Healthy for cake carrot cake with cashew frosting

First off, isn't this photo pretty...for one of mine, I mean? ;) DSC_1551

It's a wonder what a good lens can do. That, and actually spending time preparing and taking pictures. With today's amazing equipment, small steps can really elevate results from exceptionally poor (as in my case) to just about average, which on a relative personal scale can translate into stunning, on a good day.

I'll be honest, the on-the-giddy-side feelings I've had over slight improvements in photos lately  is a main reason I carved time at the expense of sleep for this post. Photo satisfaction is really just icing on the cake, however...because this cake is sooooo meltaway good. And speaking of icing, can I just say, cashew frosting is worthy of the word swoon? Even more so when it's sweetened with maple syrup.


I do feel some reluctance to share this recipe, because it really started as this recipe...which is AMAZING...from Love and Lemons. I didn't adapt a ton, but what I did change worked for me, and I fear lingering baby brain might keep me from remembering for next time (how long can we continue to play that card, moms!?). I reduced sugar (used just 1/2 cup honey, not bad at all for cake), but added eggs. I was a little sorry to "un-veganize" this recipe, but love, love this cake. It's dense (but not heavy), and bursting with carrots and plump, sweet raisins. The icing is the perfect complement. And, I don't see a way around it...though the word has been trending as one of the world's worst lately, I can't help but say, it's moist. I can't think of another synonym that fits. If one calls out to you, let me know.


Healthy-for-cake carrot cake with cashew frosting

  • 2 1/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour or gluten free mix
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • dash sea salt
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup liquid coconut oil
  • 2 cups grated carrots
  • 1 cup raisins
For the frosting
  • 1 cup  raw cashews (soaked, drained and rinsed)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F and prepare a 9x13 baking pan with cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, spice and salt.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the applesauce, almond milk, vanilla, honey, coconut oil and eggs.
  4. Mix the dry ingredients into bowl with the wet ingredients.
  5. Fold in the carrots and raisins and stir until just combined.
  6. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cake cool before frosting.
  7. For the frosting: Add all ingredients to a high-speed blender, starting with milk.
  8. Blend until smooth, adding more milk until desired consistency is reached.
  9. Taste and add more maple syrup for added sweetness.
  10. Refrigerate until fully chilled before spreading.