a balanced plate with room for dessert

Happy Anniversary! Celebrating with Dairy Free Carrot Cake

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Here’s a very, very happy three year anniversary to my taste tester, dish washer, and biggest supporter – Mike. I can’t believe it’s been three years since we’ve said “I do”. It was a perfect day. We were surrounded by family…

Photo by Alacrity Photography


Go Badgers! Photo by Alacrity Photography

and lots and lots of cake.

Photo by Alacrity Photography

Seven flavors, to be exact. This was one wedding detail that I refused to give in on. I didn’t want a monstrous cake covered in fondant. I wanted seven of my favorite types of cakes from Manderfield’s Bakery:

  1. Chocolate Symphony: “…layers of rich chocolate cake, dreamy chocolate mousse, smooth chocolate buttercream, and sweet chocolate ganache.
  2. Chocolate Truffle: Tasty chocolate cake… filled with fudge & covered with creamy chocolate icing and rich truffle.”
  3. German Chocolate: “Chocolate cake is filled with fudge and whipped cream, then covered with a layer of rich caramel, coconut and nuts.”
  4. Raspberry Snowball: “Luscious raspberry filling, white chocolate mousse, and vanilla cake are all surrounded by fluffy whipped cream.”
  5. Strawberry Mousse: “…moist vanilla cake filled with plenty of juicy strawberry filling and amazing strawberry mousse.”
  6. Carrot Cake: “Delectably moist carrot cake is surrounded by tasty cream cheese icing with toasted pecans & flaky coconut.”
  7. Turtle Torte: “…chocolate fudge cake is topped with rich caramel, toasted pecans & whipped cream.”

On our first anniversary, we had some Chocolate Truffle cake my mom had saved from our wedding night. Thank goodness for moms, right? It hadn’t even occurred to me to save some wedding cake in the middle of all the excitement. I remember my mom giving me the cake the next day, and I (stupidly) just shoved it into the freezer without wrapping it properly. Well, it tasted pretty gross a year later. Surprise. I took one, maybe two bites before quitting. Mike finished it like because he isn’t one to waste cake. Especially a chocolate cake.

On our second anniversary, I did a little better. I went to the bakery with the intention of buying the cake that we had cut: Chocolate Symphony. Unfortunately, I found out that these have to be pre-ordered (fail). So, I settled on another cake that we had at our wedding… we’re 90% sure it was the Turtle Torte. Apparently our memories are awful – we’re aging really, really quickly.

Now, it’s our third anniversary, I’m avoiding dairy, and we’re two hours from Manderfield’s. I wanted to continue with our tradition of eating wedding cakes on our anniversary, so I set off to create a dairy free carrot cake that was as good as our wedding carrot cake. Not an easy feat, I tell ya. But here’s what I came up with! Here’s to hoping that we have many, many more cakes in our future!

Photo by Alacrity Photography

Don’t be scared off by how not-so-pretty this cake is. It’s absolutely delicious. Moist with the perfect amount of spice.  I’m still working out the kinks in dairy-free baking. The cake itself turned out awesome. The frosting, a bit runny, Some day, I will perfect dairy free cream cheese frosting. Until then, kinda-runny dairy free cream cheese frosting will have to do 😉

dairy free carrot cake |

Dairy Free Carrot Cake
serves 10 or 1 happily married couple 😉

2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs
2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup crushed pineapple
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 pound carrots, peeled and shredded (about 3 1/2 – 4 cups)
dairy free cream cheese frosting, recipe below
1 cup chopped walnuts, optional

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare two 9-inch cake pans by lightly greasing and lining the bottom with parchment paper.
  2. In a small cup, stir together lemon juice and almond milk. Let sit for 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, beat together eggs, sugar, brown sugar, applesauce, oil, pineapple and vanilla until well combined. Add in dry ingredients until just combined. Add in the carrots and stir until just combined.
  5. Pour batter into prepared cake pans and bake for 30 – 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  6. Allow cakes to cool for 30 minutes in the pan on a wire rack. Carefully remove the cakes and peel off the parchment paper. Allow to cool completely on the wire rack before frosting.  Sprinkle chopped walnuts on top of frosted cake before serving.

dairy free carrot cake |

Dairy Free Cream Cheese Frosting

8 ounce container of dairy-free cream cheese, I used GO Veggie!
1/4 cup dairy free butter substitute, I used Earth Balance
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 pound powdered sugar

  1. In a large bowl, beat together cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add vanilla and beat until well combined. Slowly beat in powdered sugar, one cup at a time, until frosting is thick and fluffy.

cake and frosting adapted from Sticky, Gooey, Creamy, Chewy


Author: Jenni

Dietitian by day and Midwest food blogger by night. Lover of whiskey, running, and all things food.

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