Adapted from the talented Minimalist Baker - this delicious & comforting cake is the perfect vegan & gluten free cake. It can easily be made into muffins for snacking throughout the week or decorated as pictured for a celebratory occasion.
☆ 3 flax eggs (3 Tbsp flaxseed meal + 7 ½ Tbsp water)
☆ 1/3 cup melted coconut oil* (or sub other neutral oil)
☆ 1/4 cup maple syrup
☆ 1 cup unsweetened apple or pear sauce (I boiled 4 pears and pureed in the blender)
☆ 3/4 coconut sugar (or brown sugar)
☆ 3/4 tsp sea salt
☆ 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
☆ 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
☆ 1 tsp ground cinnamon
☆ 3/4 - 1 cup plain unsweetened almond milk* (or other non-dairy unsweetened milk)
☆ 1 1 /2 cups loosely packed grated carrot
☆ 1 1/2 cups hazelnut flour
☆ 1 1/2 cups gluten-free flour blend
☆ 3/4 cup chopped hazelnuts
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (176 C). Oil your cake pans with coconut oil. Set aside.
Prepare flax eggs in a large mixing bowl. Once firmed up, add oil and maple syrup and whisk to combine. Next, add apple or pear sauce, coconut sugar, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon and whisk to combine.
Add lesser amount of almond milk (3/4 cup) and stir. Add grated carrot and stir. Then add hazelnut flour and gluten-free flour blend and stir. The batter should be thick but pourable. If too thick, add remaining almond milk 1/4 cup or 60 ml slowly). Then, fold through chopped hazelnuts.
Pour mix into cake pan(s) and bake for 40-50 minutes or until deep golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean. When you press on the top, it shouldn’t feel too spongy, so don’t be afraid of over-baking! The gluten-free blend just takes a little longer to bake. Also, note that the size of pan you use will vary baking time.
Remove from oven and let rest in the pans for 15 minutes. Then carefully run a knife along the edges and gently invert onto cooling racks to let cool completely.
Whip coconut whipping cream and top each layer once cooled.
NOTE: This cake needs to cool completely. It benefits from plenty of airflow, and the flavors develop as the cooling process goes on. If short on time, you can speed the cooling by placing the cakes in the refrigerator until cool to touch.
Store leftovers at room temperature, covered, for 2-3 days, in the refrigerator for 3-4 days, or covered well in the freezer for several weeks. However, it's best when eaten fresh.
Do note that, if frosting, the cake should be stored in the refrigerator. From the refrigerator, let set out for 10-15 minutes before serving so it warms a bit and becomes more tender. Let thaw completely from the freezer.