Carrot cake is one of my all-time favorites.
I’m never not in the mood for this moist, richly spiced version. It has everything you love about traditional carrot cake with a little bit of extra pizzaz. The dates are the main sweetener and add a deep earthiness while the cardamom brings an unexpected kick of interest. The whole cake is refined-sugar free so it’s a lot more wholesome than most recipes out there. It even boasts a maple sweetened cream cheese frosting that is not cloyingly sweet but subtle and refined. Overall the cake is a showstopper and sure to please any true carrot cake lover.
Recipe yields an 8″ double layer cake
12 Ounces Dates
3 Cups AP Flour
3 Teaspoons Baking Powder
2 1/4 Teaspoons Baking Soda
2 1/4 Teaspoons Cinnamon
1 1/2 Teaspoons Ground Ginger
1 Pinch Ground Clove
1 1/2 Teaspoons Ground Nutmeg
2 Teaspoons Ground Cardamom
1 1/2 Teaspoons Salt
1 Cup Coconut Oil
1/2 Cup Coconut Sugar
1 1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla
1 Large Orange (zest and juice equal to 1/3 Cup)
5 Cups Grated Carrot
Pit the dates and add them to the flour in your food processor with the blade attachment. Pulse the mixture until the dates are as fine as sand. Add the rest of the dry ingredients and pulse to combine.
In a separate bowl beat the coconut oil and coconut sugar. Add the eggs slowly and beat thoroughly between each addition. Add the vanilla and the zest and juice of the orange. Beat again to combine. Add the dry mixture in two parts being careful not to over mix. When all the dry mix has been incorporated, gently stir in the grated carrot.
Pour mixture into two greased 8-inch cake pans. Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow the cakes to cool for 15 minutes in the pan before removing them to cooling racks.
When they are completely cool you can frost them.
Maple Cream Cheese Frosting
1 # Cream Cheese
1 Cup Butter
1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla
1 Cup Maple Sugar (powdered)
Let the cream cheese and butter come to room temperature.
With mixers or by hand beat the cream cheese and butter on medium-high speed. When the frosting is smooth and fluffy start adding the vanilla and maple sugar.
Pro Tip: To make maple powdered sugar use a spice grinder or coffee grinder.
To frost the cake place one of the cakes on a platter and scoop about 1/4 of the frosting on top. Using an offset spatula spread it over the top in an even layer. Place the second cake on top of the first one. Using the spatula add frosting to the top and sides of the entire cake. Don’t worry if it’s not perfectly smooth it looks really nice and rustic with some variations.