Vegan Carrot Cake

Before I start, I’m sorry about the picture of this cake. I forgot to take a picture once it was baked and then forgot to tell Mr Foodie that I planned to photograph the last large slice. By the time I got to it, this was all that was left! I’ve learnt my lesson – either photograph baking immediately or lock it up somewhere safe!!!

Some friends came to lunch last weekend and, as one is vegan, provided myself and Mr Foodie with a bit of a culinary challenge. Currently our repertoire of even vegetarian food is rather limited so this was a good opportunity to expand it a bit more. The main of vegetable ramen with tofu was soon sorted but I was a bit stuck for dessert. The only thing I could think of was fruit salad which seemed a bit boring and a bit of a cop out. I fancied doing a bit of baking so had a look on the internet for a vegan cake recipe. There are lots, mostly American and a lot of them chocolate (are vegans addicted to chocolate cake???) Not having made a chocolate cake recently that was non-vegan I opted for the more familiar territory of carrot cake. This recipe for super moist carrot cake sounded delicious and all the ingredients were easy to obtain (unlike some of the other ones I found – xanthan gum anyone??)

First you grease and flour a tin. I didn’t have the 9 inch square tin that the recipe recommends. I have a square tin but its only 7 inch but I do have a 9 inch round one so used that instead. Then I measured apple sauce, vanilla essence, vegan margarine (I used Pure), salt, baking powder, cinnamon, sugar, flour and soy milk into a bowl. The recipe doesn’t state what type of flour or sugar to use so I put in self raising flour and caster sugar as that is generally what I use when baking a cake. I then added the carrot and was just about to add the raisins (which I was using instead of walnuts) when I read the recipe again and realised I should have mixed all the other ingredients together first. I managed to retrieve most of the carrot before mixing everything else together. I then added the carrots and raisins, mixed well and put the cake batter into the tin. The batter made a fairly thin layer in the bottom of the tin so I kept my fingers crossed it would rise a lot in the oven.

I put it in and checked it at 35 and 45 minutes. It was very difficult to tell if it was cooked as it was so sticky. I eventually took it out at 50 minutes as it seemed done. I left it to cool in the tin then went to remove it. It was extremely difficult to get out despite greasing and flouring the tin as it was so sticky. In the end I resorted to cutting it in four and removing each section one by one. It didn’t look very good and had hardly risen so I was rather disappointed. I didn’t bother with the icing as I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to obtain a vegan cream cheese substitute and I personally feel a good carrot cake doesn’t need it. Our friends seemed to really like it as did both Mr Foodie and the JBug. It was definitely a cake to eat with a fork. I found the cinnamon slightly overpowering myself so next time I might reduce it a bit and will definitely be using the correct size tin, lined this time!

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