CARROT-ZUCCHINI BIRTHDAY CAKE WITH MAPLE GINGER CARDAMOM BUTTERCREAM FROSTING
To celebrate 28 years on this planet, I wanted a cake that wasn’t overly sweet, but still indulgent — one that’s simple, but has a little punch to it, and that which has a multitude of different flavours. Carrot cake is, without a doubt, one of my favourite desserts, and so I set out to create a gluten-free recipe with a couple of minor upgrades.
It’s a carrot cake with (surprise!) zucchini. Cardamom is the not-so-secret ingredient, and I’m a die hard fan of raisins, so yes, there’s raisins. It’s studded with walnuts, too. The frosting is a buttercream using grass-fed butter and coconut milk, and it's sweetened with maple syrup.
MAKES 12 SERVINGS
3 c. blanched almond flour
1 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tbsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 tsp. ground cardamom
1/4 c. coconut oil, melted
1/2 c. pure maple syrup
5 large organic, free-range eggs
2 c. grated carrots
1 c. grated zucchini
1 c. golden raisins
1 c. raw walnuts, coarsely chopped
2 c. unsalted, grass-fed butter
2-3 tbsp. coconut milk
1 c. pure maple syrup
1 tsp. ground cardamom
1 tbsp. ground ginger
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease two 9-inch cake pans with coconut oil and dust with almond flour.
- Sift together the dry ingredients and set aside. Add the oil, maple syrup, and mix well.
- Next, add the eggs one at a time. Beat until well combined.
- Mix in carrots and zucchini, then fold in the raisins and walnuts.
- Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean.
- Cool for 10 minutes before removing from the pans, cool on wire racks.
- Meanwhile, for the frosting: in a bowl and using either a countertop or handheld mixer, beat the butter until smooth.
- Slowly, 1 tbsp. at a time, add the coconut milk to help smooth out the frosting. Beat for another 2 minutes.
- Add the maple syrup and continue to beat on low to combine. Add the cardamom and ginger, beat to combine.
- To make a four-layered caked, once the cakes are cool (I even let mine sit overnight), using a serrated bread knife, I very carefully sliced each cake in half horizontally.
- Frost the cake with the four layers. Decorate the top with additional golden raisins, toasted coconut, raw walnuts, or dried (or fresh!) flowers.