It’s only been about 1 and a half weeks since I moved into my new apartment, but for some reason, it feels like over a month. So much has been going on lately that the days have all just blurred together… While I am pretty much settled into my new place, I also feel a strange sense of home-sickness. I miss the familiarity of my old Gunja neighborhood, and even the comforts of living at home in Cheonan! I think it’s the crisp fall weather that’s making me all sentimental and nostalgic for simpler days…. So last week, I revisited my old stomping grounds and hung out at Cafe Harunohee, and then yesterday, I was feeling the need to be around family so I managed to make a short spontaneous trip to Cheonan! The countryside was a-callin’.
Anyway, while I was there, my mom wanted to try the carrot-pineapple cake I made for the art reception this past weekend, so we did a little baking together. And now here’s the recipe for you to try it yourself! The original version comes from this famous “Incredible Vegan Carrot Cake” recipe, but I made a few modifications based on the reviews. I subbed in some whole wheat flour, reduced the oil and sugar, and added some applesauce. The original recipe also includes all kinds of add-ins like shredded coconut, nuts, and raisins, but I kept the cake as ‘basic’ as possible to let the texture and flavor of the carrot and pineapple chunks stand out more. I’m sure the addition of walnuts and raisins would’ve turned this cake into a disco dance party in your mouth, but instead of that, I just topped the cake with some silky smooth tofu cream and garnished it with a few almonds, pumpkin seeds, and raisins.
Carrot-Pineapple Cake (adapted from here)
Makes 1 9″ x9″ cake
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 Tbs ground flax seed
1/4 cup water
1 cup organic cane sugar
1/4 cup canola oil
2 Tbs applesauce (I used homemade)
1 cup carrots, finely grated
1/4 cup canned pineapple, crushed and drained
1/2 tsp vanilla
1. Preheat oven to 350F or 180C. Line cake pan with parchment paper or lightly oil and flour the inside. In a medium bowl, mix flours, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, baking powder, and salt.
2. Use a whisk or blender to whip the flax seed and water until it gets thick and creamy (I use a hand-held immersion blender), and then add the sugar, canola, applesauce, grated carrots, crushed pineapple, and vanilla extract. Mix well.
3. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. At this point, feel free to throw in any add-ins like raisins, nuts, or coconut shreds. Pour batter into cake pan and smooth the surface with a spatula.
4. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean (in my convection oven it took about 30 minutes, but in my mom’s gas oven, it took about 40.)
Tofu cream topping
1/4 block of medium-firm tofu, rinsed and drained
1 Tbs agave syrup
1/2 tsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp marmalade jam (or lemon juice)
For the tofu cream, rinse and drain the tofu as much as you can, then simply blend all ingredients together until very smooth. Taste and add more sweetener if needed. Spoon onto the cake and garnish right before serving. Enjoy!