Easy Vegan Carrot Cake (Gluten-Free & Delicious)

Because healthify-ing food is in our blood—our mom’s been sneaking black beans into brownies and cooking with coconut oil since we can remember—and carrot cake, specifically the not-so-healthy one our grandmother makes, has been a ‘thing’ in our house since forever, we reinvented hers (with her help, of course), 5 million times healthier.

Vegan, gluten-free, and 100 percent refined sugar free. Make this for Thanksgiving and you’re guaranteed to be the favorite. 

Healthy Ingredient Highlight: Monk Fruit Extract

Monk fruit extract, Lo Han Guo, or monk fruit sweetener, as it’s commonly referred to, has been used for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine to clear heat from the body and is slowly gaining popularity in the US as a sought after sugar alternative.

Nicknamed the “longevity fruit” due to its high antioxidant levels and anti-cancer properties, this natural—it stems from a small, round fruit grown in Southeast Asia—zero calorie sweetener, is perfect for diabetics and anyone trying to maintain or lose weight. Unlike carbohydrates or typical sugars that cause major insulin spikes and crashes, monk fruit extract has ZERO effect on blood sugar. It actually gets its intense flavor—it’s 100–300 times sweeter than cane sugar—from powerful antioxidants called mogrosides (most fruits taste sweet due to naturally occurring sugars). That’s why, despite it’s super sweet taste, it doesn’t cause a sugar crash.

Although there are no long-term studies available (monk fruit extract was only approved “safe” by the FDA 6 years ago), it’s been shown to help with respiratory ailments, infections, inflammation, constipation, fatigue and clear heat from the body.

While some manufacturers mix monk fruit extract with other natural sweeteners like inulin or erythritol to reduce sweetness levels and provide a better 1-to-1 sub for traditional table sugar, we prefer monk fruit extract alone. This is the kind we use and love. Monk fruit sweetener straight from the source, no weird additives or weird aftertaste.

Miracle fruit?

We think so.

Does that make this a miracle cake?

Healthy Vegan Carrot Cake (GF & Fruit Sweetened) 

Makes: 1 cake
Ingredients:

2 cups oat flour
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup melted coconut oil
1 cup medjool dates, pitted & chopped (about 8 jumbo)
1 1/4 tbsp monk fruit sweetener
2 1/2 cups grated carrots
3 flax eggs (3 tbsp ground flax seeds + 9 tbsp water)
1 cup crushed pineapple
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
pinch himalayan salt

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 360 degrees F.
Prepare flax egg by combining 3 tbsp ground flax seeds + 9 tbsp water. Let sit for 10 minutes.
While your flax egg thickens, melt coconut oil down to a liquid consistency.
Lightly grease a 9 1/2 fluted cake pan or 12-slot standard size muffin pan* with coconut oil.
Crush walnuts and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the flax egg, melted coconut oil and monk fruit extract. Mix well.
Add all the dry ingredients except for the walnuts one cup at a time. Mix.
Fold in pineapple, dates, grated carrots and mix well.
Stir in 1/2 cup chopped walnuts and vanilla.
Bake at 360F for 50-55 minutes, or until the top is lightly browned.
Remove from oven and let cool before removing from pan.
Store extra in the refrigerator. This carrot cake is excellent (maybe even better) the next day.  

*If baking these into carrot cake muffins, you might need to adjust the cook time. We suggest checking them after 40 minutes.

Notes for the non-chef:

As with any recipe, fresh ingredients are always best. Look for crushed pineapple in it’s own juice without any additives or even better, make your own. If making your own make sure to use a ripe pineapple.

To make your own oat flour, pulse rolled oats in your high powered blender or food processor until you have a fine powder (about 2-3 minutes).

Oats are inherently gluten-free but are often processed on the same equipment as wheat. To avoid cross-contamination or if you have Celiac disease, choose certified gluten-free oats.

This is the perfect addiction to Thanksgiving dinner and the best EVER Black Friday shopping fuel. (Seriously, it tastes even better the next day.)

Make this?

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