GBBO week 7 – vegan carrot cake

As I have no doubt mentioned before, Andrew is a carnivore. The idea of a meal without meat or fish is unacceptable for Andrew, and the only way I get through Meat Free Mondays is to use copious amounts of cheese. So veganism is never going to be likely in our household, and I have to admit that I had my doubts that I would be able to make a decent cake with only vegan ingredients.

vegan carrot cake

But, never one to shy away from a challenge, I googled various recipes, and decided on this vegan carrot cake recipe. I love carrot cake, I love mixed spice, and I like coconut oil, so I thought I’d be onto a winner with the cake.

I wasn’t so convinced by the frosting ingredients. I have never used creamed coconut before, and mixing it with cashew butter didn’t convince me I’d end up with a tasty mixture.

When I made the icing I have to admit I wasn’t very impressed with it, but once I had assembled the cake I was very pleasantly surprised by how nice it was as a whole. The cake is quite dense, but moist and full of spice, and the icing was smooth and melt in the mouth. It’s not a sweet cake, but it is very rich and fatty, so you won’t need a large slice to feel satisfied.

vegan carrot cake

A #vegan carrot cake which is sandwiched with a rich coconut and cashew frosting - perfect to celebrate veganism for #GBBO Click To Tweet

I followed the recipe almost exactly, so I won’t replicate it here, but based on my experience, here are a few tips and suggestions:

  • When making the icing, don’t be too disheartened by its appearance. It looks curdled and isn’t particularly sweet. Put it in the fridge until you are ready to use it, and loosen it up with a bit of oat milk, and you should find that it does start to resemble real icing (albeit brown instead of white!).
  • When I mixed the melted coconut oil with the sugar and added the flour, the coconut oil immediately solidified and made the mixture look curdled. Ultimately it didn’t make a difference to the taste, but it did worry me.
  • I used one large cake tin instead of two sandwich tins and had to double the cooking time.
  • I decorated the cake with walnuts but frankly it didn’t look very appealing, so added the edible butterflies for colour – not really in-keeping with the vegan theme, I admit! Perhaps some caramelised walnuts would do the trick, and add some sweetness as well.

Would I make it again? Yes, but I doubt I’d bother with the icing as I quite like the cake plain. I took it to work for my colleagues as part of our Bake Off challenge, and everyone was complimentary about it. However, all of them (non-vegans) did say that they assumed vegan food would automatically be healthier than non-vegan, and I had to explain that this cake was actually very high fat so not really very healthy at all!

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