This is one of my two favorite gluten-free, vegan cakes. As you know, it is hard to make a cake without wheat flour, dairy butter and eggs. The trick to making this chocolate cake is carrots! A secret ingredient! Yes, carrots! Don’t tell the kids.
In gluten free, vegan baking my first real cake success was with carrot cake. I realized that the carrots actually add structure, they don’t just make it a carrot cake. So, I decided to develop a chocolate cake recipe including carrots. I also thank the cocoa for adding structure in this recipe. It really helps too. The results are pretty amazing.
I proudly serve this at any dinner party, and get rave reviews from everyone; even folks with no dietary restrictions. Follow this link to a cooking video where I am making this yummy cake with Dan Kohler, Alternative Appetites Chef for the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness. Enjoy!
Lucy’s Gluten Free, Vegan Chocolate Cake
- 2/3 cup soy milk (You may use other types of milk instead.)
- 3 Tablespoons Ener-G (brand) Egg Replacer (If you would rather use eggs, the soy milk and Ener-G egg replacer can be omitted and replaced with two to three whole eggs. For another vegan option, instead of using soy milk and Ener-G Egg Replacer, use ¼ cup ground flax meal and add directly with the oil and sugar. Mix on medium speed for about 30 seconds.)
- ½ cup cocoa
- 2/3 cup boiling water
- 2 cups of your favorite gluten free flour mix (A blend of garbanzo, potato starch and tapioca starch in roughly a 5:3:2 ratio works great. Or, use a blend that you already like. If you decide to use a flour/baking mix that is pre-prepared with baking soda, baking powder and salt, take care not to add these again into the recipe. )
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon xanthan gum
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ cups grated the lightly pureed carrots (Lightly packed.)
- ½ cup orange marmalade (A smoother, less chunky brand works better.)
- 3/4 cup canola oil (You can use a little less if you like a drier cake.)
- 1 ½ cup sugar (I use organic evaporated cane juice.)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- ¼ cup orange juice
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Prepare two 8-inch round cake pans with shortening and a dusting of flour mix. I use organic palm oil shortening to grease the pans and then shake in sifted flour blend, dumping excess flour once the pans are covered lightly.
If you are using the Ener-G egg replacer and soy milk blend suggested above, prepare that now so it will have time to “bloom” into a sticky egg-like substance. For this, I heat 2/3 cup soymilk in the microwave for about 22 seconds, then stir in the egg replacer. Use a fork to whisk it so that no clumps are remaining. Set aside to bloom!
Combine the cocoa and boiling water and mix with a fork or whisk until smooth. Allow to cool.
Sift together the dry ingredients, including the xanthan gum and salt.
Grate and puree carrots using a food processor, then briefly pulse in the marmalade.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine canola oil, sugar, vanilla, orange juice, Egg Replacer and soy milk blend (or eggs, or flax meal if you so chose), cocoa mixture. Mix for about 30 seconds.
Now, at a low mixer speed, add dry ingredients gradually in thirds. Mix only until blended and smooth; then briefly blend in carrot and marmalade mixture.
Pour batter into prepared cake pans and bake for about 35 to 40 minutes. A toothpick or metal skewer inserted in the middle of the cakes should come out clean to indicate doneness.
When baking is complete, cool cakes for at least 10 minutes in pans on a cooling rack then remove from pans to finish cooling.
Now, use your favorite icing to finish. I make a vegan version of “cream cheese” icing. (Recipe below.) It’s delicious and looks great!
Lucy’s Gluten-Free Vegan “Cream Cheese” Icing
This easy to make icing spreads beautifully and tastes great. The most important tricks for success are careful sifting of the powdered sugar, and adequate blending of ingredients with a heavy duty mixer and whisk attachment.
- 2 cups Organic Palm Oil Shortening
- One 7 oz. container of Vegan Cream Cheese
- 2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
- 1½ teaspoon Orange Extract
- 3/16 teaspoon Salt
- About 7 cups Gluten Free Powdered Sugar (Sifted thoroughly!) (This is about one 2 lb bag!)
(You may want to add more or less powdered sugar, depending on the taste and texture you prefer for your frosting. You can also adjust the flavorings and salt to suit your tastes.)
Combine the shortening, vegan cream cheese, salt, vanilla and orange flavoring together the mixer and whisk on high speed for about one minute until smooth. Then gradually add the sifted powdered sugar on slow speed until blended, running mixer at about 20 to 30 second intervals. Lastly, whisk the finished mix on high speed for added fluff.
This makes a large amount of icing so you are sure to have a beautiful cake, no matter how thick you like the icing. You may decide to reduce the recipe in the future if too much is left over.
Add a thick layer of frosting to the top of your base cake layer, stack your second layer on top and finish. If you are new to icing cakes, I highly recommend that you invest in two baker’s icing spatulas. One should be about 11 inches long and about 1.5 inches wide. The other, 8 inches long and narrower. They are inexpensive and will make the job much easier and the result more appealing! You’ll know which one to use for which parts of the job once you’ve tried them a few times!
Best wishes for your special occasion!