Healthy Carrot Cake With Lemon-Vanilla Frosting

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.

Ingredients, makes enough for 1 medium sized loaf pan:
  • 200g pitted dates
  • 50g dried apricots
  • 50g raisins
  • 50g chopped walnuts (optional)
  • 2 dl unsweetened plant-based milk (I used soy)
  • 1 cup shredded carrots (abour 2-3 medium sized carrots)
  • 150g 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 firm & silken tofu
  • The juice of half a lemon (optional)
  • Vanilla essence to taste
  • 50g pitted fresh dates 
  • 20g dried apricots (or use additional dates)
  • additional roughly chopped walnuts on top (optional)

  1. 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). If you use sun dried dates you should soak it in water for a couple of hours, or until they are mushy, and then drain the water, although this is not a necessity. 
  2. In a separate bowl combine all the dry ingredients, except the carrots, and mix thoroughly. Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl and beat this for about a minute, or until its all well blended before adding in the shredded carrots and optionally the 50g 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 175 degrees Celcius/347 degrees Fahrenheit for about 40-60 minutes, or until properly firm. As you can tell by the pictures the cake will be quite moist and chewy, yet firm. 
  3. 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 let me know if you tried it out!

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