Once a month we’re featuring a new family-friendly dish from the Hatfields for our Kids Can Cook section. The dairy-free teen cooking star is Katherine and this week she’s baking up a spring favorite, Chocolate Carrot Cake. Not only is it dairy-free, but unlike so many carrot cake recipes, this one is egg-free, nut-free, and vegan! Her mom, Sarah, has the pictures and details for us …
When I think of Easter desserts, chocolate and carrot cake come to mind. So why not bring the two of them together? This hearty chocolate carrot cake is adapted from a recipe I found in About.com’s Southern Food section way back in 2004. At that time, I was a new mother with a milk allergic toddler, and always on the lookout for healthy dairy-free recipes. They were much harder to find then!
That toddler is now the one doing the baking, and Katherine spruced up the original chocolate carrot cake recipe by substituting some ingredients and adding much more chocolate. Who am I to argue more chocolate?
This small but mighty vegan cake is full of carrots and we make it with whole wheat pastry flour (which is milled to be lighter than traditional wheat flour). It’s very good topped with just a sprinkling of powdered sugar, but Katherine decided to turn it into a special treat by whipping up her favorite dairy-free chocolate frosting. The recipe makes twice as much frosting as you’ll need for an 8-inch square cake, but it can be kept in the refrigerator for a few days until your next baking adventure. Or, if you’re expecting a big crowd for Easter, you might want to double the cake recipe.
While the food processor and boiling water are best for adults and teens to manage, the cake as a whole is very simple for most children to make. And, as with all vegan baked goods, tasting the raw batter of this chocolate carrot cake is safe to do.
Also, this chocolate carrot cake tastes even better the day after it is baked. The flavors have a chance to meld and it is even more moist. This makes it perfect for Easter or other gatherings as you can bake it ahead of time.
Shari provided the following feedback on this chocolate carrot cake recipe via Facebook: “Made that last night and it is so good !!! Great chocolate fix, like a fudgie brownie with frosting … mmmmmm nummie.” Obviously, we shared her words verbatim!
Special Diet Notes: Chocolate Carrot Cake
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, nut-free, peanut-free, optionally soy-free, vegan / plant-based, and vegetarian.
- 1½ cups finely shredded carrots (we use a food processor)
- ¾ cup sugar
- ½ cup melted coconut oil
- 1 cup boiling water
- 1½ cups whole wheat pastry flour (can sub all-purpose or white-wheat)
- ½ cup cocoa powder
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup dairy-free chocolate chips
- Preheat your oven to 350ºF and grease an 8-inch square baking dish.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the shredded carrots, sugar, and coconut oil. Pour the boiling water over the carrot mixture.
- In a second mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix well. Stir in the chocolate chips.
- Pour the batter into your prepared baking dish and level out - it is a very thick batter.
- Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
- Let cool completely before icing with the chocolate frosting.
- Add the margarine and cocoa powder to a mixing bowl and beat together with a mixer until well combined.
- Add the milk beverage and vanilla, and mix to combine.
- Gradually beat in the powdered sugar, starting on low speed (to prevent the sugar from flying!) and working up to a higher speed to lightly whip the chocolate frosting.
- Frost the cooled cake and refrigerate any leftover frosting for another use.