Spring has sprung in Europe, whilst here in India the onset of a balmy summer is upon us. Wherever in the world you might be, there are few recipes that epitomise the shift in the seasons as beautifully (or as deliciously!) as a soft, marvellously-moist carrot cake. If you’re looking for a healthier spin on this spring-time classic – our favourite holistic cook and regular collaborator Shaana Levy-Bahl is sharing her paleo recipe for a classic carrot cake layered with a cashew cream cheese frosting.
For the unfamiliar, a paleo diet is one which eliminates processed foods, refined sugar, gluten, grains, dairy, legumes and nightshade vegetables in favour of real foods with naturally-occurring and nutrient-dense components. As is a key virtue of all paleo recipes, this carrot cake recipe is also gluten-free, dairy-free and free of refined sugar!
Paleo Carrot Cake
- 3 cups blanched almond flour
- 1 tsp fine sea salt
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1½ tbsp ground cinnamon
- 1½ tsp ground nutmeg
- ½ tsp ginger powder (optional)
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 5 large eggs
- ⅓ cup pure maple syrup
- ¼ cup coconut oil (if not dairy free, you can use liquid butter)
- 3 cups carrots, grated
- 1 cup raisins or chopped dates
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
- 2 tbsp desiccated coconut or freshly grated coconut (optional)
For Vegan Cashew Frosting
- 1½ cups raw cashews soaked in filtered water for 4-6hrs (drained, rinsed and dried)
- ⅔ cup coconut cream, chilled
- 2½ tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 2 tbsp coconut oil, cold and solid
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 4-5 tbsp raw honey (or pure maple syrup) (adjust sweetness as per taste)
- large pinch of fine sea salt
- To make this paleo carrot cake recipe, start by combining dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl: almond flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg.
- In a separate bowl, mix together eggs, maple, vanilla and oil until frothy.
- Stir carrots and dried fruit into wet ingredients.
- Stir wet ingredients into dry.
- Transfer batter into 2 well greased 9 inch cake pans.
- Bake in a pre-heated oven at 180°C for 35 – 40 minutes. Cool cakes properly before removing from pan and assembling and icing.
To make the cashew cream cheese frosting
- In a blender, mix the cashews on high speed until a paste forms; then scrape the sides and continue mixing until it becomes like a nut butter. This may take time.
- Add remaining ingredients and continue to blend or process on high for 3-5 minutes until the mixture is creamy. It will thicken when chilled but won’t completely harden.
- Spread evenly on the cooled carrot cake! Decorate with carrot ribbons, shredded coconut, blueberries, walnuts or leave plain.
About Shaana Levy-Bahl
Mother-of-one, Shaana Levy-Bahl believes in the power of story-telling through her two passions: food and film. As a film-maker, she shares inspirational stories of women who have overcome incredible odds, with her most recent work ‘Ladies First’, a Netflix Original Documentary Short about the Indian archer Deepika Kumari.
Having battled ulcerative colitis, an autoimmune disease, Shaana is also an accidental holistic cook tapping into the healing power of food through a self-taught approach towards creating delicious Paleo meals and desserts. She has taken to sharing her knowledge to support those who suffer like she has, or anyone who would simply like to creatively support their personal gut health without sacrificing taste! Find her recipes on her Instagram @shaanalevy
We’d love to hear from you! Do let us know if you try this recipe – you can leave a comment below and/ or tag us in your delicious creations on Instagram @the_foodiediaries.
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