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Lucy’s Gluten-Free Vegan Carrot Cake (And, no nuts!)

 
3/22/2010

GFcarrotcakeThis is one of my favorite gluten-free, vegan creations.  As you know, it is hard to make a cake without wheat flour, dairy butter and eggs.  In this case, carrots and marmalade come to the rescue!  I proudly serve this at any dinner party, and get rave reviews from everyone; even folks with no dietary restrictions.  Enjoy!

2/3 cup soy milk (You may use other types of milk instead.)
3 Tablespoons Ener-G (brand) Egg Replacer
(If you would rather use eggs, the soy milk and Ener-G egg replacer can be omitted and replaced with two to three whole eggs.  For another vegan option, instead of using soy milk and Ener-G Egg Replacer, use ¼ cup ground flax meal and add directly with the oil and sugar.  Mix on medium speed for about 30 seconds. )
2 cups of your favorite gluten free flour mix
(A blend of garbanzo, potato starch and tapioca starch in roughly a 5:3:2 ratio works great.  Or, use a blend that you already like. If you decide to use a flour/baking mix that is pre-prepared with baking soda, baking powder and salt, take care not to add these again into the recipe. )
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
½ teaspoon xanthan gum
½ teaspoon salt
3/4 cup canola oil (You can use a little less if you like a drier cake.)
¾ cup sugar (I use organic evaporated cane juice.)
2/3 cup brown sugar (Also here, I use the organic evaporated cane juice version.)
½ cup orange marmalade (A smoother, less chunky brand works better.)
1/3 cup orange juice
3 cups grated carrots (Lightly packed.)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Prepare two 8-inch round cake pans with shortening and a dusting of flour mix.  I use organic palm oil shortening to grease the pans and then shake in sifted flour blend, dumping excess flour once the pans are covered lightly. 

If you are using the Ener-G egg replacer and soy milk blend suggested above, prepare that now so it will have time to “bloom” into a sticky egg-like substance.  For this, I heat 2/3 cup soymilk in the microwave for about 22 seconds, then stir in the egg replacer.  Use a fork to whisk it so that no clumps are remaining.  Set aside to bloom!

Sift together the dry ingredients, including the cinnamon and xanthan gum.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine canola oil, white and brown sugars, marmalade, orange juice, and Egg Replacer and soy milk blend (or eggs, or flax meal if you so chose).  Mix for about 30 seconds.

Now, at a low mixer speed, add dry ingredients gradually in thirds.  Mix only until blended and smooth; then briefly blend in carrots.

Pour batter into prepared cake pans and bake for about 35 to 40 minutes.  A toothpick or metal skewer inserted in the middle of the cakes should come out clean to indicate doneness.
When baking is complete, cool cakes for at least 10 minutes in pans on a cooling rack then remove from pans to finish cooling.

Now, use your favorite icing to finish.  I make a vegan version of “cream cheese” icing.  (Recipe below.)  It’s delicious and looks great!  If you want to garnish the cake further, consider grating lemon and/or orange peel on the icing. 

(Other options for those who are not allergic would include toasted, chopped walnuts in the cake recipe and/or as a garnish on the icing.)

Lucy’s Gluten-Free Vegan “Cream Cheese” Icing
This easy to make icing spreads beautifully and tastes great.  The most important tricks for success are careful sifting of the powdered sugar, and adequate blending of ingredients with a heavy duty mixer and whisk attachment.

2 cups Organic Palm Oil Shortening
One 7 oz. container of Vegan Cream Cheese
2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
1 ½  teaspoon Orange Extract
3/16 teaspoon Salt
About 7 cups Gluten Free Powdered Sugar (Sifted thoroughly!) (This is about one 2 lb bag!)
(You may want to add more or less powdered sugar, depending on the taste and texture you prefer for your frosting.  You can also adjust the flavorings and salt to suit your tastes.)

Combine the shortening, vegan cream cheese, salt, vanilla and orange flavoring together the mixer and whisk on high speed for about one minute until smooth.  Then gradually add the sifted powdered sugar on slow speed until blended, running mixer at about 20 to 30 second intervals.  Lastly, whisk the finished mix on high speed for added fluff. 

This makes a large amount of icing so you are sure to have a beautiful cake, no matter how thick you like the icing.  You may decide to reduce the recipe in the future if too much is left over.

Add a thick layer of frosting to the top of your base cake layer, stack your second layer on top and finish.  If you are new to icing cakes, I highly recommend that you invest in two baker’s icing spatulas.  One should be about 11 inches long and about 1.5 inches wide.  The other, 8 inches long and narrower.  They are inexpensive and will make the job much easier and the result more appealing!  You’ll know which one to use for which parts of the job once you’ve tried them a few times!

Best wishes for your special occasion!
Lucy

Learn more about Lucy’s cookies at www.drlucy.com

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