Without fail, there is always one weeknight when I don’t feel like cooking. Even though I have a stash of quick dinners handy, I will find myself staring into the fridge and thinking that nothing sounds good. My back-up plan in this unfortunate situation is to walk down to my local co-op and grab two slices of their vegan pesto pizza. Not only is it the best pizza I’ve ever tasted, but it’s covered with veggies — totally my style.
Every time this happens, the same pizza guy is standing behind the counter, ready to serve me my usual order of two slices of vegan pesto. The awkward thing about this situation is that the pizza guy kinda looks like JT. No, really. If you have ever wanted to to experience a hippier version of Justin Timberlake serving you pizza, your dream can come true right here in Seattle. The truly awkward part though isn’t that he looks like JT. The awkward part is how he flashes the peace sign at you as you take your slices of pizza and I can’t but help imagine JT with pizza singing “Cry me A River.”
Just as I’m leaving on my way out of the co-op, usually embarrassed and laughing at myself, I am invariably tempted by the most amazing vegan carrot cupcakes made fresh in their bakery. If I have been craving something sweet, I already know upon seeing those cupcakes that I am done for. And even if I haven’t been thinking about dessert, who can resist moist, sweet carrot cake with a dense and creamy frosting?
I decided this week that it was time to recreate those amazing cupcakes at home. The result? A moist, sweet carrot cake with dense and creamy frosting… but this version relies on raw ingredients like fresh carrots, coconut, dates, and nuts for a delightful treat that you can feel good about eating.
On to the cupcakes! Start by processing your ingredients into “dough.”
Fill up your tin!
Make your frosting by using soaked cashews, dates, lemon juice, vanilla stevia, and a touch of sea salt.
- ½ cup cashews, soaked 1+ hours
- 2 pitted medjool dates
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
- 10 drops liquid vanilla stevia, or to taste (I used NuNaturals brand)
- Dash sea salt
- Water (start with 2 tablespoons and work your way up as needed. The soaking time of the cashews will determine how much water you actually need)
- Drain the cashews and place in a food processor with the dates, lemon juice, coconut flakes, stevia, and sea salt. Add 2 tablespoons of water and begin to process. The soaking time of the cashews will determine how much water you need. Add more water as necessary to achieve the desired consistency.
- Remove carrot cakes from fridge and frost!
Raw Carrot Cake Cupcakes
Recipe type: Dessert
- 1 cup raw walnuts, almonds, or macadamia nuts
- 1 cup dates, pitted
- 2 cup grated raw carrots
- ½ cup unsweetened coconut flakes
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
- ½ cup raisins
- Process the nuts and dates in a food processor (with the S blade) until it is well-incorporated. Wrap the carrots in a paper towel and squeeze out any excess liquid (you can also substitute carrot pulp from a juicer and skip this step). Add the carrots, coconut flakes, cinnamon, and ginger to the food processor. Process until the mix is a smooth "dough." Add the raisins and pulse to combine. Stuff the carrot cake dough into muffin tins and refrigerate for about an hour.
Adapted from Choosing Raw