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Vegan carrot cake is a variation on the classic dessert made with substituted ingredients to meet the restrictions of a vegan diet. Non-dairy products are considered a staple in vegan cooking, as are products that are not derived from any type of animal source. Just as with most cake recipes, non-vegan carrot cake often calls for binding ingredients,such as eggs, that need an effective vegan substitute. Another part of this recipe that needs some vegan-friendly modification is the cream cheese frosting that gives many versions of carrot cake its sweetness. Many vegan cooks use substitute flavoring ingredients such as spices, seasonings, and even apple sauce.
Newcomers to a vegan diet often experiment with several egg substitutes in baking prior to finding one that they prefer. Some like to use egg replacement mixtures that are typically soy-based and can be found in many specialty grocery stores. Others prefer to substitute canola or vegetable oil in their recipes for vegan carrot cake. In addition to the oil, soy milk can also help with achieving the right cake batter thickness and texture. Dairy-free almond milk can also be a favorite ingredient in place of standard soy milk.
Many recipes for vegan foods allow for creativity when it comes to flavor, and vegan carrot cake is no exception. Basic recipes usually call for brown sugar, honey, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Pumpkin spice is sometimes an optional ingredient as well. Vegan bakers who like some more crunch and texture to their carrot cake often add ground walnuts, crushed almonds, shredded coconut, and even bits of pineapple.
All-purpose flour is a common dry ingredient for vegan carrot cake since it is commonly considered vegan-friendly flour. An alternative is to mix some crushed flax seed with whole wheat flour for a carrot cake with more nutrient density. Some experienced vegan bakers believe that baking soda helps give the cake its needed fluffiness, while others claim that baking powder is more effective. One of the most frequent mistakes is to add more than the recommended amount of baking powder so that its taste appears in the cake itself.
Making the cream cheese frosting for vegan carrot cake is usually considered a simpler step because bakers can substitute soy-based cream cheese for the regular variety. Many recipes recommend slicing this cream cheese into the required measured amounts while it is still cold. This method can help the frosting reach its needed thickness.
I've done some vegan baking for friends, but honestly, it's easier to bake low-carb and sugar free than it is vegan! There are alternatives that work well for sugar free baked goods that aren't vegan.
I think Grivusangel might be on to something with carrot cake cupcakes. You're going to have a really dense batter, and cupcakes would probably bake more evenly and would be lighter. You'd have to beat the devil out of the batter, though, to get some air into it to lighten it. The idea is downright intimidating!
Gosh, I wouldn't even know where to start a vegan carrot cake. It already uses nearly 2 cups of oil, and is there an acceptable vegan substitute for four whole eggs? Can you use that much applesauce?
Carrot cake tends to be a heavy batter anyway, and I can't imagine trying it without eggs. I think cupcakes might work a little better, since they're smaller. I wouldn't even attempt a vegan carrot cake. There are just too many variables to consider that would affect the final version, and I suspect would end up making it into a 10-pound doorstop.
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