Sunday, May 9, 2010

vegan fat-free carrot cake

with not-so-fat-free penuche frosting

I love carrot cake with the same passion that Marty has for my chocolate cake with coconut pecan frosting. Unlike my chocolate cake, I am always experimenting and trying new recipes for carrot cake. Recently I tried to make a carrot cake with no added oil or margarine and I'm really pleased with how it turned out.

I negated any fat-free benefits though by frosting it with a caramelized penuche frosting but this frosting is so good it's worth it! My cake recipe was modified from Kittee's ginger karrot kake recipe and the penuche frosting recipe was modified from a recipe I found on southern food.
Vegan Fat Free Carrot Cake
makes enough for 1 fat 8" cake or 2 6" inch layers
  • 1/4 packed cup prunes (1 1/2 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup water or juice
  • 1 teaspoon lecithin granules (optional but it improves the texture)
  • 4 ounces pound of firm, silken tofu (the kind that comes in an aseptic box)
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice concentrate
  • 1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar (packed)
  • 1 1/2 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 pound of grated carrots (approx 2 1/2 cups)
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans (omit if you want it to be fat-free)
  • 1/4 cup chopped dried cranberries or raisins
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut
  • 1/4 cup candied ginger, chopped
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease and flour one 8" cake pan or 2 6" cake pans.
  2. Add prunes, water (or juice) and lecithin granules to blender and blend until smooth. Scrape out of blender into small bowl. Measure out 5 tablespoons into another small bowl. The leftover prune puree can be stored in the refrigerator and used for another recipe.
  3. Add the tofu and orange juice concentrate to blender and blend until smooth. Transfer to the bowl with the 5 tablespoons of prune puree. Add vanilla and brown sugar, mixing well.
  4. In a large bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and cardamom.
  5. Line a kitchen towel with paper towels. Put grated carrots in paper towels and roll up like a tootsie roll, squeezing to remove the excess moisture.
  6. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Fold in the wrung out carrots, pecans, dried cranberries (or raisins), coconut and ginger.
  7. Pour the batter into the 8" cake pan or half into each 6" cake pan.
  8. Bake for approximately 30-35 minutes for 6" pans or 40-45 minutes for 8" pan (I like to test the center with a toothpick about 5 minutes before the timer goes off and every few minutes thereafter. When tester comes out clean it is done.)
  9. Let cool ten minutes in pan, then transfer to wire racks to finish cooling. Wait to frost until cake is completely cooled.
Penuche Frosting
makes enough to frost a 6" 2-layer cake
  • 1/2 cup Earth Balance
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup soy milk
  • 2 1/2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar, more or less
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1. In a saucepan, melt Earth Balance.
    2. Add the brown sugar. Bring to a boil and lower heat to medium low and continue to boil for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. If you stop stirring, it will scorch and taste awful!
    3. Add the soy milk and bring to a boil,lower heat to medium low, stirring constantly for another 2 minutes.
    4. Remove from heat and cool to lukewarm. Add vanilla extract. Add sifted confectioners' sugar, a little at a time, beating until it's thick enough to spread. If not thick enough, add extra sugar. If too thick, add a little hot water.


    1. I'm always highly leery of fat-free baked goods, since they've always turned out rubbery in my experience, but hot damn does that cake look good! Perhaps there's hope for oil-less cakes yet!

    2. I'm with Hannah on this, but yes, that cake looks fantastic! And I love that you used a fat-full frosting--we're after balance, after all! ;)

      Not sure how I could have missed a blog this beautiful and with such great recipes--but I've rectified the situation and added you to my blogroll. Now I'm off to browse. ;)

    3. My husband's bday is coming up and loves carrot cake. I will have to make this. Looks sooo good!!!

    4. That cake looks aamazing! Really. I love Carrot Cake, used to have it a lot of my birthday's when i was little and just over a month ago my sister and i made her a carrot cake for her birthday! it was vegan and the best carrot cake i've ever tasted.