Baking a cake, one of the most delightful and rewarding undertakings in the food world. Fluffy, moist and textured with a melt in your mouth frosting is the best. I have never made a carrot cake before this, was never a flavor I desired. But wow, this cake is AMAZING!!! It's spiced up with lemon balm & chaga mushroom, making a delicate yet robust flavor. I was inspired to make carrot cake from the abundance of root vegetables this time of year provides. And lemon balm happened to be in the garden. :)
Be confident in your abilities here, baking a cake really isn't difficult. And gluten-free baking only requires that you use fresh, quality ingredients for the flavors to pop. Having your ingredients on hand is the main requirement, always. So with gluten-free baking I always like to have a few flours ready to go, my favorites are quinoa, oat and almond. If you want to go grain or nut-free try coconut flour and buckwheat. Using a combination of flours produces the best results, so I encourage testing out different amounts if you really get into baking! This recipe uses quinoa flour and oat flour, you can even make your own oat flour from gluten-free rolled oats! For the quinoa flour, I have acquired a specially processed version that is super-fine and sprouted. (There are some out there online to try, but If you want more information about the one I personally use, contact me directly >> firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Starting out with the best carrots you can find, sweet & crunchy, ones that burst with flavor in your mouth are going to make this cake so much more special. I also like to use pastured organic eggs here, although you can sub with chia seeds & they will give less fluff to the cake.
This is the perfect recipe for a party or potluck, share it with your friends/family and enjoy it together! A special treat that will be loved by all. Enjoy!! :)
Carrot Cake with Lemon Balm Frosting
Gingered Carrot Cake
3 cups shredded carrots
1 cup quinoa flour
3/4 cup oat flour
1 cup sundried cane sugar (or coconut sugar)
1/2 cup grass fed butter
1/2 cup coconut oil
3 pastured organic eggs
1 T lemon balm, chopped (optional: use 1 drop lemon balm essential oil for added flavor)
2 T lemon juice
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 T shredded ginger or 3 T crystallized ginger, chopped
1/2 cup macadamia nut milk (blend 4 cups water with 1 cup macadamia nuts & strain)
1/2 cup chopped macadamia nuts (set aside for topping)
>> Shred carrots with hand grater or food processor.
>> Mix all dry ingredients together in a large bowl, set aside.
>> Use a hand mixer or food processor to combine butter and coconut oil, then add cane sugar and mix until fluffy, add eggs and mix until combined.
>> Add all wet ingredients to the dry, mix by hand to preserve carrot shred texture.
>> Pour batter into a buttered 9" baking dish or pie dish. (there is extra batter for 2-3 cupcakes worth of carrot cake, or use a 10" baking dish to use all batter in one cake)
>> Bake at 350 degrees F for 35-40 minutes until set in center.
>> Let cool 15-20 minutes and flip onto a cooling rack to cool completely before frosting.
Lemon Balm Frosting
1 cup cashews, soaked 1-2 hours & drained
3/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1/4 cup sundried cane sugar (or coconut sugar)
1/8 cup lemon balm leaves
1 T chaga syrup or 1/4 tsp chaga extract (optional)
a pinch sea salt
>> Soak and drain cashews.
>> Add all ingredients to a high power blender and mix until smooth & creamy.
>> Pour into a small bowl or shallow dish (sets more quickly) and set in fridge until frosting consistency, about 2-4 hours.
>> Frost completely cooled carrot cake & serve. Or get fancy and break off pieces of carrot cake & serve with pipings of lemon balm frosting on a white place, dotted with flowers & fresh lemon balm!
Lemon Balm >> Part of the mint family, you will find the flavor reminiscent of spearmint. Also known as Melissa Officinalis. Helpful in reducing anxiety and promotes a feeling of calmness. Aids in digestion. High in flavanoids, having antioxidant effects & tannins which produce antiviral properties.
Chaga >> Medicinal mushroom rich in beta glucans, a compound that modulates immunity, much like an adaptogen. Grows prolifically on birch trees. Is super high in antioxidants, in particular betulinic acid which is a triterpene present in birch trees. A robust flavor, but also tastes like vanilla from the compound vanillin found in chaga.