Today is Father’s Day. At least it’s here in Estonia. I read that it is the different time all over the world and we have the same date with Norway, Sweden, Finland and Iceland. Most of the word has it in June, but there are just so many different dates for this holiday that it’s quite confusing. However, the most important thing is still the fact that we shouldn’t forget our lovely fathers where ever they are. I actually enjoy the holidays because it usually means that there’s a reason to bake a cake.
I have been dreaming and even daydreaming about healthy carrot cake for so long that I don’t even remember the beginning. I remember that when I was 13 years old, then I used to make carrot cake in the winter time. It was filled with cream cheese and walnuts. Just like a classic carrot cake. It was one of my favourites. Now it’s time to go back to that recipe and experiment with healthy ingredients. I have seen a lot of recipes for paleo cream cheese with soaked cashews and coconut butter. Looks like an amazing combination!
However, this time I felt that carrot cake needs something even creamier. I’m just the kind of person who is obsessed with cream in the layer cakes. I could just skip the cake and eat the cream between the layers. There has to be A LOT of cream. The cake just has to be soaked with cream. So, sometimes when some kind of recipe for layer cake says for example 200 ml of cream, then quite often I double the amount and try to add as much cream as possible. There are times when it hasn’t turned out well and I have failed because the cake doesn’t stay together properly, but usually, the reason is that the cream isn’t hard enough. Most of the layer cake set properly while sitting in the fridge. That’s why I tell myself that I’m safe. I hope.
Many classical carrot cakes are mixed with walnuts or pineapple. These are just like classical nice combinations that compliment carrot cake. This time I went crazy. I wanted to try some kind of different combination. Coconut & carrots. Sound like something new to me. I had that idea in my mind and I went straight to read the book “The Flavour Thesaurus” by Niki Segnit. According to the book carrot and coconut, flavours work together perfectly! So, I had my taste combination. I only had to bake the cake and work on the recipe. When I taste the combination, then I realized that it works together like salt and caramel.
That’s it! Here is the recipe for that paleo cream cheese coconut & carrot layer cake. You just have to make sure that you try to put as much cream on the cake as possible and I’ll be proud of you! Like always everything is dairy-free, refined sugar-free and gluten-free. Sound like a free of everything?! Yes, but still try not to eat it too much. It’s not vegan because of the eggs but hopefully, someday I’m going to work on that kind of carrot cake recipe as well. This time it’s filled with almond meal, coconut, nuts and winter spices. Not to mention that there’s a ridiculous amount of cream. Hope you enjoy this creamy coconut and carrot flavour combination.
Paleo Cream Cheese Coconut & Carrot Layer Cake
- 200 g almond flour (ground almonds)
- 20 g coconut flour
- 30 g tapioca flour
- ¼ tsp ground vanilla bean
- 1 tsp baking powder
- pinch of pink Himalayan salt
- Spices: 1/8 tsp ground ginger powder, 1 tsp cinnamon, pinch of ground nutmeg
- 350 g finely grated carrots (I like to use a food processor)
- 3 eggs
- 100 g raw organic honey
- 150 ml homemade cashew milk
- 80 g juicy dates (pitted)
- 80 g extra virgin coconut butter
- 100 g walnuts or coconut
- 30 g coconut chips
- 150 g cashews (soak them in a water at least 4 h before)
- 800 ml chilled coconut milk (let it sit in the fridge for overnight, the choice of coconut milk or cream is very important. There are many brands which have many additives or thickeners and because of that, they don’t separate even after weeks in the refrigerator (so try to choose more natural ones which have fewer thickeners inside). After chilling, you should get liquid and thickened cream like cream cheese on top. If you don´t have that, then there´s something wrong with the coconut milk)
- 1 tsp (homemade) vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 3 tbsp honey (about 100-120 g)
- pinch of pink Himalayan salt
Decoration: coconut chips, walnuts or pecans
- Preheat the oven to 175° C/ 347° F.
- To make the cake, mix together all the dry ingredients (almond meal, coconut flour, 30 g tapioca flour, ¼ tsp ground vanilla bean, 1 tsp baking powder, salt, ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg).
- Butter the 19 cm springform pan with coconut butter (use a baking paper on the bottom as well).
- Whisk eggs with honey. Add cashew milk. Mix. Add grated carrots.
- Blend the dates until they look like caramel and add coconut butter (when you use dry dates then soak them in a hot water for 5-10 minutes). Blend until smooth. Add the dates mixture to the eggs mixture.
- Add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture and mix well.
- Pour the mixture into the springform.
- Bake it for 65-70 minutes in total until it´s lightly golden and a toothpick comes out clean. After 20 minutes in the oven cover it with aluminium foil. After 45 minutes in the oven take the foil off and bake for another 20-25 minutes.
- While the cake is in the oven, make the cream. For the filling, firstly blend the soaked cashews until smooth. Add honey, lemon juice, vanilla, salt and hard coconut “cream” (you should chill coconut milk in the fridge overnight or more. Make sure that you don´t shake the can to encourage separation of the cream and liquid. Remove the coconut milk from the fridge without shaking and remove the lid. Scrape out the top, thickened cream and leave the liquid behind (for example, use in smoothies). Use only the hardened cream.) Blend until smooth. Put the cream in the fridge for at least few hours or about half an hour to the freezer when you don’t have time.
- Take the cake out of the oven and let it cool down completely. When it’s at room temperature, then carefully cut it into two layers.
- Pour the chilled cream on the two layers and decorate (if the cream gets a little bit too warm and starts to go everywhere, then chill it in the fridge or freezer a little bit longer and add extra cream later).
- Place the cake in the fridge and let it sit there overnight or at least six hours. Enjoy!
*1 gram (g) = 0.035 ounces (oz)