A little bit naughty, a little bit nice, a whole lot of good taste! I figured for this weeks F*ck it Friday, we’d do something a little more Easter related. I was going to do a Good Friday fish recipe, but the only thing I could think of making was salmon patties, and frankly they just look a little shitty in a photo! So I wondered what connection I could make with Easter, and came up with carrot cake. Rabbits eat carrots right? The Easter bunny visits at Easter? Therefore, carrot cake and Easter make a perfect combination! I was going to make Easter chocolate cupcakes, but my crappy muffin tins from Walmart (no judgement, we were on a budget) went rusty, so in the interest of not having rust in my cupcakes, I opted for carrot cake instead. And when I say cake, I mean more of a carrot loaf, because I don’t have a round or square cake tin! Regardless, I’ve managed to combine mine and other cooks powers to make a deliciously easy and relatively healthy carrot cake for you!
I must admit, I’m feeling a little disappointed about Easter this year. Maybe it’s the lack of decent Cadbury chocolate Easter eggs, or the absence of hot cross buns in the supermarket (seriously America, get your shit together), or maybe it’s generally the absence of family and friends but Easter doesn’t seem to the be the same this year. I love Easter for so many reasons. For the last 3 years we’ve always had an epic seafood barbecue with all of our closest friends in Perth. Most of us were from interstate and rarely spent the holiday at home (damn flights are too expensive), so we always used to band together at someone’s house for a huge feast. The weather would be amazing, usually the sun would be shining and we’d celebrate Easter as a non-tradition ‘family’ on Good Friday. Think, huge salads, delicious fresh fish like tuna and salmon, plenty of beer and lots of Easter treats like cupcakes and hot cross buns. It kind of became a bit of a tradition over time, because most of us were unable to get back to our respective states for Easter. I guess this year things are a little different, but that’s something I guess I’ll just have to accept. Different doesn’t necessarily mean worse, I’m sure there are a tonne of new traditions that we can embrace for Easter this weekend, maybe a tradition can be a snow day on Good Friday followed by a fish meal and some champagne, I don’t know. But if any of our Perth friends are reading this – we miss you guys!
So in celebration of our ‘different’ Good Friday and Easter weekend, I’ve made a delicious and extremely lucky healthy carrot cake. I think the carrot cake god’s were looking down on me today. At about 2pm, I realised that I hadn’t had any clue about what I was going to cook for this weeks Friday meal. I researched a tonne of carrot cake recipes, but couldn’t quite find one that fitted my time, utensils and ingredients! So like a lot of other recipes, I ended up whacking together a bunch of ingredients, and praying it worked out the first time! Lucky for me (and you!), it did. This healthy carrot cake is moist, refined sugar-free (without the cream cheese frosting), spicy and mostly just delicious! Note when I say ‘healthy’ I mean relatively healthy for the actual cake itself. The cake is refined sugar free, and uses healthier alternatives such as wholemeal flour, coconut oil and maple syrup rather than refined sugar. If you add the cream cheese frosting, you get the naughty side of it, because it has powdered sugar for flavour! So whatever you feel like, you can mix and match with this recipe!
So wherever you are, and whoever you’re with, we hope you have a wonderful Easter with friends or family, or with traditions that you love. Here’s to creating new memories and traditions for the future!
Healthy (ish) Carrot Cake
- 2 cups wholemeal flour
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp all spice
- 1 tsp bicarbonate soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 cup walnuts , roughly chopped
- 3 eggs, whisked
- 2-3 carrots, grated, I used 2 large and it was ok
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
- 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 4 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 tbsp butter, at room temperature
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- 3 tbsp powdered sugar, go by taste, I like 2 tablespoons, Adam liked it sweeter.
- Preheat oven to 180C/355F.
- Grease a cake or loaf tin with melted coconut oil.
- Sift the wholemeal flour, spices, baking powder and bicarb in a large bowl.
- Grate carrots and add to flour mixture.
- Add vanilla, maple syrup, coconut oil and beaten eggs to flour/carrot mixture and stir until well combined.
- Spoon carrot cake mixture into prepared pan and place in oven to cook for 40-50 minutes. If you feel like cake is burning, cover with aluminium foil to avoid burning.
- Once cake is cooked (if stabbed with a knife, knife should come out clean), set aside to cool on a wire rack.
- Meanwhile mix the cream cheese and butter together using an electric hand beater. Add powdered sugar, lemon rind and lemon juice and combine.
- Spread frosting over cake, sprinkle with walnuts and serve.