This simple nut-free carrot cake recipe offers a little veg and a lot of nourishment in the form of a sweet treat. Guaranteed to delight even fussy little (and big) people.
The carrot is obviously a great start. A little-hidden veg is a good thing. The spelt flour is a low gluten source of fibre. The seeds boost the protein, essential fat and mineral profile of the slice. The rapadura is a mineral rich sweetener and preferable over refined sugar. The orange zest is a great immune booster.
Take a look at the variations (below the main recipe) for suggestions to alter the recipe to suit your specific dietary requirements.
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This delicious Carrot Cake Slice is easy to make and with a serve of vegetables, is a great edition to the kids lunchbox.
- 1 large carrot (about 140g) grated
- 70 gram (½ cup) currants, sultanas or raisins
- 130 gram (1 cup) whole meal spelt flour
- 70 gram (½ cup) ground seeds (I grind sunflower, sesame, linseeds and pumpkin seeds but any combo will work)
- 60 gram (¼ cup) rapadura or coconut sugar
- 1 teaspoon bicarbonate soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1-2 teaspoon spices (whatever you like eg; cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, mixed spice)
- 120 grams (½ cup) butter, melted (or macadamia oil)
- 3 free-range or organic eggs
- Zest one orange
- 1 teaspoon dulse flakes (optional)
Preheat your oven to 150℃. Line a small 20 x 30cm tin with greaseproof paper.
In a mixing bowl mix the carrot, dried fruit, and all dry ingredients.
In a small bowl or jug beat the eggs, butter or oil and zest together.
Add to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
Pour into the tin and bake for 20 - 25 minutes or until firm to touch in the middle.
Grind your seeds, 30 sec, speed 8. Set aside. If you are grinding your own gluten or grain-free flour do this now also.
Weigh and grate your chopped carrot, 5 seconds, speed 5. Set aside.
Melt the butter, 1 minute, 80 degrees, speed 4.
Add the eggs and zest and mix 30 seconds, speed 5.
Add the carrot and dried fruit and mix, 30 seconds, reverse speed 3.
Add the flour, seeds, sugar, spices, bicarb and baking soda. Mix 5-10 seconds until just combined (scraping the sides), speed 4. Don't over-mix as it will become tough.
I use a lot of ground seeds in my baking. One, because my lunchbox treats need to be nut free and secondly because seeds are very nutritious. For example, pepitas are a rich source of zinc, a mineral that often assists fussy eaters. So instead of supplementing to improve their desire and palate for food, include pepitas where you can. My kids aren't a fan of their flavour so I grind them. If you plan to use them this way, you can grind a small batch of one or a mixture of seeds to keep in the fridge in an airtight glass container ( a jar is good).
You may have noticed that your seed containing cakes or cookies turn or fleck 'green'.
I can explain...Sunflower seeds contain chlorogenic acid which reacts with the baking powder and bicarb when it's heated and turns various shades of green when cooled.
To reduce the ‘shrek-look’ you can reduce the baking powder or bicarb (by about a third) or add 2 tsp lemon juice or vinegar to the wet ingredients. But remember - even if they do turn green, they are completely safe to eat. You might even like to use this as a way to turn cakes green on purpose?
In an airtight container or it can be frozen in an airtight container or bag.
Make it nutty
If you want to add half a cup of walnut halves or pecans to this cake, feel free though obviously it wouldn't be nut-free or suitable for school lunches.
Replace the butter with macadamia oil, though now not nut free.
Replace the spelt with half rice, half buckwheat flour (or another GF flour, this is my fave).
Replace the spelt flour with 100 gram (1 cup) almond meal (now not nut-free). I also love this paleo and nut-free flour here.
Don't want to grind the seeds
Replace with almond or hazelnut meal or LSA, though now not nut free.
Replace the rapadura with 80 -100gram brown rice syrup. Replace the dried fruit with coconut.
Omit the dried fruit and zest and add 30 gram of cacao powder at stage 6 of the method.
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Do you like this recipe? Let me know, or post a question in the comments below or rate the recipe.