I would take chocolate over any dessert any time. BUT this raw carrot cake is delicious! Maybe it’s the sweet moist cinnamon-y bread. Or the thick lemony vanilla icing. Whatever it is, it’s amazingly similar in taste and texture to the baked version of a carrot cake. However, unlike the real deal carrot cake, this raw carrot cake is healthy and super easy to make.
I recently took a trip to Europe where I visited several of my favorite raw food cafes and restaurants. Since I don’t eat out all the often, it’s always a grand experience for me. I love experiencing the smell of food as I step into the cafe, sitting down at the table, exchanging my first words with the server, and opening the menu. Raw food cafes are particularly appealing to me because they offer a wonderful range of raw desserts, smoothies, juices, and herbal teas.
One of the raw food cafes I visited this year was located in Prague. The first thing I noticed on the menu was a beautiful photo of a raw carrot cake. Since I had never had raw carrot cake before, I immediately knew what I was gonna order. As soon as I placed my order, I could feel my expectations rising. I’m normally excited about raw food, but raw desserts – hold me back!
When the server put the raw carrot cake in front of me, I was in awe. It looked so beautiful and absolutely indistinguishable from the classic baked carrot cake I know. I just hoped the taste and texture would be just as incredible and … it was. I couldn’t even tell this carrot cake was raw. The carrot flavor was completely overpowered by the warm embrace of cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove. It was moist and tender, but not so much that it fell apart into a million crumbs. Just amazing.
Tips for Making Raw Carrot Cake
The base of this carrot cake utilizes a natural sweetness of carrots and dates, a flour-like texture of ground and desiccated coconut, and a textural contrast of nuts. I am very pro-nuts in this cake because nuts add a bit of savoriness that help the spices balance all the sweetness.
Speaking of spices – some people actually call carrot a spice cake because of all the bold spices it contains. The heady flavors and scents of cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, and ginger should take center stage. Make sure the spices are fresh because that’s what you’ll taste the most in this cake.
The frosting is similar to a raw cheesecake filling. For the cream-like consistency, I use cashews because of their neutral (slightly sweet) flavor and a wonderfully smooth texture. Mixed together with some coconut milk and maple syrup, the icing becomes thick and lightly sweet. The coconut oil is essential in the icing as well as it creates a texture that melts in your mouth. It’s also one of the reasons you should keep this cake in the fridge (since coconut oil becomes liquid at a room temperature).
Because this carrot cake is raw, the flavor of carrots is quite prominent. However, despite the name of this cake, carrots shouldn’t be the starring player in the recipe. Their main role is to moisten the cake and add texture. So use a small setting of your box grater or food processor’s grating attachment to turn the carrots into fluffy pieces. Aim for light and airy.
The first time I made this raw carrot cake, I made it into a traditional style layer cake. It looked beautiful, but it was too much work. So the second time I made it, I turned it into a simple two-layer carrot cake with icing just on the top. However, since carrot cake is known to be quite tall, I also used a smaller spring-loaded pan to make it – a 6-inch tall spring-loaded pan works great for this recipe.
Tools You’ll Need
1. Food Processor (Breville Sous Chef) | 2. Blender (Vitamix Pro 750) | 3. Spring-Loaded Pan (9 Inches. Norpro. Glass and Silicone) | 4. Measuring Cup (4 Cups, Pyrex, Glass) | 5. Mesh Strainers (Set of 3, Cuisinart, Stainless Steel) | 6. Can Opener (Zyliss, Stainless Steel) | 7. Offset Spatula (Wilton, Stainless Steel) | 8. Measuring Spoons (Set of 6, 1Easylife, Stainless Steel) | 9. Measuring Cups (Set of 6, Bellemain, Stainless Steel)
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