Oops, wrong Whoopi!
Ahh, that’s more like it.
Oh carrot cake, how you fill childhood dreams. Wash away unrest in the contents of one bite. How you torment the ever LIVING HELL OUT OF A VEGAN, SUGAR FREE, GLUTEN FREE FOOD BLOGGER.
Ehem… I apologize. It’s just, if you knew how many test trials of this stuff we’ve made, you would wanna curse its existence as well. None the less, here we are, with a carrot cake recipe – the whoopie pie part is optional, although highly recommended – that’s grain free, lectin free, sugar free, and vegan.
With our new dietary direction, which excludes lectins, grains, legumes, and sugar, we had to experiment with a couple of new variables, which means everything in baking. For the first time in our lives, we began testing out cassava flour – made from the cassava or yuca root, which is also where tapioca comes from – as the base of our dry ingredients, and xylitol – a sugar alcohol – as our primary sweetener.
The results of our first test subjects were were gummy, mushy, and only got mushier the longer we baked them, contrary to baking with wheat flour. In our second trial, we added almond meal, for its “gritty” effect, and apple cider vinegar, which reacts with baking soda creating lots of air bubbles, therefore helping the batter rise. However, the result of our second trial was still more similar to rice pudding than a muffin. In our third trial, we kept the almond meal and apple cider vinegar, removed the preciously used flax egg, and added aquafaba, which works miracles in vegan/gluten free baking. Still, none the less, the result of our cake resembled Tres Leches – a type of mexican cake that is soaked in milk – and not fluffy, moist, carrot cake.
That was all up until Kim had a revelation – she recalled that when she combined a sprinkle of xylitol and a piece of popcorn in her mouth, the popcorn completely disintegrated. What if xylitol was having the same effect in our cake, turning our flour into mush?
Alas, we caught wind of a sense of direction! Instead of xylitol for our next batch, we reached for our trusty friend stevia. Finally, a cake that wasn’t complete pudding on the inside. A few more tweaks, one more batch of muffins, and we have the version that lies in front of you today: light, fluffy, and moist carrot cake that is 100% free of animal products, added sugars, and lectins (as long as you use Eden’s brand chickpeas for your aquafaba).
Thank you for the recipe recommendation Aricha – despite our tribulations in finding the perfect recipe to share with you, we had a blast conjuring this one up.
If there’s a dish you’ve always wanted to see veganized, submit it here, and we’ll head to the lab, break out the test tubes & beakers, and whip out our culinary gadgets, so that in a couple of weeks, you too will have a recipe posted in your honor.
All the best,
Ryan & Kim
Carrot Cake Whoopie Pies
Moist carrot muffins - sliced in half - and filled with coconut vanilla spice frosting that also happen to be vegan, grain-free, and sugar-free.
- 2 large carrots, grated
- 1 cup cassava flour
- 1/3 cup almond meal*
- 3/4 tsp baking soda
- 3/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp each salt, cinnamon, & dried ground ginger
- 1/8 tsp ground allspice & nutmeg
- 2/3 c unsweetened vegan yogurt (we used Kite Hill’s unsweetened almond milk yogurt)
- 1/2 c melted coconut oil
- 1/4 c + 2 tbsp aquafaba (liquid from a can of chickpeas, preferably from the brand Eden)*
- 1 1/4 tsp stevia extract liquid
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 3/4 cup coconut butter
- 1/4 tsp each vanilla extract, stevia, and cinnamon
- Lil’ pinch of salt
- Pre-heat oven to 350° F.
- Grate carrots into a large bowl using the big holes of a box grater. Set aside.
- In a food processor or small blender carafe, combine all of the dry ingredients – excluding carrots – and blend for 10 seconds or until throughly combined.
- Toss dry ingredients with the carrots until they are fully coated. Then, stir the melted coconut oil straight into this mixture (a wooden spoon or hand works best here).
- Prepare aquafaba by placing in a large bowl, or the bowl of a stand-up mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, and whisk with an electric hand mixer on high speed for 5-10 minutes or until stiff peaks are formed (the aquafaba stands up tall on the end of your whisk when inverted).
- While the aquafaba whips, mix together yogurt, stevia, vanilla, and apple cider vinegar. Stir this into the carrot mixture using a wooden spoon or hands.
- Once the aquafaba has achieved stiff peaks, stir in 1/3 of it into the carrot mixture until it’s no longer visible. Then, add in the rest of the aquafaba and fold in this time, using your spatula to cut into the middle of the batter and fold it over on itself, thus maintaining the fluffiness of the aquafaba.
- When most of the aquafaba has been incorporated – some white spots remaining is okay – fill up the muffin tins with batter, using about 1/4 c of batter per tin. If you have good nonstick muffin tins, there’s no need to grease them, but if your muffin tins have issues with sticking, either line them cupcake liners or grease and dust each cup with coconut oil and cassava flour.
- Place them in the oven for 20 minutes. At this time, lower the temperature to 325° F and bake for an additional 20-25 minutes, or until the edges of the muffins are set and the centers are still slightly jiggly.
- Leave the muffins to rest in the tray for 10 minutes, then flip out onto a cooling rack or plate for the remainder of the cooling process.
- While the muffins cool, beat together coconut butter, stevia, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt in a medium bowl with an electric hand whisk or stand-up mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat until smooth and homogenous.*
- When the muffins are completely cool, about 45 minutes after removing them from the oven, gently cut them in half, spread 1 tbsp of frosting onto the bottom part of each half, and cover with the remaining piece of cake.
- Enjoy your carrot cake whoopie pies while fresh, or store covered in the fridge for up to three days.
*To make your own almond meal, simply blend 1/3 cup of raw almonds in a small food processor or personal blending carafe.
*Eden pressure cooks their beans, which eliminates all of the lectins they contain, making the aquafaba from these beans harmless.
*Making and spreading the frosting is easier when the coconut butter is lightly chilled, that way it’s not melting all over the place while you work.