The Best (Non-)Cream Cheese

I eat carrot cake for the cream cheese.

Who’s with me?

It’s the best part of the cake. Since cutting out the majority of dairy from my diet, I’ve gone through phases. Sometimes after nights out, pizza seemed like a good idea. Or milkshakes. And so a time came where I had to start being more strict and actually take care of my body, which really does mean no pizza and no milkshakes, and no carrot cake frosting.

Recently I was out and we left eating till quite late, around 9ish, so we popped into Pret a Manger to see what they had left. We ended up sharing a slice of the carrot cake, and I ate it thinking I probably shouldn’t but dat cream cheese. Just too good.

But it got me thinking that there has to be a way to have the frosting without the lactose.

Then this happened:

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Bites of carrot cake with cashew cream cheese frosting.

For the cake…

350g/3 cups of grated carrot
3 large eggs
half a cup maple syrup
half a cup coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
250g almond flour
1 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp cinnamon
quarter tsp nutmeg
1 tsp baking powder
half a cup almonds/walnuts/any nut you like

For the ‘cream cheese’…

1 tsp organic baobab powder
1 cup cashew nuts
quarter cup almond milk
quarter cup maple syrup
2 tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp lemon juice

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMake sure you soak the cashews, ideally for a few hours.

 

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Preheat your oven to 180c and line two round cake tins with greaseproof paper and grease edges lightly with coconut oil.

Combine the wet ingredients in your food blender – the eggs, maple syrup, vanilla extract and melted coconut oil.

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Add the dry ingredients – the almond flour, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg – and combine.

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Add the grated carrots and pulse the mixture until it is combined well. Then add the nuts and do the same until they are roughly chopped up in the mix.

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Pour the mix into the tins you prepared earlier and bake! 20 minutes in the oven or until a knife comes out clean.

While your cakes cool, add all the ingredients for the frosting into the blender and blend until very smooth. I blended for about 2 minutes straight and then pulsed.

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Baobab is pretty sweet, yet still tangy, so it adds a little variation to a mixture of cashews that could otherwise be quite bland. If you’re looking for more flavour, add a few drops of lemon juice, but not too much as otherwise the mixture will become very runny, and more like icing rather than frosting.

As it’s quite sweet, baobab is quite good for substituting some sugar in this recipe, or other recipes where you’re cutting down. Super high in vitamin C and calcium, it’s also pretty effective for a dairy free diet!

Once the cake is cool, spread the cream cheese over the sponge and sprinkly the extra nuts over the top. I placed the cake in the fridge to set the topping (and cold cake tastes goood when it’s hot).

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You can keep the cakes whole, or even sandwich them together to make a proper layer cake. I like to cut them up like brownies because I feel like they last longer.

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Et voila!

The end result – approved by my dad who doesn’t believe in dairy free.

I didn’t think I’d ever hear myself saying the dreaded words of ‘healthy cake’, but this might just be that.

 

6 thoughts on “The Best (Non-)Cream Cheese

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