Happy Monday! Here’s a healthy Naked Carrot Cake to chase away the Monday blues. I certainly did not envision another baking session so soon after the red velvet cupcakes just two days ago. But as they say, once you start, you can’t stop! I had an unexplained urge to bake carrot cake so after googling some recipes, I came up with my own version.
It’s scary and mind-boggling how some carrot cake recipes can call for up to 3/4 or 1 cup sugar and 1/2 cup of oil. Does it really need all that refined sugar and oils? After all, the star of the show should be the earthy natural sweetness of the carrots. Here are the healthy changes that I made to a typical carrot cake recipe:
All purpose flourWhole wheat flour Vegetable oilCoconut oil + mashed bananas SugarManuka honey MilkNon-dairy (soy+coconut) milk
- Additionally I also nixed the frosting because I don’t really care for icing sugar. On another note, I totally unintentionally forgot to add in the nuts and raisins! As a result, the carrot cake was missing a little crunch, but I made up for it by serving the cake slathered with macadamia nut butter after it was baked! I added the coconut milk only towards the end only because the batter was a little dry. It may or may not have imparted an ever-so-slight hint of coconutty flavour. Because this carrot cake is as pure as it can get with minimal sugar/oil/frosting/nuts/raisins, I christian it the Naked Carrot Cake.You know how it is always recommended to let the bread cool completely before slicing? Breakfast being more than an hour’s late, I could not hold the temptation any longer and ate it steaming hot, fresh out of the oven. Since the steam had not evaporated, it was slightly on the mushy side, but I guess once it was cooled down fully, the texture should be just right. Also, even though the recipe uses just 3 tablespoons of honey and no raisins, I was surprised at how sweet it was. I suppose even 2 tablespoons honey (or agave or maple syrup) should work just fine as well. Next time I would also increase the carrot-to-flour ratio, because I like plenty of crunchy carrots! Oh yes, and I highly recommend using a food processor to grate those carrots instead of manually using a box grater. It does make a good workout session for your biceps though!
- 1½ cups carrot, grated
- ¾ cup almond milk
- 2 tablespoons coconut milk (optional)
- 3 tablespoons honey or maple or agave syrup
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds or ground flax seeds
- 6 teaspoons coconut oil
- 6 teaspoons mashed banana
- ½ teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest, grated
- 1½ cups flour (I used ¾ cups each of whole wheat pastry flour and whole wheat pancake mix)
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1½ tsp baking powder
- ⅛ tsp salt
- ¼ cups raisins (optional)
- ¼ cups nuts/seeds (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350°F/175°C.
- In a large bowl mix together wet ingredients: grated carrot, milk, honey, chia seeds, oil, mashed bananas, vinegar, vanilla extract and lemon zest.
- In another large bowl sift together dry ingredients: flour, cinnamon, baking powder and salt.
- Make a well in the dry ingredients, then pour in wet ingredients and mix well until just incorporated. Fold in nuts & raisins (I totally forgot about this!)
- Grease loaf pan, pour in batter and bake for 45 minutes.
- Let cool completely (if you can endure the temptation) before slicing and serving.