If you know me you know I love baking birthday cakes, or any cake for that matter! This time around, I wanted to make a very special birthday cake for my mother-in-law. I had a major dilemma because she is on a very specific eating regime due to food restrictions. Her favorite cake is carrot cake, but can’t eat walnuts, flour, sugar or milk products. That excludes a lot of ingredients in a traditional carrot cake. I decided to substitute some ingredients in my favorite go-to banana bread, and for the frosting I got creative with some different vegan ingredients. I have to say, this “carrot cake” came out better than expected, not overly sweet and just the right texture. Best of all, it is void of most problem ingredients.
So onto the cake! I couldn’t possibly make a typical cake full of all the ingredients she can’t eat. So I began by purchasing a good quality gluten-free flour. I love Bob’s Red Mill Flour, and chose his Gluten Free 1-to-1 flour that can be substituted easily for wheat flour without doing any math. I also found a green banana flour by “Just About Foods” that I thought looked interesting. One of the fruits my MIL can definitely eat is banana so I decided to give it a try.
For the frosting, I used a vegan butter (coconut-oil based) and maple syrup. You can also use honey if you don’t need it to be Vegan. I added a little bit of apple cider vinegar to give it a bit of a tang like traditional cream cheese frosting. Who doesn’t love carrot cake with cream cheese frosting?
Here is the recipe for the cake; this was a total experiment but turned out moist and full of flavor. The consistency is a bit like a banana bread, but very moist. I separated the batter into two 6″ rounds and baked for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. You can also smell it when its done–delicious! It cooks quick so keep an eye on it!
“Carrot Cake” Ingredients
- 3 ripe bananas
- 1/2 C shredded carrots (don’t use pre-shredded! Shred them in a food processor they are more moist that way)
- 1 large egg substitute or 1/4 cup applesauce
- 1TBS Vanilla extract
- 3TBS Maple syrup
- 2 TBS Coconut Sugar (or just maple syrup if you don’t have)
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 C gluten free baking flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1)
- 1/3 C Green Banana Flour (or just 1/2 cup Gluten free flour)
- 2 TBS melted coconut oil
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- This is enough batter for one 9×5 loaf pan or two 6″ pans for a small cake. Grease pans and line with parchment paper to make sure the cake doesn’t stick.
- Use the grating attachment on your food processor to grate the carrots. Then, briefly pulse them in your food processor for finer shreds of carrot. You can also grate by hand.
- Mash bananas in a mixing bowl. Add carrots, egg substitute, vanilla, maple syrup, sugar and cinnamon and stir well to combine.
- In a separate bowl stir together flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
- Add to banana-carrot mixture and stir to combine. Gently stir in melted coconut oil.
- Divide batter into pans, and bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Allow to cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes before inverting onto a wire cooling rack.
Maple “Cream Cheese” Frosting (Vegan and Paleo)
- 1/2 C Non-Hydrogenated Shortening
- 1/2 C Non-Dairy Butter (or just shortening)
- 1/2 C Maple Syrup (or honey if you are not vegan)
- 1 tsp creamy Almond or Cashew Butter
- 1 1/2 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1 1/2 tsp Lemon Juice
- 1/4 tsp Salt (omit if almond butter has salt)
- 2 tsp Pure Vanilla
- Blend all ingredients on low for 30 seconds until combined
- Turn to medium-high speed and blend until fluffy and smooth
- Place in refrigerator 10-20 minutes to firm up if needed. Frosting hardens if left in fridge
Once cake is cooled, and frosting has hardened a bit in the refrigerator, begin building your cake! I frosted it simply, with parts of the cake showing through. I really love a rustic, naked cake.
I decorated this clean cake with fresh, antique white-roses and a gold happy-birthday sign.
Happy and healthy eating!