i feel like a carrot cake has a time and a place. while i really do love it, there's only certain times during the year i really think about wanting a piece. and since there are zero carrot cake recipes gracing the cake section of this blog, i wanted to remedy that since i love, love, love this recipe, and i think you will too!
carrot cake may be one of the best ways to celebrate the spring season. mostly because i feel like it has two identities. one of them being a very spring-filled cake, with notions of baby bunnies, and sprouting carrots. the second one being, a warm, spice-filled cake that would normally have a place in the winter-time. but it turns out it's the perfect segue cake, seamlessly taking us from winter to spring.
however, for this cake, i minimized the spices and left just enough cinnamon as a nod to its traditional flavor. the flavor maker here is coconut. i personally love how carrots and coconut taste together (in just about every application, savory or sweet), and thought a coconut carrot cake would be so, so right! i've added toasted coconut to the batter, which gives it a subtle, toasty coconut flavor but also lends a really great texture. and there's some coconut extract in the frosting which is a (dairy-free) cream cheese-based frosting, and i cannot even describe how good it is. it's the perfect mix of tangy and sweet, and then the coconut extract just adds a little zing.
wishing you all the loveliest holiday weekend! xo!
**and be sure to tag @dollyandoatmeal when you're making any recipes from the site or my book! i love regramming you all on instagram stories! xo!
Coconut Carrot Sheet Cake | GF & DF
this cake is great to make ahead if you need to. i made it, wrapped it in plastic wrap and foil, then froze it. i took it out of the freezer and placed it in the refrigerator the day before i planned to prepare and serve it. on the day of i removed it from the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature for about an hour. then i frosted it, and served it. easy-breezy :)
| makes 1 8x8-inch square sheet cake |
- 1 cup brown rice flour
- 1/4 cup arrowroot powder
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2/3 cup coconut sugar
- 1/2 cup unrefined extra virgin melted coconut oil
- 2 pasture raised eggs, at room temp
- 1 cup shredded carrots (about 2 carrots)
- 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut, lightly toasted, plus more for garnish
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, plus more for garnish
- 2 teaspoons poppy seeds, plus more for garnish
- 4 ounces vegan cream cheese (such as kite hill)
- 1/4 cup non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening
- 1/4 cup powdered monkfruit sweetener* (or 1/4 cup powdered sugar)
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 1/2 teaspoons coconut extract
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla exytact
*to make powdered monkfruit sweetener: in a high speed blender, whiz 1/2 granulated monkfruit sweetener on high for 25-30 seconds, until completely powdered. store leftovers in an airtight container.
- preheat oven to 350°F. grease and line an 8x8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper, letting the paper hang over two sides to make "wings".
- in a large bowl, whisk together the flour, arrowroot powder, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt.
- in another large bowl, whisk together the sugar and oil, until combined. whisk in the eggs, carrots, applesauce, and vanilla, until combined. a little at a time, mix the dry ingredients into the wet, until everything is combined. then, fold in the coconut, walnuts and poppy seeds.
- use a rubber spatula to spread the batter evenly into the pan. bake in the center of the oven for 25-30 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean.
- cool the cake on a rack.
- when the cake is completely cooled, use a thin knife and run it around the sides of the cake to loosen it. then use the parchment paper "wings" to carefully lift the cake from the pan.
- make the frosting. using an electric mixer, beat together the cream cheese, shortening, sugar, syrup, and extracts, until smooth and fluffy.
- use an offset spatula to frost the cake. top with toasted coconut, chopped walnuts, and poppy seeds. slice into 12 pieces and serve. store leftover in a lidded container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.