What do you do when your man buys a five-pound bag of carrots (because he was on a carrot kick), but is unable to consume them fast enough, thus leaving the produce drawer filled with root vegetables on the verge of ruin?
Some less neurotic souls might let the carrots falter and move on with their lives. But not Aunt B. Because throwing away food makes me irrationally miserable.
So, instead, I made and froze a huge vat of carrot soup, which I plan to consume when it’s not surface-of-the-sun hot outside (recipe coming later), shredded multiple bags of carrots for salads, and whipped up way more carrot cake cupcakes than a household of two requires.
This was not only my first vegan carrot cake, but my first carrot cake attempt period, and also my first go at homemade frosting. So I was a little wary. Luckily, I followed two fantastic recipes from Jannequin Bennet’s “The Complete Vegan Kitchen,” a birthday present from my lovely friend Alex (thanks, Al!), and all was well.
Based on the ingredients I had on hand, I had to make a few slight alterations. But the end result was delightful. These little cakes are not only really moist and flavorful — they’re also a yummy, cool treat on a hot day when you eat one right out of the fridge. Plus, making tiny, adorable frosting carrot decorations was super fun.
Not-a-Pro-Tip: Don’t have a piping bag? No problem. Fill up a sandwich bag with icing and cut off one of the corners. Bingo. You are now authorized to ice.
Big ups to my main squeeze, Miles Pfefferle, for taking pics of my food and really liking carrots. Smooch.
Carrot Cake Cupcakes
Makes 18 cupcakes (or two 9-inch round cakes or one 9×13-inch cake)
- 1 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup chickpea flour (Ms. Bennet calls for soy flour)
- 1/4 cup shredded coconut
- 3/4 cup walnuts
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 allspice
- 1 tsp lemon juice (Ms. Bennet uses the zest of one lemon)
- 3 Tbsp apple sauce (or canola oil)
- 1 cup maple syrup
- 1/4 cup molasses
- 1/4 cup raisins
- 2 1/2 cups grated carrots (I shredded and the diced mine in a food processor because ain’t nobody got time for grating)
Patty cake, patty cake, baker people…
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Spray your cupcake pan (or cake pans).
- In a large mixing bowl, combine all the dry ingredients and mix well.
- In another bowl, combine the raisins, carrots and liquids, and whisk until the mixture is light and bubbly.
- Combine the two mixtures (dry and wet) in one bowl, and stir until just combined. Be sure not to over mix.
- Spoon the batter evenly into your cupcake wells, and bake for 20 minutes (30 to 40 if you’re making a cake).
- Let the cupcakes cool in the pan for a couple minutes, then carefully flip the pan over and dump them out onto a plate to finish cooling.
- Once they’re cool, frost them with the recipe below…
Tofu Walnut Frosting
- 1/4 cup + 2 Tbps walnuts
- 1/2 pound tofu, drained
- 2 Tbsp + 2 tsp maple syrup
- 2 Tbsp shredded coconut
- 1/2 Tbsp vanilla
How to frosting
- Whir the walnuts around in a food processor until they’re a fine powder.
- Add the tofu and blend until combined.
- Add the maple syrup, coconut and vanilla and blend until combined.
- If the frosting seems too thick, add in a little almond or soy milk.
- Let the frosting cool off in the fridge for a few minutes before use.
Note: If you’re frosting two 9-inch round cakes or one 9X13-inch cake, double the amounts above.