When I lived in New York a friend of mine brought me to a café called ‘Alice’s Tea Cup’ to try what he described as ‘insanely good carrot cake’… and indeed it was. However, my sister then managed to come up with this guilt-free carrot cake, which I think knocks the socks off its New York rival. Luxuriously moist and dense with the perfect creamy topping, no one ever believes it is free from refined cane sugar, wheat and dairy, so I never bother telling them!
Preheat oven to 180C. Line the base of two 8inch sandwich tins with greaseproof paper.
In a bowl, sift together the flour, bicarbonate of soda, salt, mixed spice and cinnamon. In another bowl combine the eggs, rice milk, tbsp of lemon juice, oil, sugar and vanilla. Mix well. Add flour mixture and mix very well.
In a food processor, blitz up the tin of pineapple. Then in a bowl, combine together the shredded carrots, coconut, walnuts, blitzed pineapple and raisins. Using a large wooden spoon, add the carrot mixture to the batter and combine very well.
Pour the cake mixture into the prepared sandwich tins and bake for about 1 hour. If a skewer does not come out clean then cover the top of the cake with tin foil (so it does not burn) and leave to bake for another 10 minutes or until a skewer comes out just clean. Some ovens vary in temperature, so if the top begins to colour too much or burn before the hour is up you can also cover with tin foil. Leave to cool completely and turn out onto a wire rack.
For the frosting, combine all the ingredients together. When the cake is cool, spread half the frosting on to one cake then place the other on top and spread on the remaining frosting. To serve, liberally sprinkle desiccated coconut over the top.
Yield: 10 - 12 Servings
200ml Rice milk
1tbsp Lemon juice
200ml Vegetable oil
280g coconut palm sugar
2 tsp Vanilla extract
2 tsp Ground cinnamon
2tsp Mixed spice
1/4 tsp sea salt
270g Rice flour (if you can handle a little gluten, you can also use white spelt flour)
2 tsp Bicarbonate of soda
1tsp baking powder
230g Grated carrot
200g Desiccated coconut (and some more to serve)
1 tin Pineapple (227g tin) (read the ingredients and make sure it is nothing but the natural pineapple and its juice)
For the frosting
1 container of Tofutti (this is a cream cheese alternative made from soya. It tastes exactly the same as normal cream cheese and is perfect for this cake. I have tried other cream cheese alternatives and in my view Tofutti is the only one worth using! It is available in the USA also. Look our for it in health food stores.)
2 tbsp honey
Zest of 2 lemons
Desiccated coconut to scatter on top