Carrot Cake and Italian Easter Treats

Easter is almost here. And that always makes me crave one thing. Carrot cake!!!!! Love this cake probably because it has vegetables in it and it makes me think of something healthier than just plain carbs. I also particularly love one type of frosting, that is, cream cheese frosting.

Because our family doesn’t eat a lot of dairy, I recently started buying vegan cream cheese and what a game changer that has been for us. We LOVE LOVE LOVE IT! I use it as substitute for anything that is cream now when cooking.

Easter also reminds me of two of my favorite easter treats from my childhood. Since I was born and raise in Italy, Easter looked a little different of us. We had giant chocolate eggs stuffed with toys, and a dessert called “Colomba”, which means Dove.

This time of the year also reminded me of Confetti. Not the glittery kind, but the edible ones.

They are mostly used as party favors for weddings, but wedding season is usually during Spring time. So I just combined the two and got Confetti from Italy for the kids easter basket. Yes, as an adult easter at our house has become a combination of an Italian-American set of traditions. You can these super amazing almonds HERE.
They smell like pure vanilla and fresh powder sugar. I’ll definitely be eating some of those straight out of the kids baskets.

Back to the carrot cake. This recipe is definitely on the healthier side. I adapted it from here. I reduced the amount of sugar drastically, but if you’d like to go with the original amount all you have to do is do 2 full cups of sugar instead of the 1 1/4 like I did. If a moist cake is a must, use oil instead of the apple sauce. You’ll be a lot more happier with your final results.

Enjoy!

Carrot Cake Recipe
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Carrot Cake

This partly vegan carrot cake is moist and low in sugar.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American, Dessert
Keyword applesauce, carrot, carrotcakerecipe, coconut oil, recipecarrotcake, veganfrosting, veganwhippingcream
Prep Time 1 hour

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup monkfruit sweetener
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar I omitted this ingredient
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 ¼ cup apple sauce or oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups grated carrots
  • 1 cup shredded sweetened coconut
  • 1 cup chooped nuts
  • 1 cup crushed pineapple in juice
  • FOR THE FROSTING
  • 1/4 cup softened butter
  • 4 oz. vegan creamcheese
  • 2 cups powder sugar
  • 1 stick vanilla bean

Instructions

  • Begin by adding dry ingredients to a large bowl.
    Mix them together. This step should be super easy, just make sure not to do it too fast or you'll find yourself covered in a cloud of flour powder.
    Next up add all the eggs, vanilla, and apple sauce or oil. Mix together until smooth. Finish by adding the carrots, coconut, pineapple, and nuts. Mix everything with a spoon or a whisk slowly.
    Once the batter is completely smooth, except for the chunks of nuts and carrots and everything else in it, and everything has been well incorporated, your batter is now ready to go into a pan.
    Spray your pan or coat with a light layer or butter. You can use your finger for this step. just dip it into some softened butter then form a super thin layer across the whole surface of your pan. That included all the sides and crevaces It's a little bit like painting with batter. You'll want a smooth even layer that will look shiny and invisible. No leftover chunks of butter everywhere. The less butter you use the better for your health.
    I use my wilton miracle cake spray. It's quick and simple.
    For this cake I used two 8 inch pans. That way I didn't have to cut the cake in half once was done.
    Bake on 2 round 8 inch pans at 350° for 25-30 minutes.
    In the mean time you can make the frosting by slowly incorporating the softened butter (place 12 seconds in the microwave), with the vegan cream cheese, vanilla beans, or regular vanilla extract, and last of all the powder sugar. Make sure to first blend the butter and cream cheese well together before adding the rest.
    After your cake comes out wait 5 minutes before removing it from the pans. First gently run a non-serrated knife along the outer edges. Like a butter knife. Then slowly try and lift the bottom to see if it will come out. Hold it upside down for a little bit, using your hand to catch it by resting it on top of it gently.
    If you did this right it will come off pretty easily. If it's not coming out, well you are screwed. JK! Keep trying to run your knife sideways along the bottom of the pan until it doesn't stick anymore. If your pan has rust or ridges it will be more proned to do this. This second way of removing a cake out of the pan will be a lot messier, but you can always make the cake look pretty again by cutting the top off to even it out if it ever happens since it will most likely come off in chunks or you'll have to cut off the top from the bottom of then pan.
    You can then frost the top of the cake with the cream cheese frosting.
    I don't use a lot of frosting because I want the cake to be healthier and not so high in butter and sugar. But you can double the frosting recipe if you'd like.
    FOR THE FILLING:
    I filled the center of my cake with homemade whipped cream. I made it by mixing a can of coconut cream with 1 cup of stevia. Another great option is to make another batch of frostin, or just plain whipping cream whipped with a couple of spoonfuls of sugar will taste amazing as well.

Notes

Vanilla beans come in sticks. All you do is open one of those, then remove the seeds with a knife and incorporate them into your frosting. They are the real thing which tastes delicious.
 
If you love a lot of frosting on your cake, double up on the ingredients for the frosting! 

Love, M. Serena Essuman

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