Vegan Carrot Cake Loaf with Cashew Cream Cheese Frosting

When some people think of carrot cake, they picture springtime; but I enjoy this veggie-based treat all year round! I especially love making carrot cake in the fall months when carrots are in season. This particular vegan carrot cake is tender, fluffy, moist, perfectly sweet, packed with beneficial carotenoids, and insanely delicious. Top it with a simple dairy-free, cashew-based frosting and voilá! Dessert is served.

Ingredients:

• 1 1/2 cups spelt flour
• 2 tsps. baking powder
• 1/2 tsp. baking soda
• 1/2 tsp. salt
• 2 tsps. cinnamon
• 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
• 1/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
• 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
• 1 cup shredded carrots
• 1 large mashed banana
• 1/4 cup unrefined coconut oil
• 1/2 cup maple syrup
• 2 tsps. vanilla extract
• 1/2 cup almond milk

Cashew Frosting:

• 1 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight
• Juice of 1 lemon
• 2 T pure maple syrup
• 1-3 T non-dairy milk
• 1 tsps. vanilla extract
• pinch of salt

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350°F then lightly grease a loaf pan.

In a large bowl, combine the spelt flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, coconut, and chopped nuts. Sift together.

In the bowl of a blender, combine the banana, pure maple syrup, vanilla extract and milk. Blend on high until smooth. Alternatively, you can mash the banana by hand and combine the ingredients in a bowl. Add shredded carrots and stir to blend.

Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry. Add the melted coconut oil last then stir everything together just until combined. Transfer the batter to the loaf pan and bake in the preheated oven for 45-50 minutes.

Meanwhile make the icing by combining all of the ingredients (starting with just 1 tablespoon milk) in a high speed blender and blend until smooth. Scrape down the sides in between blending. Add more milk as needed to thin, and more salt or sweetener as desired.

Allow the loaf to cool for 30 minutes to an hour. Once cool, spoon the frosting on top, and enjoy!