My family is yet again celebrating another occasion. Not only are we celebrating my father’s birthday which was yesterday, but also the fact that in less than a weeks time I’m leaving for one semester to study uni abroad in the UK!!
So, what better way to celebrate than with cake, of course.
This carrot cake is naturally sweetened with agave nectar/agave syrup, making it a healthier option to the usual high-fat, high-sugar carrot cake recipes! I’ve never experimented with baking with agave till now (apart from just using a tablespoon here and there), but found this cake to be moist and delicious, quite possibly one of my favorite recipes I have made!
If you haven’t heard about agave before, it is a natural sweetener similar to honey and actually derived from a plant and contains saponins and fructans. Unlike sugar, a processed sweetener that has no nutritional value, agave is a natural sweetener and has a low-glycemic index, anti-inflammatory and immune system-boosting properties (the Aztecs used agave syrup to treat wounds because of its antibacterial properties!)
You could serve the carrot cake as is, or be naughty and spread it with fluffy cream cheese frosting! I spread this carrot cake with my favourite cream cheese frosting which is from the Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook, and is an amazing recipe – it is certainly more-ish!
Hope you’re all enjoying 2013 🙂
Agave Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe
Yields 12 slices.
- 115g unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup agave nectar
- 2 tablespoons of Chia Seeds
- 2 cups finely grated carrots
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- 1/2 cup apple juice
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract (for my corn free recipe – see here)
- 2 cups gluten free flour (for my basic gluten free mix, see here)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 & 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (or ground nutmeg if not available)
- Preheat oven to 175C (or 350F) and grease and line a 22cm tin.
- Create a ‘Chia Egg’ by mixing 2 tablespoons of chia seeds with 6 tablespoons water, set aside for 15minutes to thicken.
- Cream the butter and agave in a large bowl until light and fluffy.
- Add the ‘Chia Egg’ and beat well.
- While mixture is beating, in a second bowl combine carrots, raisins, nuts, apple juice and vanilla. Set aside.
- In a third bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices and salt.
- Add half the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix until just combined.
- Add half the carrot mixture to the butter mixture and mix until just combined. Repeat steps 7 & 8 with the remaining mixture.
- Transfer batter to a prepared baking pan and bake for 40 minutes or until golden.
- Cool in the Pan for 10 minutes. Transfer to a cake plate, and prepare icing below to top with 🙂
Best Cream Cheese Frosting
From Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook
- 300g Icing sugar
- 125g Cream Cheese, cold
- 50g Unsalted Butter, room temp
- Beat the icing sugar and butter together with an electric mixer until well mixed.
- Add the cream cheese in one go and beat until it is completely incorporated.
- Turn the mixer up to medium high. Continue beating until the frosting is light and fluffy, at least 5 minutes. Do not overbeat, as it can quickly become runny.
- Spread on top and sides of cake!