Sunday, January 29, 2012

Gluten Free/Vegan Carrot Cake w/ Cream "Cheese" Frosting (and a note about gluten free flour)

Baking is one of my favorite things to do now that I feel more comfortable with gluten free flours. As much as I love it, I really try to reserve desserts for special occasions since I am trying to lose weight.  Yesterday my youngest brother and his girlfriend came to dinner so I thought that was a "special  occasion" that warranted baking something yummy! 



Gluten Free Carrot Cake:

(THIS RECIPE PRODUCES A MOIST CAKE!)

2 c gluten free flour mix*
2/3 c non dairy milk of choice (I used rice)
1/4 c organic coconut oil (melted)
3/4 c homemade organic apple sauce**
3/4 c raw sugar or palm sugar
2 tsp organic pure vanilla extract
1 1/2  tsp organic ground cinnamon (more if you love cinnamon )
1/4 tsp sea salt
2 tsp baking powder
2 c grated organic carrots (I put them in my food processor)

Preheat oven to 350
grease a 9x13 baking dish
Whisk together milk, oil, sugar, applesauce, vanilla, cinnamon  until mixed well.

In another bowl combine flour, salt and baking powder.

Fold the dry into the wet ingredients but DO NOT OVER MIX.  Once wet and dry are combined, fold in the carrots.  Pour the mix into a sprayed baking pan.

NOTE: If your mix seems very wet, mix in 1/4 c flour.  You want the mix to be smooth and on the thicker side,  but not watery.  If it seems too dry, mix in 1/4 c non dairy milk.

Bake for about 30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the cake.  COOL completely before frosting.  This will be a dense, moist cake!


Frosting:
Combine 1/2 cup earth balance vegan butter, 2  cups confectioners sugar, 2 tsp vanilla, 2 tbs vegan cream cheese and 2 tbs water.  Mix with a mixer on low speed until you end with a whipped frosting.  Smooth out over the COOLED cake.

Put cake into the fridge for about an hour to chill.

**for apple sauce, cut up three peeled organic apples and put them in the food processor until they become apple sauce-----SUPER EASY AND FRESH!  (you can use store bought if you like)

*Gluten Free Flour Mix**
I make a BIG batch of flour mix.  Here is how I make mine:


3 c organic brown rice flour
3 c organic white rice flour
1 1/2 c tapioca flour
1 1/2 c arrowroot flour
1 1/2 c potato starch  (I have also used corn starch in a pinch!) 
1 tbs sea salt
2 tbs guar gum
Make sure you mix it very well before storing it in a container.  I store mine in the refrigerator.  I use this when a recipe calls for regular flour.


A note about gluten free flour
It took me a LONG time to find a baking mix that worked for my recipes.  I don't think that I have tried all the combinations, but after reading endless books and articles I decided that I like this one FOR NOW.  I used it through the holidays for cookies and other desserts and breakfast treats.  I would encourage you to pick up as many different gluten free cookbooks as you can and sample the different flours.

I have learned to keep the following flours, starches and seeds on hand at all times:
brown rice flour
white rice flour
garbanzo bean flour
Bob's red mill all purpose flour
Tapioca flour/starch
potato flour
potato starch
corn starch
arrowroot flour
quinoa to make my own flour
quinoa flakes
raw almonds to make my own almond meal 
flax seeds (can be ground as needed)
chia seeds (can be ground as needed)
guar gum
xantham gum

Gluten free is definitely a learning experience. There were many times when my family would try out a recipe and give it a thumbs down.  Don't get discouraged if you are new to it.  I promise it won't take long until you make tasty food that won't hurt your gluten sensitive body!

Enjoy!

2 comments:

Nf1andprek-whisper said...

looks great.. I have not started to bake yet... vegan way.. I have not had anything but some protein, vegetables and fruit for 3 weeks..IN 2 more weeks I will be adding grains...once a week and desserts once a week... or less LOL..but this looks so good.. the other treat you gave me a recipe for is first on my list to make...

Kristen said...

You can also play with the amount of sugar in the recipe too. My goal still is to stay away from sugar all together, but I suppose once in a while is okay...let me know if you make it...