Today, the mild spring sunshine was a shinin’, and ma mandarin carrot cake was a bakin’! Hahaha. But seriously, the sun! After all these months of clouds and rain, the sun is finally making a feature length appearance in our skies, so what a better way to celebrate the beginnings of spring than by making a cake to show our appreciation! The zingy and zesty lemon frosting perfectly compliments the sweet carrot and mandarin cake; subtle undertones of coconut and maple syrup make this a cake you’ll definitely be returning to for a second slice.
As soon as I’d assembled this cake, it took all my efforts to stop taking pictures of it (it’s one of those cakes you just want to set aside on the counter to admire every time you walk past, no?) But then I did stop, I cut into it, I tasted it in all it’s super-satisfying deliciousness…and then I had another sliver just to be sure I wasn’t dreaming, to even out the remaining portions…
It turns out I wasn’t dreaming. Zingy, zesty, fresh and wonderful. Simple citrus satisfaction!
2 hours (to soak the cashew nuts)
45 minutes (cake)
10-15 minutes (frosting)
One 4 1/2″ cake with 3 layers
You will need…
(For the cake)
💐 3 medium carrots
💐 3 mandarin oranges
💐 60g dried and pitted Deglet Noor dates
💐 65g raw walnuts
💐 3 level (UK) tbsp coconut oil
💐 200g rolled oats/oat flour
(For the frosting)
💐 150g raw cashew nuts
💐 Juice from 1 1/2 lemons
💐 2 tbsp maple syrup
💐 1 1/2 tsp turmeric
💐 2 tsp coconut butter (optional)
How to make:
*In a bowl, soak the cashew nuts in cold water for at least 2 hours before whipping into a frosting.
1) Preheat your oven to 150°C (fan assisted). Grate 3 medium-sized carrots onto kitchen roll, use more kitchen roll to absorb as much of the juice as possible before adding other ingredients.
2) Add the carrot, 3 peeled mandarins, dates, walnuts and coconut oil to a food processor or blender, and blend until smooth. Use a high-power blender to make the oat flour from rolled oats, and add to the mixture. Stir in the flour until you get a cookie dough-type consistency.
3) Split the mixture into 3 equal parts and use your hands or a spatula to mould them into round cake layers; use a sheet of baking paper on a flat tin, and bake them for 20 minutes on the middle shelf of your oven.
4) When a knife inserted into the centre of a cake comes out clean, remove them from the oven and set aside to cool. In the meantime, start making the lemon frosting.
(For the frosting)
1) Drain the water from the cashew nuts in a colander, empty into your food processor and blend until smooth and free of any lumps; replace back into the bowl.
2) Use a citrus juicer to extract the juice of 1 1/2 (to 2, adjust to taste) lemons; add this to the cashews along with the maple syrup, turmeric and coconut butter; mix by hand until smooth and fluffy.
3) Once the cake has cooled, start assembling the layers by adding a dollop of the frosting to each mandarin layer; use the back of a spoon to spread equally and to the edges.
4) Decorate with more dates and broken pieces of walnuts – photograph your cake to your hearts content! (Seriously, I could’ve gone on for hours…) Then, find a nice seat in the sun, and enjoy the fruits of your labour!