The idea behind this amazing, incredible, awesome cake of deliciousness originally came from my sister. I had promised her to make her favorite dessert, healthy banana bread, but when I looked around in the kitchen I remembered I had just that morning frozen down all our bananas because they were getting overripe. I went over and asked her what other dessert she wanted and she simply said carrot cake with lemon frosting.
My initial response was that the carrot cake should be easy enough to make but frosting is usually made from just sugar and water, so how on earth was I going to make a healthy sugar-free topping? She asked if I could use tofu, and it went from there. The cake batter, as well as the seasoning, is in many ways similar to my spice cake recipe, with the major difference being the consistency. This cake is a more dense, still without being too chewy, and my entire family preferred this one over the spice cake, which used to be their favorite cake of mine. The secret when it comes to this cake is to add in lots and lots of seasoning. The amount I listed is just a starting point, and I usually add in at least double the amount (I just eyeballed it, so I cannot be entirely sure of how much I used). Keep in mind that this recipe makes a rather small cake, so consider doubling the recipe when making it for an event!
Ingredients, makes enough for 1 small loaf pan:
- 2 cups pitted dates
- 1/2 cup dried apricots
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
- 1 1/2 cup unsweetened plant-based milk
- 2 cups shredded carrot (about 3 medium sized carrots)
- 2 cups oat flour (or put oats in a blender and pulse until it becomes completely ground)
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp vanilla essence
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- 1 tsp cloves
- 1 tsp ground ginger
For the frosting*:
- 150g organic silken tofu
- The juice of half a lemon (optional)
- Vanilla essence to taste
- 1/2 cup pitted dates
- 1/2 cup dried apricots (or use additional dates)
- additional roughly chopped walnuts on top (optional)
- Combine the dates, apricots, raisins and milk in a high speed blender/food processor and blend until it is properly chopped (if you like raisins in your carrot cake you can add in the raisins whole later). In a separate bowl combine all the dry ingredients, except the carrots, and mix thoroughly. Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl and stir this for about a minute, or until its all well combined before adding in the shredded carrots and optionally the 1/2 cup chopped walnuts. Taste a little bit and add more spices if you find it necessary. Spoon the mixture into a loaf pan, or whatever pan you are using, and place in a preheated oven at 190 degrees Celcius/375 degrees Fahrenheit for 30-60 minutes, or until properly firm. As you can tell by the pictures the cake will be quite moist and chewy, but it should still hold together nicely.
- While the cake is in the oven you can start making the frosting. Combine all the ingredients in a food processor, and blend until the dates and apricots are properly smooth and there is no visual chunks left. Taste a bit of the glaze before you decide to add it on the cake because the taste might be slightly different depending on what brand of tofu you are using, so better safe than sorry. After you have evenly spread the frosting on the cake throw on a small handful of roughly chopped walnuts. It is important that you let the cake rest in the pan for about 10 minutes before cutting it into squares.
Some other ideas for topping instead of lemon-vanilla frosting is to make a vanilla frosting: just skip the lemon, add additional vanilla essence and a dash of soy milk, and throw some chopped walnuts on top.
If you do not finish the entire cake you can store it in the fridge when it is properly chilled. This will also allow the glaze to firm up, and my sister even preferred it after it had been in the fridge for a couple hours.
As always I hope you guys enjoyed this recipe, and be sure to let me know what you thought of it!