Chocolate cake and carrot cake are amazing, but when combined together, they're downright awesome. The result is this decadent, gluten-free chocolate carrot cake. Dates are used as a natural sweetener in both the cake and the frosting, adding just the right amount of sweetness to offset the flavors of the chocolate. A thick layer of rich, fudgy walnut-date frosting coats the moist, chocolatey cake. This is the cake to make for birthdays and holidays alike.
Chocolate Carrot Cake With Walnut-Date Frosting [Vegan, Gluten-Free]
For the Cake:
- 1 1/2 cups quinoa flour (or all-purpose gluten-free flour)
- 1/3 cup cacao powder or unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 cup packed soft Medjool dates, pitted, soaked in water for 30 minutes, and 1/2 cup of the water reserved
- 1/4 cup avocado oil or olive oil
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup fresh orange juice, at room temperature
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 1/4 cups shredded carrots
For the Frosting:
- 1 1/4 cups pitted Medjool dates, soaked in water for 30 minutes, and 1 cup of the water reserved
- 3/4 cup raw walnut butter or raw almond butter
- 3/4 cup cacao powder
- A pinch of sea salt
To Make the Cake:
- Preheat the oven to 375°F degrees and position rack in center of oven. Line two six-inch-diameter cake pans with 2-inch-high sides with parchment paper. Coat parchment paper and pan sides lightly with oil so that the cake doesn't stick and line the bottom of the pan with a piece of parchment fit to the pan.
- Whisk flour, cacao powder, baking powder, baking soda, sea salt, ginger, and cinnamon in a large bowl to blend well.
- Place dates, reserved water, oil, orange juice, and vanilla extract into a blender, and blend until smooth. Whisk this blended mixture into the flour mixture until well blended.
- Whisk in the cider vinegar until bubbles form. Mix in carrots. Transfer cake batter to prepared pans and bake cakes until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 30 minutes.
- Cool cakes completely in pan on rack, about 1 hour. Cut around sides of pan to loosen. Turn cakes out onto platter; peel off parchment paper. Let cool completely.
To Make the Frosting:
- Meanwhile, to make the frosting, combine all ingredients In a high-speed blender, and blend until smooth. Since moisture content in dates varies, and nut butters vary in runniness, if it seems too thin, add a little more cacao powder, too thick, a little more water.
- To assemble, place one cake layer on a plate, and spread frosting 1/2-inch thick over it. Place the other cake layer over that, and then spread the remaining frosting on the top and down the sides of the cake.