filling. The filling may ooze out between the layers. That’s ok. The filling will firm up before you frost the cake.
Chill the cake
Spread the frosting over the top and sides.
Sprinkle the coconut on top of the cake.
You can substitute regular all purpose flour for gluten free, but in that case, omit the xanthan gum.