Friday, August 16, 2013

Carrot Cake

When I moved to Austin about 6 years ago it all happened pretty fast. My best friend and I were going through similar problems and we were looking for change. We both had a strong desire to travel and see other places...mostly because we had not traveled much outside of Texas. Needless to say, we felt safe within our homes and city with family and friends. But after one quick weekend trip to Austin, we signed a lease with the first apartment complex we visited without hesitation. I'm so happy we did. It was one of the best decisions of my life.


Tackling a new city was much easier doing it together than not but we were both completely out of our comfort zones so there were some hard times. I'd have to say that my third year in Austin was the most depressed I've ever been in my life. But looking back on those first few years and seeing how far I've come make those struggles so worth it.

Sure, finding comfort in food can be dangerous but I think making a bowl of your mom's homemade mac & cheese or your aunt's ranger cookies after a hard day away from family can be exactly what you need. Enjoying that little piece of comfort away from home can be therapeutic after a day of stepping out of your familiar routine.

This week has been nothing but late nights full of planning for my future and figuring out the necessary steps I need to take to reach my goals. There's gonna be a lot of new things to tackle which means a lot of uncomfortable moments. So please don't judge as I take comfort in this carrot cake...

Work hard, step out of your comfort zone, be grateful for the struggles.

This was my first time making a gluten-free and vegan carrot cake. It's moist, dense, rich and delicious!!! I was thrilled with the results! Not only was the cake stand licked clean, my boyfriend actually told me he really liked the icing before I let him know it was vegan cream cheese (trust me, this is a big deal!). I actually didn't tell one person it was gluten-free or vegan & no one seemed to notice. Success for me!

Carrot Cake

2 1/4 cup gluten-free AP flour 
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp ground cinnamon
3 cups shredded carrots (about 2 large carrots)
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup ground chia seeds
3/4 cup warm water
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/2 tbsp vinegar (I used apple cider)
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup walnut pieces

 Preheat oven to 350. Prepare 2- 8" cake pans. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, & cinnamon together in a medium bowl, set aside. In a small bowl, combine chia seed grounds and warm water, set aside for at least 5 minutes. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine combine coconut milk and vinegar, let sit for 5 minutes. Add chia seed gel, oil, applesauce, sugar and vanilla. Mix well. Add dry mixture and mix until well combined. Fold in carrots and walnuts.Divide among cake pans and bake for 45-1 hour. minutes. Let cool in pan for about 10-15 minutes, then cool on a baking rack.

*I first checked on my cake around 40 minutes and then continued baking for about another 10 minutes.

Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting

8 oz Vegan Cream Cheese (I used follow your heart)
1 cup vegetable shortening
1/4 cup vegan margarine
2 cup sifted confectioners sugar
1 tsp vanilla

In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together cream cheese, shortening, & margarine. Mix in vanilla. Gradually mix in sugar until well combined.


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