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Monday, May 9, 2016

Carrot Cake with Pineapple for One

I’m really not good at cake frosting. Let’s set that aside for a moment. This carrot cake is moist, unctuous, carroty, pineapply, and scrumptious to the last bite! Why don’t you make one, frost it nicely, and send me an image? It would be nice to see it done properly. It tastes the same, though, even when it’s not pretty.
For the Cake:
1 TBLSP ground flax seed meal
1 ½ TBLSP water
½ cup granulated sugar
5 ½ TBLSP vegetable oil
Slosh of vanilla extract
10 TBLSP all-purpose flour, divided
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon baking soda
Pinch kosher salt
¼ cup raisins
¼ cup chopped walnuts
1 cup carrots, grated and packed loosely
2 TBLSP diced fresh pineapple
For the Frosting:
3 ounces vegan cream cheese at room temperature
4 TBLSP unsalted vegan butter at room temperature
Slosh vanilla extract
1 cup confectioner’s sugar, sifted
For Decoration:
2 TBLSP diced fresh pineapple

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease 2 5-inch cake pans. (I use single-serving casserole pans with great success.) Line them with parchment paper and then grease and flour the pans again.
Make the Cake:
  1. In a small bowl, combine the flax and water and set it aside to form a glop that you will use as an egg substitute.
  2. In another small bowl, beat the sugar and oil together until it’s homogenous, and then add the flax glop. Add the vanilla too, and mix it all well.
  3. In another small bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt.
  4. Mix the dry ingredients into the wet. (You’ll re-use the dry bowl in the next step.)
  5. In a small bowl, combine the raisins and walnuts. Put a pinch of flour in there and toss them together. (This keeps the raisins and walnuts suspended nicely in the batter, rather than letting them sink to the bottom.) Add the carrots and pineapple.
  6. Add the carrot mixture to the batter and mix well. It will be hard to get the batter integrated with all those delicious carrots, but just keep after it.
  7. Divide the batter equally between the two pans.
  8. Bake for 50-55minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. It will be quite dark.
  9. Allow the cakes to cool completely in the pans on a wire rack. If it’s a warm day, you might consider sticking the little darlings in the refrigerator for a little bit.

Make the Frosting:
  1. In a small bowl, combine the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla. Add in the sugar and mix until the whole thing is pretty smooth.
  2. Let it rest in the refrigerator for 20 minutes to half an hour. It will spread better when it’s a little bit cold.

Festoon the Cake:
  1. Place one layer of cake on a serving dish. I like to elevate it on top of a mug to make it easier to frost, but you do what works best for you.
  2. With a knife or offset spatula, smear the top of that first layer with frosting. You don’t have to go quite to the edges and it will squish out a bit when you put on the second layer.
  3. Place the second layer neatly on top of the frosted first one. Spread the frosting on the top and sides of the cake. Decorate with diced pineapple.

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