Thursday, May 22, 2014

Gluten Free Carrot Cake without nuts and dairy

I'm a bit behind with this recipe. I've been wanting to post it for 3 weeks now. But better late then never, right?! It was my birthday a few weeks ago, then my daughter's first birthday last week, and all in the in between it's been busy busy. So I guess this time of year should just be known for being busy and life being very full. Hearts are happy and full so there is no ounce of complaining here. I am especially celebrating life this year. Thankful for life in all it's ups and downs and all that it has to offer with tears and joys and all. Life is grand!
Especially where carrot cake is involved. I never knew I loved this cake so much until this year. It is so moist and glorious. Plus with a hearty dose of carrots you might as well skip the veggies and eat your cake ;) Well, maybe just for your birthday :) It is a delicate and tender cake with a pinch of spice and a tangy sweet topping of maple cream frosting. I can actually say that I could not imagine a better birthday cake. So will I be making this again next year? Or will I imagine something greater for next year's 30th?
This birthday cake was very memorable for me. Not sure why I was feeling all nostalgic? Does this happen when you turn 29? I think about the last decade and where it has taken me and where I have travelled on so many adventures. This is the last year of a decade. And ending to the book. Turning the last page. But like all endings, there is a new beginning as well. I am looking forward to 30, and maybe 29 is my year to get ready. I will be totally ready in 335 days from now when I turn 30, I just know it ;)
I hope you are able to celebrate life for all it's gifts. I hope you find people to eat cake with and remember that life is about 2nd chances and finding the good. That is why I love birthdays so much. You are able to reflect on the year's past and all that you encountered and experienced. You are able to say with confidence that you would never do that again or that you can't wait to go to the next level. And it's a chance to plan, pine and wish upon a new year before you with a clean path and new chances to see the good and gifts in life. Please, if you haven't yet, celebrate, truly celebrate in your own way your day of birth. 
For me that last few years my celebration has involved creating a new cake and the excitement of having a  really good excuse to make something wonderful and share it with those I love. If I had a weekly birthday to celebrate I am sure I would loose the wonder. But with only coming once a year, it gives me time to ponder and really get excited and enjoy.
I have made this recipe a few times, once without any dairy and once with some grass-fed butter and organic cream cheese. Both ways turn out great and the dairy-free is just as wonderful and you'll never feel like you are missing some main ingredient. I did also make this recipe without walnuts or pecans, but you could easily add nuts if you desire or some raw sunflower seeds if you really want a crunch to your cake as well.

Carrot Cake Recipe
{gluten, dairy, nut, soy and refined sugar-free}

1 cup of soft organic coconut oil
1 cup of powdered coconut palm sugar
4 farm fresh eggs
1/2 cup of pure maple syrup
1 TB of apple cider vinegar
2 ts. of pure vanilla extract
3 cups of freshly shredded carrots
1/2 cup of unsweetened applesauce or coconut yogurt
1/2 cup of fresh ground oat flour
1/2 cup of fresh ground buckwheat flour
3/4 cup of tapioca flour
3/4 cup of white rice flour
(or 2 1/2 cups of your favorite GF flour blend)
1 ts. of ground cinnamon
1/2 ts. of ground ginger
1/4 ts. of ground nutmeg
1/4 ts. of ground allspice
2 ts. of baking powder
1 ts. of baking soda
1 ts. of sea salt

First, grind up your coconut palm sugar in a high powered blender to get a powdered sugar to cream with your coconut oil. Cream the oil and sugar together until soft and creamy. You can sub using grass fed butter for the coconut oil, which I actually did once and adds a rich butter flavor to the cake.  
Once you cream the oil and sugar, add the eggs and whisk all together until thick and creamy batter emerges. Then add the rest of the wet ingredients and mix well. Lastly grind GF oats and buckwheat groats in your grinder/blender to get the best GF oat and buckwheat flour. Add in the flours and dry ingredients. Make sure all the dry in mixed in well and then pour batter into oiled cake pan. I used 2 9 inch cake pans for this recipe, but you could use a bundt pan or a 9 x 13 cake pan as well. Bake cake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 45 minutes. If you choose to use 2 9 inch round pan then check cakes around 30 minutes and should be done around then or 35 minutes.

Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

1 8 ounce dairy-free cream cheese (Daiya brand)
1/2 cup of softened Earth Balance butter spread (soy-free)
1/4-1/3 cup of pure maple syrup

Put all of the above ingredients in a bowl and whisk well with a hand whisk or a electric mixer. It is easier if you let the vegan butter and cream cheese sit out on the counter for 30 minutes beforehand for a easier time mixing. I think it yields a better whipped topping too.  

You can use dairy in this recipe and in place of coconut oil use room temperature grass-fed butter or regular yogurt in the cake recipe. And for the frosting use a regular organic cream cheese with grass fed butter instead. I have tried it both ways and both ways it tastes great!

Spread the frosting over the cake and top with shredded carrots for color and fun.
Time to share and celebrate! This cake is so moist and rich. I love everything about it! I hope you try this recipe out and enjoy! Much love and light to you this year and may you find joy in the gifts of life.