Easter is such a difficult holiday for the healthy eater. Really, there are no traditional Easter recipes that are truly clean! Jessica and I are always looking for a challenge, and this one definitely was a challenge. If you have read our blog before, you know we talk a lot about ingredient swapping. Well, this recipe can literally be the poster child for ingredient swapping. I took an already pretty clean recipes and cleaned it up even more, swapping so many ingredients, I wasn’t sure it would even work. I will admit, I am kind of a carrot cake novice. It’s not something I’ve eaten very often, but now I will. This one is delicious. It was even 4 year old approved.
Really, I had a 50/50 chance of my ingredients swaps working out. Some times experimenting in the kitchen can be a little like Vegas. Frankly, I’m surprised my family members haven’t started a betting pool yet. I was so excited when this one came out as good as it did. The cake itself is amazing, but then you add our cream cheese icing, and well, its spectacular.
So, I went full on homemade for this recipe. I even ground my own cardamom, clove and nutmeg. I also used my own homemade vanilla extract. I grated the carrots very fine, because I wanted them to add another level of moisture to the cake. Also, I used organic no sugar added apple sauce, honey and turbinado sugar. These all helped the cake maintain that soft, luscious consistency we all love. When making the cake, make sure to keep an eye on it, if it’s overcooked it will dry out pretty quickly.
Local Ingredient: Local Honey purchased at a local festival.
Coconut Oil or Olive Oil, in Spritzer
4 large carrots, finely grated (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 1/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
1/4 tsp ground clove
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp sea salt
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/3 cup turbinado sugar
1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup coconut oil (liquid)
1/4 cup organic applesauce
8 oz organic cream cheese, softened
3 tbls organic butter, softened
3 tbls honey
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 orange, zested
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Spray an 8 inch round cake pan with cooking oil from a spritzer. Cut a circle out of parchment paper and line the bottom of the pan.
- Mix together dry ingredients in a medium bowl, set aside.
- Mix together all the wet ingredients, except the carrots. Using a hand or stand mixer, mix together until frothy.
- Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, continuing to mix on medium low, until well combined.
- Using a rubber spatula, fold or mix in the carrots by hand until well combined.
- Add cake batter to prepared cake pan and spread evenly.
- Cook in preheated oven for 25-27 minutes, or until a toothpick comes our clean.
- Allow to cool on counter for 10 minutes, then remove from pan and place on a cooling rack.
- Once cool, spread Cream Cheese Icing on the top.
- While the cake is baking, mix together the icing ingredients into your stand mixer bowl or a medium mixing bowl.
- Mix using an electric mixer until creamy.
- Cover and place in the refrigerator until ready to use.
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