Delectable Vegan Carrot Cake with Cream “Cheeze” Icing

When I was a child we went out for dinner quite a bit. My dad likes to joke that my mom’s favourite thing to make for dinner is reservations…and it’s quite true.  And I can relate – the apple certainly doesn’t fall far from the tree in this case!

In our family we love our desserts and we were always excited to check out the dessert menu at our restaurant of choice. No matter how many chocolate brownies or pecan pies or caramel sundaes were on the menu, my mom was famous for consistently ordering the carrot cake.

“Huh?! Carrot cake?!” my sister and I would scoff. How on earth could something made with carrots ever be even remotely as yummy as piles of chocolate or a mountain of ice cream? But she was unwavering in her choice despite our good-natured ribbing.

carrot cake - carrot pic

I have to admit that as my taste buds matured I did develop an affinity for a good old-fashioned carrot cake every now and again. But don’t let the name fool you – despite a helping of nutritious carrots most conventional carrot cakes are made with tons of butter, refined sugar and eggs.

So I set out to veganize this dessert – cream cheese icing and all. And the end result was pretty darn awesome if I do say so myself. I subbed out the butter and eggs for coconut oil and unsweetened apple sauce, the refined sugar for maple sugar and I used gluten-free flour in place of regular AP flour and a ridiculously moist and delicious dessert was born.

The kids liked it plain but the frosting takes it to the next level (although I did use 2 cups of organic powdered sugar in the frosting so it’s not as nutritionally sound as the cake itself). You could also add raisins and/or nuts if you like additions to your cake but I made mine without to avoid watching the kids pick the “bits” out of their dessert.

So after all this time, I finally get it….carrot cake rocks! This one is for you mom!

Vegan Carrot Cake with Cream “Cheeze” Frosting (adapted from Peas And Thank You, Sarah Matheny)

carrot cake on plate

Carrot Cake
8 carrots, steamed and pureed
1/3 cup melted coconut oil
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup soy milk
1  cup maple sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free AP Baking Flour
1/2 tsp xanthum gum
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 cup raisins or chopped nuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease 8 x 8 square cake pan with coconut oil.

In a large bowl, cream together pureed carrots, coconut oil, applesauce, milk, sugar and vanilla with an electric hand mixer on low until well blended.

In a smaller bowl, combine flour, xanthum gum, baking powder, soda, salt and spices. Add a little at a time to the wet mixture until batter is smooth. Fold in raisins or nuts if desired.

Spread mixture in a pan and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool completely.

carrot cake in pan

Cream Cheeze Icing
3 tbsp coconut oil at room temperature
4 ounces of Toffuti Better Than Cream Cheese
2 cups organic powdered sugar (or icing sugar)

Whip ingredients together with a hand mixer. Frost cake when it is completely cool. Store any uneaten cake and frosting in the fridge. Enjoy!

carrot cake icing


Wintertime Cashew Cream Lattes

I’ve started a new wintertime ritual of beginning my day with rich and creamy coffee-less lattes. Most mornings I’ll whip up a brilliant creation at home… and of course there are other days when my toddler wakes me up 3 times during the night calling for his soother and I haul my butt out of bed for a 6am workout that I hit the nearest drive-through for something highly caffeinated!

My go-to homemade latte usually involves my Vitamixer, hemp seeds and some Dandy Blend but lately I’ve been experimenting with a variety of different nuts to come up with the perfect rich and creamy latte consistency. Cashew Cream is my new favourite ingredient in because it mimics real cream but is actually made from raw cashews that have been soaked overnight and then blended into a smooth texture. Soaked nuts are much more digestible than plain raw nuts and they are a fantastic source of protein. And did you know that cashews are also rich in magnesium and can help alleviate depression, anxiety and insomnia?

cashew cream latte

Homemade coffee-free lattes are also a great place to hide your favourite supplements. You simply pop them into the blender with your other ingredients and they are undetectable in your delicious morning drink.  I often toss in my Vitamin C and at least 2 caps of one of my two favourite Jing Herbs mushroom blends – either  “Peaceful Spirit” or “Great Adaptor.”

These lattes are ideal for cold winter mornings. They are hearty, creamy and delicious AND they are packed with goodness and nutrition. These recipes make enough for 2 big mugs of latte goodness so throw some into a container to heat up later in the day or share it with someone you love. And be sure to save any left over cashew cream for tomorrow’s latte…or for the amazing Cream of Mushroom soup recipe that I’ll be posting soon!

Cashew Cream

cashew cream latte - mason jar
1 cup raw cashews
2 cups water

Place cashews in a small bowl and cover with water. Let soak in the fridge overnight.

cashew cream latte - cashews in bowl
In the morning, drain and rinse cashews. Place in a high-powered blender and add 2 cups of water (or more or less depending on how think you like your cream). Blend for 1-2 minutes until smooth.

Chocolate-Mint Cashew Cream Latte
1 cup cashew cream
1 tbsp coconut milk
2 tbsp raw cacao powder
4 pitted medjool dates
2 drops of edible peppermint oil (I use Living Libations)
Supplements of choice (optional)
3 cups boiling hot water

Place all ingredients in a high-powered blending and blend for 1 minute until smooth.

Maple Cinnamon Cashew-Cream Latte
1 cup cashew cream
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 tbsp maple sugar or syrup (more or less depending on desired sweetness)
1 tbsp Dandy Blend
2 tbsp raw cacao powder
1/2 tsp vanilla bean powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Supplements of choice (optional)
3 cups boiling hot water

Place all ingredients in a high-powered blender and blend for 1 minute. Enjoy!