This cake was in celebration of 10 years of My New Roots, my moving back to Canada from Copenhagen, and was an achievement of one of my biggest culinary goals — the perfect cake!
In the past I’ve almost always used spelt flour for baking, and if any of you have tried one of my famous layer cakes, you’ll know this has worked well. I was after the same crumb that you can achieve with wholegrain spelt, but wanted the cake to be gluten-free, so I started by using an all-purpose gluten-free flour. It was a total disaster. The cake turned out gummy and inedible, and the frosting, which I tried to make with cooked quinoa (don’t ask) was just weird. The next route I tried was with almond flour, since I’ve been eating a more low-grain diet for the past few months and I wanted the cake to reflect that. Before testing it out, I assumed that almond flour would make things really dense and heavy, but lo and behold it creates a crumb that is so fluffy, and really gives this feeling of deep satisfaction. I’m obsessed. The only thing that I don’t like about almond flour is the high price, and the fact that almonds are a very water-intensive crop to grow. But, this is a cake after all, therefore a special treat, therefore not something you have all the time.
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Farewell to Copenhagen Carrot Cake
- ⅔ cup / 60g dried unsweetened pineapple, plus more for garnish if desired
- 1 ½ cups / 200g lightly packed grated carrots about 3 medium
- 1 cup / 100g walnuts plus more for garnish if desired
- 3 cups / 300g almond flour not almond meal
- ⅔ cup / 100g coconut flour
- 1 ½ tsp. baking soda
- ½ tsp. fine sea salt
- 1 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
- 2 tsp. ground ginger
- 1 tsp. ground cardamom
- ½ tsp. ground nutmeg
- 1 cup / 250ml eggs at room temperature (about 4-5 large eggs)
- ½ cup / 125ml odourless coconut oil melted
- 1 cup / 250ml pure maple syrup
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- zest of 1 orange and 1 lemon try to find organic, if possible
- Pour just-boiled water over the dried pineapple (do not soak the pineapple you’re using for garnish). Preheat the oven to 325°F/160°C. Lightly grease two 7” / 18cm spring form cake pans with coconut oil.
- Wash carrots well and grate them on a box grater. Set aside. Roughly chop the walnuts.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the almond flour, coconut flour, baking soda, salt cinnamon, ginger, cardamom and nutmeg.
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, coconut oil, maple syrup, and vanilla extract.
- Drain the soaked pineapple and squeeze with your hands to remove excess liquid. Roughly chop.
- Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and stir to combine. Zest the orange and lemon into the bowl. Add the carrots, soaked pineapple, and chopped walnuts and fold to incorporate.
- Spoon roughly half of the batter into one of the prepared cake pans, then add the remaining batter to the second one. Place in the oven in the middle rack and set the timer for 40 minutes. Cakes are ready when they are golden brown and pass the toothpick test (bake for longer if necessary, up to one hour – cover cake with aluminum foil if you need to bake for longer so that the top doesn’t burn). Remove cakes from the oven and let cool completely.
- While the cakes are baking, make the frosting. Drain and rinse the cashews. Add them to a high-speed blender along with the other ingredients (you can use a normal blender or food processor, but the frosting won’t be as smooth). If the frosting is too thick, add more coconut cream or a teeny bit of water and blend again. Chill in the fridge (frosting can be made one day ahead if you want it to be thicker).
- To frost and decorate, spread a generous amount of frosting over one half of the cake. Carefully lay the second half on top, and spread remaining frosting over the top and on the sides. Decorate with remaining dried pineapple and walnuts, if desired. Serve and enjoy! Cake will keep for 5 days, covered in the fridge.