It’s Easter weekend/holiday and you’re an expat living abroad (possibly like me, somewhere in Asia) where they don’t celebrate this particular holiday. Feeling like making or getting an Easter treat but finding and buying all the tools to make your own chocolate egg might be a bit more of a hassle than it needs to be. Another hurdle you might find is not having all the ingredients in the fridge but with this vegan carrot cake version, you don’t need to worry as all ingredients are pantry staples. Especially if you are plant-based inclined.
But this cake isn’t just meant to be eaten on your yearly Easter break, this “bolo de cenoura” is one of my favourite cakes to eat when I was growing up in Brazil. It’s always moist, fluffy and best of all with a generous glaze of dark chocolate. Plus it feels somewhat more healthy since you got all that beta-carotene dancing in the batter.
It was only after moving aboard that I learned that carrot cake isn’t brightly coloured and coated with chocolate. The American-style carrot cake is typically frosted with cream cheese. While in the batter, there are cinnamon and walnuts. The carrots in American-style carrot cake are shredded while in Brazilian-style carrot cake they are blended in fully. That is also why the colour for Brazilian carrot cake tends to look more earthy looking.
Which is why then something else ticked in my brain that why couldn’t these two parts come in together as one. By picking out some parts of the American-style into the Brazilian-style.
I’ll be honest that it even looks (& tastes!) a little too good to be truly vegan carrot cake that has been always moist every time I made it. A crowd pleaser that you might as well not even tell people it’s vegan until after they have a bite.
Now off to the recipe..
Vegan Carrot Cake with Chocolate Glaze
Prep time: 10-15 mins
Cooking time: 40-50 mins
Makes: 20 small squares
For the cake:
– 3 chopped medium-sized carrots
– 3 cups of flour
– 1 3/4 cups of fresh squeezed orange juice w/ pulp
– 1 cup of sugar
– 1/2 cup of oil
– 1/2 cup of diced walnuts
– 1 tablespoon of baking powder
– 1 teaspoon of cinnamon powder
– A pinch of salt
For the chocolate glaze:
– 1 cup of coconut milk
– 7 tablespoons of cacao powder
– 7 tablespoons of sugar (I used coconut sugar)
– Cacao nibs (optional)
For the cake:
- Pre-heat your oven to 250C.
- In a large mixing bowl blend and mix together all the dry ingredients. Allow the sugar, flour, baking powder, walnuts, cinnamon powder and salt to blend. You may add more cinnamon powder if you want to have that more spiced flavour. Set aside.
- In a blender, blitz the carrots, orange juice and oil until smooth.
- Using a wooden spoon, make a well in your dry ingredient bowl and slowly pour in your wet mix into the dry mix. Fold the mixture until blended.
- Grease and sprinkle flour onto your cooking pan/cake mould of choice.
- Pour the batter into your cake mould making sure it is spread evenly.
- Pop it into the oven for about 45-50 minutes.
- Make the chocolate icing.
For the chocolate glaze:
- In a pan mix in all coconut milk, cacao powder and sugar.
- Using medium-low flame, heat and slowly stir the mix together until it’s glossy smooth.
- Set aside and drizzle over the cake when it’s ready.
- For extra crunch or additional bitterness sprinkle some cacao nibs over the icing before serving.
- Finally, enjoy!
– If you aren’t able to find oranges to make freshly squeezed juice you can use store bought. Just be mindful that most store-bought juices they add extra sugar which can turn your cake sweeter.
– It’s not necessary to rest the cake before adding the icing but you can cut up the cake into smaller squares and drizzle the chocolate over each square for extra chocolatey goodness.
– Depending on the type of oven you have, if you know it doesn’t tend to bake evenly set a timer for 20 or 25 minutes to remind you to turn your baking dish around.
Tried out this recipe? Please let me know how it works out! Better yet if you made it send me a shout out on Instagram @flavourjourney and I’ll personally check it out.