Spring Vegan Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
One of my all time favorite cakes! This moist spiced vegan carrot cake is a perfect springtime treat and very simple to make. The cream cheese frosting whips up easily in a food processor. Two great easy recipes to have in your arsenal! This recipe make one 8" layer or two 6" layers of cake. Double the recipe for a 2-layer 8" or 9" cake.
Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and clove in a medium sized mixing bowl.
Whisk together milk, oil, maple syrup, vinegar, vanilla and orange zest in a large measuring cup or bowl. Fold shredded carrots into wet mixture with rubber spatula.
Add wet mixture to dry mixture and stir with a rubber spatula until just combined, being careful not to over-mix the batter.
Divide batter equally into prepared pans and spread with rubber spatula.
Bake at 350˚F for 35-40 minutes until golden brown, cakes come away from the sides of pan and a toothpick inserted into the center of cakes comes out clean.
Remove cake from oven and cool in pan for 10 minutes.
Run a butter knife along the sides of pan to loosen cake if needed. Then invert cakes onto a cooling rack and peel away the parchment paper. Cool to room temperature before frosting.
Add softened butter and cream cheese or yogurt to bowl of a food processor and pulse until smooth, about 30 seconds.
Add sifted powdered sugar, salt, vanilla extract and lemon zest and process until smooth and thick, stopping to scrap sides as needed, about 30 seconds - 1 minute.
If frosting is too loose (which may be the case when using yogurt), sift in an additional 1/4 cup of powdered sugar and pulse to combine. Repeat by sifting in more powdered sugar by the tablespoonful if needed until frosting is thick and spreadable.
Optionally transfer about 1/2 cup of frosting to a separate bowl and stir in natural orange coloring until you've reached your desired shade. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
Transfer remaining frosting to a bowl, cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
Put a small dollop of frosting onto center of a cake plate and position first layer of cake.
Spread about 1 cup of frosting on top of the bottom layer of cake with an offset spatula then place second layer on top.
Spread the remaining frosting onto top and sides of cake.
Spread colored frosting onto sides and top in your desired design.