I know the words Healthy and Cake are often mutually exclusive. But in this case, I’m going out on a limb and stating, for the record, that I think this Carrot-Cranberry snacking cake is a wonderfully healthy cake. We’re not vegan or vegetarian (although this cake falls into both categories), and we don’t completely shun the sweet treats (although we’re pretty good at limiting those to the weekends). However, every now and then, it’s nice to bake something that we can nibble on during the week that is healthy yet feels like a treat.
This cake has no refined sugar and relies mainly on the natural sweetness of the fruits and vegetables you put into it. I made this a few weeks ago, sliced it up, and tucked it away in the freezer to nibble on when cravings strike. It’s lasted beautifully and, dare I say, the flavour even improved as it sat!
With every bite, I’m sure I sound like a broken record, repeatedly telling Jonty that I still can’t believe there is nothing “unhealthy” in this cake! I first saw this in the My New Roots cookbook. If you don’t have it, I would urge you to give it a browse. There are so many great recipes in there, all plant-based, but easy to modify if you want to include other meat additions.
In the cookbook, this was intended as a loaf. Aside from turning it into a snacking-cake recipe, I also decreased the amount of maple syrup and added toasted coconut. Both were well-received 🙂
We love a nice tart treat, thus this snacking cake was an instant hit: the balance of the sweet and tart being just right, when you think the fresh cranberries are going to be too sour, you get a hit of sweetness from the roasted carrot and maple syrup. Being chock-full of vitamins A and C and numerous health-promoting antioxidants, doesn’t hurt, either!
I tell you, this is most definitely something you can eat for breakfast and not feel guilty about! Let us know how it turns out for you 🙂
- 14 g (1 tbsp) chia seeds
- 80 g (1/2 cup + 2 tbsp) milk (dairy or non-dairy)
- 55 g (1/4 cup) melted coconut oil
- 120 g (1/4 cup + 2 tbsp) pure maple syrup
- 2 tsp grated orange zest
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 180 g (1½ cups) sprouted spelt flour
- 50 g (1/2 cups) large-flake oats
- 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground, dried ginger
- ½ tsp ground cloves
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- 140 g (1½ cups, or 2 medium) grated carrots
- 80 g (3/4 cup) fresh or frozen cranberries (not dried)
- 15 g (1/4 cup) large flake coconut, toasted
- Pre-heat the oven to 360 F and grease an 8 x 8 inch pan, or line with parchment paper.
- In a small bowl, stir together the chia seeds and milk and leave to sit for 15 minutes or so, until the mixtures starts to gel.
- In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients (flour, oats, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, baking powder and sea salt). Add in the grated carrot and stir to combine.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the melted coconut oil, maple syrup, orange zest and vanilla. Pour in the chia seed and milk mixture and whisk to combine.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Add in the fresh cranberries and toasted coconut flakes and mix.
- Spoon the batter into the prepared 8 x 8 inch pan.
- Bake at 360 F for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle, comes out clean.
- Let the cake cool in the par 10 minutes, then remove and cool completely on a wire rack.
This cake freezes extremely well. Allow to cool completely, then cut into slices, wrap well and store in the freezer in a sealed ziplock bag.