Crazy Awesome Raw Carrot Cake!

raw carrot cake Raw carrot cake holds a mystique for me.  Long before raw food – or even health food- was a mainstream concept, my friends and I found a little restaurant in San Francisco called RAW while we were in college in Palo Alto.  We were bemused by raw sushi, incredible “hot” tonics fueled by peppers, and salads full of things we could barely pronounce, nevermind identify.  We all went home from our first experience of over-eating gourmet raw food (it really does fill you up faster than you think!) with immense to-go slices of raw carrot cake with “cream cheese” frosting.

After eating 1/2 of a giant slice for breakfast the next day, I was hooked on Juliano (who went on to great raw food fame, and would pile our plates with raw chocolate syrup on every dessert) and this raw cake that I never realized was possible until now.  Every trip into San Francisco, I would make it a point to take some home, even if it meant a massive detour. Love is worth the hassle, don’t you think?

Because there’s only so much salad and raw sticks of celery that someone can eat (right?) I’ve turned to raw deserts to add more high-energy living food to my life. Yes, its not quite the same as munching on kale, but I have to say, this raw carrot cake has made me a big believer in veggies for breakfast!

raw carrot cake

Making a raw carrot cake really brought the experience home, and amazing memories of my academic bliss along with it!

This cake is fairly simple to make.  The main labor involved is shredding peeled carrots on the finest blade of your hand grater (as I did) or, to make it easier, in your food processor.  You can also give a go to the Vitamix here, pulsing carrots at a very low speed after chopping them in bits.  I think hand-grating is just fine.

I get most of what I need for this cake from Trader Joes in the US.  While most of you can find raw honey locally near you, I am not a stickler for 100% raw where honey is concerned, because people like me (on the very strict, Specific Carbohydrate Diet) can’t have the pollen in raw honey without potential immune system upset. If I could, I’d go for the raw honey. I encourage you to do raw and local honey as much as possible, if it is possible for you.

Raw Carrot Cake With Cream Cheese Frosting!

For the frosting: 

I start the frosting first because the cashews take 3 or more hours to soak.

2 cups raw cashews (must be raw, I use raw pieces)

1/4+ cup fresh squeezed, lemon juice

2 tsp pure vanilla extract (or the inside of a scraped vanilla bean)

1/4 cup honey (use raw if your diet permits & you can find it!)

a healthy pinch of sea salt

1 tbs coconut oil.

Soak the cashews for 3+ hours. I leave them soak in water in the refrigerator.  Strain then add to a blender. If you do not have a high-speed blender (like a Vitamix) then I suggest you soak longer so your blender can reach a creamier consistency.

Strain the soaked cashews & toss them in your blender.

Add the rest of the ingredients.

You may need to scrape down the sides of your blender or food processor a bit, but this will become a very thick and creamy mix.  Blend very well.  Set aside (I stick it in the refrigerator) while pulling together the cake.

For the carrot cake: 

2 cups raw walnuts, chopped in a chopper, food processor or high-speed blender to teeny bits. (these are softer and create a more succulent and “real” tasting cake than other nuts.  in a pinch you can use the Trader Joe’s almond meal or other almond flour. If you go the nut flour route, you may not have a truly raw cake (it will still be great!) and you only need to use 1  + 1/2 cups of it.

10 very soft and large medjool dates.

1 lb of organic carrots.  You will need to peel these and shred them as explained above- either finely by hand, in a food processor or in a high speed blender if you dare to try. Hand-shredding very fine is excellent here.

1 cup of soft, fresh raisins

1 tbs coconut oil (not the liquid, the regular virgin coconut oil that turns solid when cold)

1/2 cup of  fairly finely shredded, unsweetened coconut. If your flakes are large, toss these in the food processor or chopper as well before adding to the mix.

1 tsp of ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg, fresh ground if possible (optional, but I think it adds a great deal!)

To assemble the “cake” : add the extremely finely chopped walnuts (or nut flour), coconut, and scredded carrot to a big mixing bowl.  Stir in the cinnamon & nutmeg (*if you use it).

In a separate bowl (or in your food processor) blend together the soft pitted dates and the coconut oil. I whir this until it is like a gooey paste.

Add the date paste to the carrot mix and you will see it start to come together. Ifyour mix is a bit too dry (depending on your dates) add up to another three teaspoons of coconut oil, one at a time.

Now, work the raisins into the mix.

I press all of this into a 9″ springform pan. You can put it in a pyrex, a small brownie pan, or another cake pan you like. you want to have some depth to the dish you use… as the frosting comes next!

To complete the cake: spread the frosting (a very generous layer, its amazingly rich and incredible) on top of the carrot layer and put the cake in the refrigerator.  I let it sit a few hours to really “come together”, or overnight.  It stores for a few days and tends to get even better after a day or two!

Enjoy… high-energy cake for breakfast … yet another way to glow more!  xoxo Dana

 

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