Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

I made this cake for my girlfriend Zippy's birthday. Cream cheese (and cream cheese frosting) is one of the few things for which I have not been able to create a natural, vegan substitute, but it is an essential part of carrot cake. Actually, let's be honest: it's probably the main reason why people like carrot cake. And for that matter, red velvet cake (it's like a bland chocolate cake with lots of food coloring? really??).

I would do anything for love. I would even do that. So I bought me some more vegan cream cheese from trader joe's (I used it once to make rugelach). And then I found this recipe.

I had two major issues with this recipe. First, the cake took forever to bake through. The recipe said 18-20 minutes, but mine took at least 30. I think this is part of the reason that the final product was a little dry. Secondly and similarly, the frosting was way too wet with only 2 c powdered sugar. I used at least 3 cups, and  it still could have been firmer.

So I went into this expecting this cake to be something of a failure. I was also concerned that the cake lacked enough sugar and salt. But when you put the cake and the frosting together--it all seems to balance out. I'd still like to find a moister cake (or one that actually bakes in 20 min), but this ended up pretty delicious.

Classic Vegan Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Makes: 2 8×8″ or 2 9″ round cakes

2 1/3 all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt (or more--see note)
6 TB flax seed meal
3/4 c warm water
1 1/2 c sugar
1 c oil
1 tsp vanilla
2 c shredded carrots
1 c walnuts, chopped
8 oz vegan cream cheese
1/4 c margarine, softened
1 tsp vanilla
3 c powdered sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350ยบ.
2. Line two 8×8″ pans with parchment paper.
3. In a small bowl, sift together dry ingredients (flour through salt).
4. In a large bowl, whisk together flax seed meal and water. Beat in sugar and oil.
5. Add vanilla and carrots and mix until combined.
6. Add dry mix and stir until moistened.
7. Fold in walnuts.
8. Pour equal parts into pans.
9. Bake for 18-20 min, or until a toothpick comes out clean. (for me this was over 30 minutes).
10. Let cool in pans 10 minutes.
11. Use a knife to loosen edges of cake from pans.
12. Using parchment paper, lift cakes out of pans. Let cool fully on wire racks.
13. To make Cream Cheese Frosting, beat together cream cheese and margarine. Add vanilla and powdered sugar; whip until smooth. Don’t overbeat; in my experience, store-bought vegan cream cheese has a tendency to get runny.
14. To assemble, carefully remove parchment paper from one cake. Frost with cream cheese frosting, layer, and decorate with marzipan if desired. Serve chilled.

1 comment:

zipfancy said...

i would do anything for another taste of this bud-blasting warlockery. in fact, i may just go have me one right nowwww <3