Eat like a rabbit
My family celebrates Easter, and I celebrate any excuse to make treats. And of course I’m always on a mission to satisfy my sweet tooth in a healthier way, using real, whole foods ingredients and as little sugar (never refined of course) as possible. So this weekend, I was back at it. While I love my chocolate, I do like to change things up a bit so I figured what better way to honor the bunny holiday than with the ultimate rabbit food: carrots. Carrot cake was on.
To be entirely honest, though, I was never a huge fan of carrot cake, and I blame it on the cream cheese frosting. I never liked it, probably because I never liked cream cheese. Which is a little weird, since I always loved cheese itself. And I love creamy food. But cream cheese – no thank you! Same goes for cheesecake – I think I’ve had one slice of cheesecake I truly enjoyed in my entire lifetime. Pass the chocolate cake please.
Anyway, I don’t really do dairy these days, and I knew cashew cream would likely be the solution for a carrot cake compliment. Cashews I could definitely work with, and why not go the extra mile and make these gems not just dairy-free but also raw, refined sugar free, and grain-free. And as it is I’m coming off of a zero sugar, no carb diet, so I was even sparing with the dates to make it as minimally sweetened as possible. But I promise the flavor balance is just right!
So I gathered my ingredients, got out my food processor, and success! Here we have it, taste-tested and approved by my non-vegan, non-raw, sugar-loving family.
Raw Vegan Paleo Carrot Cake Cupcakes
These cupcakes do best made a day in advance and refrigerated overnight. You may also wish to make the cashew cream in advance and refrigerate for a couple of hours before frosting.
Raw Carrot cake cupcake ingredients:
- 2 1/2 cups shredded carrots (about 4 medium carrots)
- 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1/2 cup pitted dates
- 1/2 cup pecans
- 1/4 cup unsweetened sunflower seed butter (or nut butter of choice)
- 4 tbsp coconut flour
- 1-2 inch piece of ginger
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp allspice
- 1/8 tsp cloves
- 1 tsp organic vanilla extract
- generous pinch of salt
Maple cinnamon cashew cream ingredients:
- 1 1/2 cup soaked cashews (soak at least 4 hours, up to overnight)
- 1/2 cup coconut cream
- 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
- 2 1/2 tbsp pure maple syrup
- 1 tbsp coconut milk
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 – 1 tsp cinnamon (to taste)
How to make the raw cupcakes:
- Cut your carrots into sticks so they chop a bit easier. Chop them in the food processor until they’re shredded, but be sure not to chop them too long so they don’t puree.
- Add the rest of the ingredients to the food processor and mix, scraping the sides with a spatula a few times to ensure even consistency. The result should be a thick dough-like consistency.
- Fill cupcake liners (I used silicone cupcake molds) about 3/4 full, pressing the cake down. You could also use a cake pan to make a full-sized cake.
How to make the cashew cream:
- Put your soaked cashews into a food processor and mix until they form a creamy paste.
- Add the rest of the ingredients to the food processor and mix until thoroughly blended. The result should be a smooth, creamy consistency.
- Refrigerate for a couple of hours first before frosting for best results, or go ahead and frost your raw vegan cupcakes.
- Refrigerate overnight before serving for best results.
Makes 12 cupcakes.