Summer, summer… The fun-filled time with strolls by the lake, music festivals, picnics, and lots of other outside activities. There is no doubt, every activity is more fun (at least, in our opinion) when there is a healthy snack packed in a to-go container ;). Today I have an easy-to-make, picnic-friendly, and healthy carrot cake recipe which is not only clean and lean but also really delicious (approved by my husband who is the biggest carrot cake lover)!
Sometimes I have one of those days when I just need to bake a cake, or a pie, or just something. Today I found myself craving the coziness which is the process of baking creates in the kitchen. To be honest, I do not have very many regular cake recipes (but still have a few, check it out here and here). The main reason is those few that I have, quickly become our favorites, so I simply do not want/need to experiment with new recipes. So, why to reinvent a bicycle? ))
Speaking of carrots, I have quite a few recipes with it on the blog. You can check carrot cake bites and carrot cake muffins recipes. I must admit, that It took some time to figure out the best healthy recipe of a Carrot Cake itself — so famous and cherished American dessert. I understand that it is quite ambitious, but I am ready to say that I finally did it!
This beautiful cake is vegan and can be gluten-free if you prefer to use gluten-free oats. Slightly spicy, moderately sweet and light, a piece of this cake can be a perfect energizing midday snack or even an addition to your breakfast. Spices, coconut icing with a bit of lemon zest on top complete the harmony of flavors.
This recipe calls for some raisins, a whole ripe orange, and some organic coconut sugar. Altogether, these ingredients add natural sweetness to the cake and still make it just slightly sweet. Feel free to customize it by adding more sugar if you want a dessert version of this cake.
This recipe also requires 4 large shredded carrots. To simplify the process of shredding, process the carrots in a food processor for a few seconds until it “riced.”
I wanted this recipe to be easily customizable, so everyone can change it according to personal preferences.
Note* If you are a passionate juice maker as we are, and always have an extra bag of carrot juice pulp in your freezer, this recipe can be made with some juice pulp. Use 1 cup of pulp + 1 cup of shredded carrots. Add some water to the batter if it’s too dry.
- Dry Ingredients:
- 1 cup old-fashioned organic oats (use gluten-free if prefer)
- ¾ - 1 cup pecans (walnuts)
- ½ cup coconut flakes
- ½ cup quinoa flour (oat flour, brown rice flour, amaranth flour)
- 2 big handfuls of raisins
- ¼ cup coconut sugar
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking powder
- + spices:
- ½ tsp cinnamon (or more!)
- ¼ tsp ginger powder
- ¼ tsp nutmeg
- ¼ tsp powdered cloves
- Wet Ingredients:
- Juice with pulp from 1 orange
- ¼ cup coconut oil
- 4 shredded carrots
- Splash of vanilla extract
- Splash of water (only if the batter consistency looks dry)
- Icing Ingredients
- About ½ can of full-fat coconut milk (chilled in the fridge for a few hours so you need the only hard part - coconut cream)
- 1 tbsp organic honey (or maple syrup)
- Juice of ½ lemon
- Preheat the oven to 375 F degrees.
- Place nuts, oats and coconut flakes in a blender or food processor and process until coarse flour (takes a few seconds). Transfer to a large mixing bowl.
- Add the rest of the dry ingredients, stir everything well.
- Add shredded carrots to the mix.
- Place on orange into a blender and process for a few seconds until juicy pure.
- Add the rest of wet ingredients into mixing bowl with dry ingredient and carrots. Stir everything well, add a splash of water if needed, then pour the batter into a cake pan (use parchment paper).
- Bake for 40 minutes. Try to stick a toothpick in the center of the cake, when nothing sticks on it the cake is ready. Let it cool.
- Meanwhile, stir or blend together icing ingredients (make sure to use chilled part of coconut milk) until well combined. Place icing in the fridge - it should have a sour cream consistency.
- Add the icing when the cake is completely cooled of. Decorate each piece with roughly chopped pecans and lemon zest. Enjoy!
- Store in an airtight glass container in the fridge for a week.
Yay! It is time cut your cake into squares, put in a container, and to go to a picnic!
Enjoy the summer!
Did you make this recipe?
Please, let me know how it turned out!
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