Coconut-Pecan Carrot Cake With Cinnamon Glaze

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Coconut pecan carrot cake

Add flavor and texture to traditional carrot cake with coconut and pecans. The cinnamon glaze is perfect for those looking for a healthier alternative to traditional icing.

My fiancé says you can’t have carrot cake without cream cheese frosting, and I’m pretty sure there are a number of people who would agree with him. However, since going dairy-free, I’ve stayed away from imitation dairy products because not only are they made with some seriously weird ingredients, they’re always such a disappointment (read: they taste nothing like the real thing). And I wasn’t about to smother this delicious cake in frankencheese disappointment.

Because cream cheese isn’t an option for those of us on the non-dairy wagon, I stuck with the basics: a simple and delicious cinnamon-infused glaze. It compliments the cake so perfectly that I can’t imagine how anyone would even miss the traditional cream cheese topping. But if you must top it with the cheese-y stuff, here’s a recipe that should do the trick. If you’re not a fan of frosting or glaze, this carrot cake defends itself quite well and would be fantastic dusted with a bit of cinnamon and served as is.

Coconut pecan carrot cakeCoconut pecan carrot cakeCoconut pecan carrot cakeThis cake would also turn out beautifully in a loaf pan or a round 8-inch or 9-inch cake pan, so if you’d prefer that route, go right ahead. Baking times will vary, but a loaf cake will need to bake closer to 50 minutes and the round cake will be closer to 30. If you’d prefer to use coconut sugar in place of the cane sugar, I had great success using 3/4 of a heaping cup of the blonde variety. If you can’t find full-fat coconut milk, check the Asian section of your grocery store before calling it quits. If you still can’t locate it, substitute your favorite non-dairy milk.

Coconut-Pecan Carrot Cake With Cinnamon Glaze
Makes 8 servings

Ingredients

Carrot Cake

  • 2 cups whole spelt flour
  • 3/4 cup cane sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1/3 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1 cup full-fat coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups grated carrots
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped pecans

Cinnamon Glaze

  • 1 cup powdered cane sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons non-dairy milk
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Lightly oil a 6-cup bundt pan and set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.
  3. Create a well in the center of the wet ingredients and pour in the oil, coconut milk, applesauce and vanilla extract. Whisk just until combined. Add the carrots, shredded coconut and pecans, folding them in with a spatula until evenly distributed (do not over-mix, or your cake will be extremely dense).
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, and bake for 38 to 42 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. When finished baking, transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool in pan for 15 minutes. Then invert onto a wire rack and let cool to room temperature.
  5. While the cake is cooling, prepare the glaze by whisking together the powdered sugar and cinnamon. Mix in the milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, until desired consistency is reached. I used just over 2 tablespoons.
  6. Pour glaze over the cooled cake, and sprinkle with flaked coconut (or pecans), if desired. Iced cake is best eaten the day of but will keep for up to two days loosely covered with plastic at room temperature.

Photo Credit: Ashlae Warner

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