On Sunday, Curt and I had dinner with our friends Billy and Monika. Monika made a DELICIOUS dinner of salmon, mashed cauliflower, and asparagus! I couldn't let her make everything, so I attempted a pretty much paleo dessert. I read the blog Health Bent on an almost daily basis. I actually posted one of their recipes before : Rosemary Cashews. Anyway, one of the recipes that I'd been wanting to try was for carrot cupcakes. I decided to give it a go, but with my own little twists.
Pretty Much Paleo Carrot Cake
* 1 c almond butter
* 1/2 can full fat coconut milk
* 2 eggs
* 1 tsp baking powder
* 1 tsp baking soda
* 1/2 cup raisins
* 1/2 cup crushed pineapple
* 1/2 cup shredded coconut
* 1/4 cup sugar
* 3 carrots, shredded
* 1 Tbs vanilla extract
* 2 Tbs cinnamon
* 1 tsp nutmeg
* 1 tsp ginger
* 1/4 tsp ground cloves
* pinch salt
* 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
This is a pretty easy cake to make. I didn't have whole carrots, but I did have a bunch of baby carrots, so I shredded those in my food processor and let them sit. In a large bowl, I mixed pretty much all of the ingredients, except the carrots. I mixed everything together with just a wire whisk. It was pretty easy to make sure that everything was mixed well. I love lots of "stuff" in my carrot cakes, so I added some coconut and pineapple to the original recipe. Since the cake doesn't call for much sugar at all, I thought that adding the pineapple would give the cake a bit of moisture as well as some natural sweetness
Once the batter was mixed, I added in the shredded carrot and mixed again. By this time, my arm was getting a pretty good workout! I've never made a cake without flour before, so I wasn't sure how/if the cake would rise or if it would even taste good without much sugar. Many people put more sugar into their coffee than I put into the entire cake!
Next, I greased 2 8-inch cake pans and split the batter between the two pans. I wanted to make a 2 layer cake since this was for a nice dinner with friends. Curt could eat a cake that didn't look like it came from a bakery, but I like my sweets looking really pretty! So... 2 frosted layers it was! I stuck the pans in the oven at 350 and waited. It took about 30 minutes for the cakes to bake all the way through. I did the traditional "toothpick test" to make sure the cakes were completely cooked. The toothpick came out clean, so I pulled the cakes out to let them cool on wire racks.
While the cakes cooled, I whipped up a quick cream cheese frosting. I mixed a package of cream cheese, 3 tbs butter, 3 tbs sugar, 2 tsp vanilla, and a teeny pinch of salt. I would have used powdered sugar in the frosting, except my fat little beagle got into the sideboard a few weekends ago and ate half the bag of powdered sugar, along with a stick of crisco. (Nope, she didn't get sick at all- she's got a stomach of steel). Anyway... I played with the proportions of ingredients until I got a nice fluffy frosting. For this, I did use my hand mixer... my arm muscles had gotten enough of a workout for the night!
Once the cakes were completely cooled, I set one layer on my pretty snowman plate. I then took some of the frosting and put it on top.
Then, because I had extra, and because I wanted to add a little pizzaz, I spread some crushed pineapple on top. Then, I set the next layer on top and frosted the whole dang thing.
I even brought the leftovers to school the next day (I'm a teacher) and the teachers I work with all ate some and said it was good. I was even asked for a copy of the recipe!
So the verdit on Paleo carrot cake? The recipe's definitely a keeper!