To be honest, I was raised more spiritually than within organized religion so my Easter holidays growing up were about the Easter bunny and egg hunts. When I was really young, we dyed eggs in all of the colors until those eggs turned to plastic + were filled with chocolate or money with a golden egg at the end.
I had bunny ears while my dad had a sunflower headband that we donned before heading outside. He was the best sport, finding eggs in his pajamas and bathrobe with this headband on. the neighbors used to give him a hard time jokingly, but as an only child and daddy’s little girl, he knew he’d only be able to do it for so long and played the character for years.
I still have my bunny ears to this day, but one tradition I created in my older years was to always make a spring dessert to welcome in spring. this year, it’s carrot cake and oh-so-good! you can make it plain or dress it up with walnuts, pecans, dates or coconut flakes. for the frosting, I used a blend of cashew cream + coconut yogurt to get a tangy topping akin to cream cheese frosting. you could also make a vanilla marshmallow cream – yum!
1 packed, heaping cup (160 g, about 2 medium) carrots, grated on smallest holes of box grater
3 large eggs
½ cup (80 g) maple sugar
½ cup olive oil
¼ cup applesauce
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon ginger juice (or ½ teaspoon ginger)
½ cup (75 g) sweet rice flour
1 cup (100 g) oat flour
2 tablespoons (16 g) tapioca flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon sea salt
½ cup toasted walnuts, pecans, pitted dates or coconut flakes, chopped (optional)
¾ cup maple syrup or honey
1/3 cup filtered water
4 egg whites, room temperature
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
½ cup (130 g) coconut yogurt (I used Anita’s, but Culina is also a wonderful option)
2 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and brush an 9” cake pan with olive oil. Set aside.
In a small bowl, whisk your eggs, maple sugar, olive oil, applesauce, ginger juice and vanilla together until smooth.
In a separate and larger bowl, add your dry ingredients – the sweet rice flour through the sea salt – and mix to combine. Add your wet ingredients into your dry before adding your shredded carrots and any additions you wish. My favorite is chopped dates + pecans, but have fun with it!
Pour the batter into your cake pan, and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean and the edges are golden. Cool completely before cutting it into two layers.
When your cake is cool, make your frosting. n a small, heavy bottomed pot with a candy thermometer, add the water + maple syrup. Heat over medium low heat until it reaches 240F, about 10 minutes. While that’s happening, add the egg whites + cream of tartar to the bowl of your stand mixer. With a whisk attachment, start whipping on medium speed until they’re frothy. When the syrup is ready, slowly pour the syrup down the side of the bowl into the whites. Turn the mixer to medium high + whip until you reach stiff peaks, or when it can stand straight up when you lift the whisk. Add the coconut yogurt and vanilla, and whisk to combine.
Take one layer and place on your cake stand. Swirl half of the frosting on top before placing your top layer on. Swirl the rest of the frosting, and garnish with extra nuts, dates or coconut flakes that you used in the cake.