Carrot, Walnut and Date Spice Cake


I created this recipe to give people an alternative to using butter and sugar in baking.
Using olive oil as the fat source, and fresh dates and the maple syrup as the sweetener, produces a lovely moist and nutritious carrot cake. The mascarpone icing is optional, unless of course it is a celebration cake and then it is a must.

serves 8-10

what you need
2 cups (320g) wholemeal plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
2 tsp ground allspice
pinch of sea salt
4 eggs, lightly beaten
¾  cup (180ml) maple syrup
¾ cup (180ml) extra virgin olive oil
2 cups (230g) grated carrot
1 cup (100g) walnuts, chopped
1 cup (220g) fresh dates, pitted & roughly chopped

mascarpone cheese Icing:
2 tbsp shredded coconut
250g mascarpone
1 tsp lemon juice
2 tbsp maple syrup

what you do
1. Preheat the oven to 180 deg C (160 deg C fan forced) and lightly grease a 20cm (base measurement) round cake tin and line the base with non-stick baking paper.
2. Combine the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl, and make a well in the centre. Add the eggs, maple syrup and oil. Fold together until thoroughly combined.
3. Add the carrot, walnuts and dates, and gently mix through. Pour into the prepared tin, and bake for one hour; until springy to touch in the centre. Stand in tin for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool.
4. Toast the coconut in a dry frying pan over a medium heat for about 45 seconds, stirring often, until golden. To make the icing, mix mascarpone, lemon juice and maple syrup gently until combined. Spread over the cooled cake. Sprinkle toasted coconut over the cake.

Note: Keep this cake in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days but best eaten at room temperature
GF option: Substitute rice flour for wholemeal plain flour. Use gluten-free baking powder.

mascarpone is a type of soft Italian cheese made from cream, coagulated with citric acid or acetic acid. It is milky white in colour and smooth to spread. It is sometimes used instead of butter or parmesan cheese to thicken and enrich risotto. It is used in a variety of dessert dishes, most famously in the popular tiramisu.

© Recipe - Naked Food - the way food was meant to be by Jane Grover