Have a Carrot…Carrot Cake that is!

Spring is here which means to me, carrot cake. Not sure why, but it does. And who doesn’t like a moist, yummy slice of carrot cake with sweet, creamy icing? It’s vegan too, which makes it even better!

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Cake Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour (plus extra for dusting pans)

2 tsp cinnamon

1 1/4 tsp baking powder

1 1/4 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

pinch of ground cloves

pinch of ginger

1 pound carrots, peeled

1 cup granulated sugar (vegan)

1 cup light brown sugar, packed (vegan)

4 flax eggs (*1/4 cup ground flax meal and 3/4 cup water, see below)

3/4 cup vegetable oil

1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

Icing ingredients

8 cups powdered sugar

1 1/2 cups vegan butter or margarine

3 Tbs unsweetened almond milk

1 Tbs apple cider vinegar

2 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp lemon juice

pinch of salt

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Use cooking spay or vegan butter to thoroughly grease baking pans and dust with flour until grease is completely covered and shake out excess.

You can use:

1 13 x 19 inch baking pan, or

2 9 inch round cake pans, or

3 8 inch round cake pans

In a large mixing bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, cloves and ginger until combined.

In a food processor fitted with the large shredding disk, shred carrots. Then transfer them to the mixing bowl with the flour. Wipe the food processor bowl clean, and fit with metal blade. Add sugar, brown sugar and flax eggs, process until frothy and thoroughly combined, about 20 seconds. With the processor running add oil in a steady stream. Process the egg mixture until it is light in color and well emulsified, about 20 more seconds.

Transfer the egg mixture to the bowl with the flour and carrots. Using a rubber spatula, stir the mixture until thoroughly combined. Stir in nuts if using them.

Pour batter evenly into prepared pans. Bake until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.

9 x 13″ pan about 30-35 minutes

2 – 9″ pans about 25-30 minutes

3 – 8″ pans about 18-23 minutes

Let cake cool in pans until still slightly warm on a wire rack. Run knife around the edge of the cake to loosen, remove cake, transfer to platter and frost.

Combine all icing ingredients in a bowl, using a hand mixer or stand mixer, mix until smooth and combined. If you want it thicker add more powdered sugar, if you want it thinner you can add more almond milk.

*Thank you Gimme Some Oven for this delicious recipe.

Springtime Vegetable Pasta

 

Spring is here but there is still a chill in the air, at least here in the Northeast. It’s this time of year when I am tired of soups and stews but it’s still a bit too early for slaws and cucumber salads. At least for me…and I think for other people too. So here is a simple, delicious recipe for a veggie pasta dish that is perfect for this time of year.

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Ingredients:

2 Tbs olive oil

2 Tbs vegan butter (I use Country Crock)

1/2 medium onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

4 or 5 Compari tomatoes, chopped

1/2 container of baby spinach

1 can artichoke hearts, chopped

salt and pepper to taste

1/2 tsp oregano

1/2 tsp thyme

1/2 tsp parsley (use fresh if you have it, roughly chopped 1 Tbs)

1/2 cup vegetable broth

1/3 cup white wine

1 lb box pasta, prepared per the directions

Directions:

Melt vegan butter in a large sauté pan over medium heat, add olive oil. When butter is fully melted add onion, sauté until tender. Add artichoke hearts and tomatoes, cook until tomatoes begin to get a bit mushy, 7 to 8 minutes. Add garlic, sauté for about a minute until the garlic is fragrant. Add thyme, oregano and parsley. Turn heat to high and add white wine, cook down for about 5 minutes, then turn down to medium high heat and add vegetable broth, bring to a boil and then turn heat down till it simmers. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add spinach and cook until wilted.

Add the cooked pasta to the sauté pan and stir to combine well. Serve with vegan parmesan cheese, crusty Italian bread, a salad and nice glass of red wine…Mangia!

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This is my recipe that I created, it basically the things I love to eat in one dish. I actually ended up adding some left over roasted asparagus and I would have added mushrooms too if I had them. I think that is one of the greatest things about cooking, there really are no rules, as long as it tastes good…go for it!

A Barnyard Birthday with Vegan Cake!

We like to celebrate birthdays at the Barnyard, they are a big deal, especially for the animals that have come to us from very bad situations. This coming Friday, March 24 is Dominic’s 17th birthday, the mini-dinkey that my husband and I sponsor. So of course I had to make him a birthday cake!

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Dominic actually came from a loving home, he had been a companion animal for a horse for his first 15 years until the horse passed. He happen to come to the Barnyard because he had been attacked by bear, his head had lots of scratches and his back right thigh had to get 16 stitches. He was found in a neighbors empty swimming pool. Well, the bear kept coming back so his owners felt it best that he live out his days safely at the Barnyard with lots of friends. This is where I came in. He came on a Friday, I saw him that Saturday and fell in love….

Now back to cake, this is a great recipe; easy and delicious! And I guarantee you, vegan or not everyone will love it! Thank you Minimalist Baker for the recipe.

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Ingredients for the Cake:

1 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk

2 tsp white or apple cider vinegar

1 1/4 cups unsweetened applesauce

1/4 cup strongly brewed coffee, cooled (or more almond milk)

2/3 cup melted coconut oil

2 tsp pure vanilla extract

2 cups + 2Tbs unbleached all-purpose flour or whole wheat pastry flour

1 1/3 cups organic cane sugar

1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

Ingredients for the Icing:

3 3/4 cups powdered sugar

3 Tbs vegan butter

4 Tbs almond milk or soy milk

2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 2 8-inch round cake pans or one large rectangular pan with vegan butter. Dust with cocoa powder, shake out excess and set aside.
  2. Mix the almond milk and vinegar in a large mixing bowl, set aside for a few minutes to activate. Add coconut oil, coffee, vanilla extract and applesauce and beat until foamy.
  3. Put flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a sifter and sift into wet ingredients. Mix the ingredients and then add sugar continuing to mix well until not large lumps remain. It should be creamy and pourable.
  4. Divide batter evenly between the 2 cake pans or pour into one rectangular pan.
  5. Bake 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool completely before frosting.
  6. To make the icing add powdered sugar, vegan butter, almond milk and vanilla extract to a mixing bowl, stir until moistened. (I like to stir the ingredients a bit first so that the powdered sugar doesn’t fly out everywhere)
  7. Using an electric mixer, start at low speed and gradually increase speed until icing becomes smooth.
  8. It should be thick but spreadable. You may need to add more almond milk if too thick or more powdered sugar if too thin.
  9. Ice the cake as usual, add candles, sing, cut and ENJOY!

*Icing recipe courtesy of Loving it Vegan