Kickass Carrot Cake (High-Protein, Gluten-Free, Low Sugar)

…by which I mean carrot cake that helps you kick ass. carrot cake recipe board

This recipe was formulated within the constraints of wanting to have a snack in bar form that had enough protein, fat, and fiber to keep me feeling satisfied for a good long while. It took three iterations (one of which tasted strangely like cream cheese icing, despite not containing anything of the sort) to reach a version that had the moist chewy texture that I like, the moderate sweetness I like, and the and spice-cake-y-ness I crave.

And so, behold! In your mind’s eye, because I never took a picture — I kept deciding to eat it instead of take its picture. It’s not a very photogenic cake anyway. But it does look good enough to eat. You’ll just have to make it and see.

Oh, I’ve started using a digital scale to make most of my food nowadays. I’ve included volume measurements somewhat randomly (not helpful). Cooking by weight is awesome and I’m sorry I wasted so much of my life not doing it.

Kickass Carrot Cake

Ingredients:
    Dry:

  • 90g almond flour (1 cup)
  • 150g quick-cooking oats (2 cups)
  • 110g sunflower seeds, ground fine
  • 50g pumpkin seeds, ground fine
  • 100g vanilla protein powder (I use Life’s Basics vanilla)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4g allspice, ground
  • 15g cinnamon, ground
  • 2g cloves, ground
  • 5g green cardamom, ground
    Wet:

  • .5 C butter at room temperature
  • 3 extra-large eggs
  • 200g yogurt (the best is high-fat goat’s milk)
  • 230g applesauce
  • 100g honey
  • 32g NuNaturals Stevia baking blend (4 Tbsp)
    Filling:

  • 100g shredded coconut (unsweetened)
  • 500g grated carrots (food processor!!!)
  • 25g grated ginger (food processor!!!) — reduce if you’re not ginger-crazy like I am.
  • a handful of chopped raisins
  • some walnuts, if you like ‘em
Directions
  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Grease a 9″x13″ rectangular cooking vessel. I recommend coconut oil.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine and homogenize the dry ingredients. There, that was easy.
  4. Unfortunately, the wet ingredients will require a bit more tact to avoid having the butter and the honey seize up and get all lumpy.
  5. Start by mashing the butter in a huge bowl, either the biggest bowl you’ve got or possibly actually a large cooking pot, which is what I had to use. This is going to get big. Trust me.
  6. Whisk in the eggs using an immersion blender or some elbow grease or what-have-you, followed by the yogurt. Blend well into a nice cream.
  7. Then slowly add the applesauce, stirring as you go. Finally add in the honey with the same cautious deliberation. If you end up with lumps because you did these things out of order, don’t say I didn’t warn you.
  8. Sprinkle in the Stevia baking blend stuff, one tablespoon at a time. Taste it after each tablespoon to make sure you haven’t added any weird Stevia back-notes you can’t handle. (I’ve trained my taste buds to ignore a lot of that herby licorice taste.)
  9. OK! You are ready to COMBINE. Pour the dry stuff into the wet stuff about a cup at a time, blending well after each cup.
  10. Now dump in the shredded carrot and shredded ginger. It looks like too much, doesn’t it! But it will work if you followed my weight prescriptions for each ingredient.
  11. Finally, cram that coconut and those raisins and those optional nuts into the mix as hard as you can. URGH!
  12. Spatula the mixture into the greased baking vessel, checking for good evenness.
  13. Bake for about 40 minutes at 375 degrees. Check it at 30 minutes and again at 35 to make sure it’s not burning. I THINK it was 40 minutes. Yeah.
  14. Huzzah! You now have a high-protein, sorta-low-carb carrot cake sort of thing which is full of great things and contains only tiny bits of gluten from oats. It could also be dairy free if you got coconut yogurt. And I suppose you could swap out the eggs and swap in some kind of flax seed / tapioca flour combination if you needed this to be egg free. And coconut oil would make a great replacement for butter if you wanted to go totally vegan.

    OK! Great! Now I can wipe off this whiteboard and make something else!

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