Okay so carrot cake isn’t technically an Easter food and I’m not technically a big celebrator of Easter but heck, why not. Carrots= bunnies = Easter. Right?
This may be the most delicious thing I have ever made. And the prettiest. Ain’t it damn pretty? Now I just need to watch some online tutorials on how to make sure your middle layer of icing is perfectly straight. My cake looks a little more rustic. But that is totally the popular aesthetic in food photography these days, isn’t it?
My mom hates carrot cake so this is less of an homage to her and more of a tribute to a food that I have loved for a long time. Okay, fact checked. My mom loves carrot cake and she is offended I would even ask. This is loaded with delicious and flavourful ingredients. It weighed about 6 pounds when I was done. Also, learning note for all of you vegan bakers out there. Vegan cream cheese does not make for a good cream cheese frosting substitute. It does not beat well. At all…
6 eggs made with egg substitute, follow package directions
2 c. packed brown sugar
2 c. vegetable oil
2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
4 c. flour
1 lb. carrots
1 c. chopped pecans, toasted
1 c. dried cranberries
1/4 c. soy milk
zest of half a large orange
2 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 c. Earth Balance shortening
1/2 c. vegan margarine
3 1/2 c. confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 c. plain almond milk
1 c. pecans, chopped
2 tbsp. brown sugar
Preheat oven to 325°F.
Butter and flour two 9-inch-diameter cake pans. I only have one so that had to do. If you are using a conventional metal pan, line it with parchment paper and butter and flour again. If you are using a silicon pan, don’t bother.
Using an electric mixer, beat eggs made with egg substitute, sugar, and oil in large bowl until smooth, about 3 minutes. Beat in lemon juice, vanilla and then 2 cups of flour.
Add grated carrots, pecans, cranberries, orange zest and soy milk. Stir to blend.
Combine baking soda, salt, spices, and baking powder in a medium bowl. Add the remaining 2 cups of flour to the spice mixture and whisk to blend. Add flour mixture to cake batter and mix to combine. Divide batter equally between prepared pans. It is about 4 1/2 cups each.
Bake cake layers until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Cool the cakes in the pan for about 10 minutes. Turn out the cakes onto racks and cool completely before icing.
Turn up the oven to 425°F. Toast the second cup of pecans with 2 tbsp. of brown sugar for 10 minutes. Remove and let cool.
While the cake cools, prepare the icing. Beat the shortening and margarine together until well-combined and fluffy.
Add the sugar and beat for about 3 more minutes.
Add the vanilla and soy milk and beat for another 5 minutes until fluffy. This may not seem like enough to ice the whole cake but it is actually perfect.
To ice, put the bottom layer of cake on a plate of cake stand. Ice just the top of the cake with a medium thick layer. Place the second cake on top and continue to ice the top and along the sides to seal. Sprinkle the cooled candied pecans on top to prettify it. Cut out a big ol’ slice and eat it.
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