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18 Carat Gold Carrot Cake

Worth its weight in gold, this luscious special occasion carrot cake recipe is so richly flavored you'll wish every day was a holiday. Loaded with carrots, nuts and spices, this vegan cake is delicious and won't compromise your health

Ingredients
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 1/4 cups spring or filtered water
1 1/4 cups dates, coarsely chopped
1 cup raisins
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
scant pinch ground cloves
scant pinch ground nutmeg
1/2 cup carrot, shredded
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/3 cup frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
Pan-toasted walnut pieces, for garnish

Cream Cheese frosting:
1/2 cup vegetarian butter spread (like Earth Balance), softened
1/4 cup soy milk, rice milk, or other non-dairy milk of choice
3 cups granulated maple syrup, fine granules
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla


Directions 
Preheat oven to 375 degrees and lightly oil a 9-inch spring form pan. In a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, and set aside. In a small saucepan, combine the water, dates, raisins, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 5 minutes.

In a large bowl, place the shredded carrots, pour the hot liquid mixture over the top, and allow to cool completely. Add the walnuts and orange juice concentrate to the carrot mixture and blend well. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir well to combine. Pour the batter into the prepared spring form pan and bake at for 45 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

While the cake bakes, make the frosting. Use a hand-held or stand-up mixer. Place butter spread, soymilk, half the maple granules and the vanilla in a bowl and whip until smooth. Add balance of maple granules and whip until fluffy. 

Allow cake to cool for 10 minutes before releasing pan and carefully transferring cake to a plate. Cool completely and frost.

Makes one 9-inch cake, 6-8 servings.


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