Carrot Cake Loaf with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting By Finn Ni Fhaolain

Cake for breakfast? That’s right! I absolutely LOVE all the banana bread for a Saturday morning treat but have decided to mix it up a little and create a healthier, plant-based spin on carrot cake that is healthy enough to eat for breakfast and sweet enough to enjoy as a treat with a good coffee. It’s a moist flavourful loaf that keeps well for days, but also freezes well, slice it up and enjoy all week!

Makes a 9inch loaf tin

Ingredients

Dry

1 1/2 cups GF self raising flour (I use Dove’s organic or the Lidl or Aldi own brand mixes)

1 cup ground almonds – use a milled seed mix if you can’t find ground almonds

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1tsp cinnamon 

1/2 tsp allspice 

1/4 tsp of freshly ground nutmeg

1/4 tsp of cardamom

Wet

2/3 cup of oil e.g. coconut oil (melted) or sunflower oil

3 tbsp chia seeds

9 tbsp water or plant-based milk (I use almond)

1 ripe banana

1/2 cup of maple syrup 

*keep 1/2-1 cup of your favourite plant-based milk (I use almond) to the side in case the batter is too dry

Final Bits

1 cup grated carrot (can use parsnips either for a different flavour)

1 cup pecan or walnut halves

Icing (can either be used as a spread on each slice or double the recipe to thickly ice the top of the cake)

1 tub of Violife vegan cream cheese 

zest of 1/2 an orange (or a whole tangerine)

2-3 tbsp of icing sugar (depending on personal preference)

2 tbsp fresh orange juice

If you can’t find plant-based cream cheese in your supermarket try a coconut milk based icing instead

Preheat the oven to 180C (less if you’re using a fan assisted oven. Line a loaf tin with bakery paper

Blend all wet ingredients until smooth, set to one side in a large mixing bowl. The outer layer on the chia seeds will turn to gel on contact with water and that gives us our “eggs” for this recipe. 

In another bowl mix all dry ingredients together. 

Add dry ingredients to wet. Gluten free flour blends have different absorbances. If it feels a little dry add 1/2 to one cup of your chosen plant-based milk. 

 The dough should be a very thick batter.

Add grated carrot and nuts to the batter and stir to combine, pour into the loaf tin. 

The cake can take up to 50 minutes depending on your oven. Use a clean toothpick/skewer to check the cake. If it comes back clean then the cake is ready. If it still has batter on it, the cake needs a little long. 

When ready (golden brown), remove and allow to cool for 10 mins in the tin, then transfer to a cooling rack. Allow the cake to cool completely before serving.

To make the frosting, mix the orange juice and zest through the cream and slowly whip in the sugar to your desired sweetness. Then refrigerate.

To Serve

I LOVE this frosting, so instead of having it on top of the loaf in the traditional way, I like to use it as a spread and then top with some fresh fruit to decorate! 

This sweet slice is healthy enough to have for breakfast (just go easy on the frosting) or is the perfect treat to look forward to with a strong coffee for your work break! You can also top with your favourite nut butter and chia jam for an even healthier option.

Finn is a marine scientist, speaker, cook and best selling author. She holds a BSc in Earth and Ocean Science, an MSc in Marine Biology and a Certificate in Culinary Arts. In 2017 she released her bestselling cookbook with Gill Books and received a McKenna Award for Milish the zero waste gluten-free business that she created in 2019.


On her website www.saltwaterstories.me and Instagram page @salwaterstories.me she writes about sustainable living, going plastic-free and low impact travel.

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