What do I love more than a delicious, moist, quick-to-make and utterly delectable cake? A delicious, moist, quick-to-make and utterly delectable cake that doesn’t actually fall into the junk-food category. Granted, the “good for the soul and good for your waistline” label gets blown out of the water the minute you slather on the icing, but honestly, this cake is so yummy that the icing is, in this case, very much optional. Shall we put on some suitable music, set the kettle boiling and then sit down to some tea and cake once this is all put together? I can tell you, this cake’s a perfect fit for tea (well, any beverage really…). Thanks to The Candle Cafe Cookbook for this recipe. This is another one of my favorite cookbooks because everything’s easy, relatively quick to make, and so far, absolutely flawless. Two major thumbs up!
Gather together the following ingredients (after you get over the terrible photograph… I swear, I’ll start using my real camera soon!):
- 2 cups unbleached flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 0.5 tsp sea salt
- 0.5 tsp nutmeg
- 0.5 tsp ground cloves (I didn’t have any on hand when I was toying with this recipe so I just added a touch more nutmeg and all was right in the world, so don’t be afraid to play)
- 0.5 cup soy or almond milk
- 1 cup maple syrup
- 0.25 cup safflower oil
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups shredded carrots
- 0.5 cup raisins
- about 0.5 cup chopped fresh pineapple (canned is fine, and I think I dumped in at least 1 cup and it was great, so don’t worry too much about being precise)
Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F, and grease up or flour 2 9-inch cake pans. In a large mixing bowl, mix all the dry ingredients together (i.e. run down the list until you get to the milk). Then, combine the soy milk, maple syrup (the only slightly naughty ingredient on the list), oil (such a teeny amount, I love it), and vanilla in another bowl. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir well to combine. Finally, you guessed it, add the carrots, raisins and pineapple and mix until well combined.
Divide the batter in two, spooning it into the prepared pans, then toss both of them into the oven for 35 minutes (or until one of your toothpicks comes out clean). Let the cakes cool on racks for a few minutes before attempting to extricate them from the pans, then let them cool completely. If you’re going to forgo the icing, I would actually suggest turning this recipe into a loaf or muffins instead of a layer cake, so hopefully you read this far into the recipe before plunging ahead. If not, well, you’ve just learned a valuable lesson now haven’t you? AND you’re now committed to frosting the sucker. So sad.
Anyhoo, I decided to frost this particular layer cake with a buttercream frosting that consisted of dumping the following ingredients into a food processor and hitting “buzz”, then bunging the whole thing in the fridge until go time:
- 1 tub vegan cream cheese (e.g. Tofutti)
- 1/4 cup EarthBalance butter
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2.5 cups icing sugar (you may only need 2 cups depending on how watery your cream cheese is)
When everything’s cool and relatively solid, dab a bit of frosting on the middle of a plate, stick your first layer on, ice the top, then stick the second on and ice the whole cake. You may want to refrigerate it for an hour or so to get everything all solid again, or just go for it and dig in. Enjoy!