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Carrot Cake with Watercress & Cream Cheese Frosting

Carrot Cake with Watercress & Cream Cheese Frosting (vegan and gluten free). The classic smooth cream cheese filling of carrot cake is given a kick with the addition of watercress. It complements the sweetness of the carrot cake and nutty texture of the nuts. It could be one for the Mad Hatter but don’t tell your mother that!

Carrot Cake with Watercress & Cream Cheese Frosting (vegan and gluten free)

Carrot Cake with Watercress & Cream Cheese Frosting (vegan and gluten free):

Serves 8

Prep time: 30 minutes

Cooking time: 40 minutes

For The Cake:

3 tsp baking soda

3 tbsp white vinegar

80ml rapeseed oil plus a little extra to grease cake tins

60ml golden syrup

235g apple sauce (preferably unsweetened)

200ml non-dairy milk (we used soy milk)

100g dark brown soft sugar

50g caster sugar

160g grated carrot

Pinch of salt

1.5 tsp baking soda

1.5 tsp baking powder

1.5 tsp ground cinnamon

170g ground almonds

150g gluten free flour (we used Dove’s)

30g chopped walnuts

30g raisins

For The Icing:

100g vegan butter (we used Naturli, a hard block which is better for this than a spreadable tub)

1 tub vegan cream cheese

500g icing sugar, sieved

30g watercress, finely chopped

To Decorate (optional):

Edible flowers such as violas and primulas

Chopped nuts

Method:

1.) Pre-heat the oven to 180°C.  Prepare three 15cm loose based cake tins by brushing the insides with rapeseed oil and placing a circle of greaseproof paper in the bottom of each.

2.) In a large bowl, whisk together the baking soda and vinegar, then add in the rapeseed oil, apple sauce, oat milk, sugars and golden syrup.  Mix together.  Add in the grated carrot and stir thoroughly.

3.) In a separate bowl sieve together the salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, ground almonds and gluten free flour.  Fold the dry ingredients into the wet, ensuring they are fully incorporated, then add in the chopped walnuts and raisins and stir through.

4.) Divide the mix equally between the three cake tins.  Bake for 40 minutes before inserting a skewer or knife into the centre of each cake.  If the skewer comes out clean then the cakes are baked, otherwise return to the oven and check again after five more minutes.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes before removing carefully from cake tins.  Once removed allow the cakes to cool completely before icing.

Make The Icing:

5.) To make the icing, take the cream cheese out of the fridge one hour before using so that it is slightly softer and ensure your vegan butter is soft too.  Use an electric stand mixer with the paddle attachment to beat the butter until smooth.  Then add in the cream cheese and beat on a low speed until fully combined.  You may need to stop the machine and scrape down the sides before beating again to ensure everything is fully mixed.  Be careful not to beat on too high a speed as the mixture may split.  Add in the icing sugar then beat on a medium speed until combined fully before stirring through the chopped watercress.

6.) Once your cakes are cooled completely, use the icing to cover each layer before stacking, finishing with a thick layer of icing on top.  Add fresh edible flowers and/or chopped nuts to decorate

Carrot Cake with Watercress & Cream Cheese Frosting (vegan and gluten free)
Carrot Cake with Watercress & Cream Cheese Frosting (vegan and gluten free)

What do you think about this Carrot Cake with Watercress & Cream Cheese Frosting (vegan and gluten free)?

Do you fancy trying it?

This recipe was created by Keri Astill-Frew who splits her time between being a development chef for The Watercress Company and building her own vegetarian and vegan catering business, V Dorset.

Keri has worked in top restaurants across the UK including a Michelin star hotel in Lancashire and a variety of fine dining restaurants and gastro-pubs in Dorset and Sussex. 

She is passionate about watercress, both as an ingredient and for its fantastic health benefits and is devoted to developing new and delicious ways for you to incorporate more of it into your diet.   For more information and many more recipes please visit:

The Watercress Company or Watercress.

Recipe Photography credits Lara Jane Thorpe.

Recipe Card:

Carrot Cake with Watercress & Cream Cheese Frosting (vegan and gluten free)

Watercress
The classic smooth cream cheese filling of carrot cake is given a kick with the addition of watercress.
It complements the sweetness of the carrot cake and nutty texture of the nuts. It could be one for the Mad Hatter but don’t tell your mother that!
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 1 hr 10 mins
Course Dessert
Servings 8

Ingredients
  

  • 3 tsp baking soda
  • 3 tbsp white vinegar
  • 80ml rapeseed oil plus a little extra to grease cake tins
  • 60ml golden syrup
  • 235g apple sauce (preferably unsweetened)
  • 200ml non-dairy milk (we used soy milk)
  • 100g dark brown soft sugar
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 160g grated carrot
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1.5 tsp baking soda
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder
  • 1.5 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 170g ground almonds
  • 150g gluten free flour (we used Dove’s)
  • 30g chopped walnuts
  • 30g raisins
  • 100g vegan butter (we used Naturli, a hard block which is better for this than a spreadable tub)
  • 1 tub vegan cream cheese
  • 500g icing sugar, sieved
  • 30g watercress, finely chopped
  • Edible flowers such as violas and primulas
  • Chopped nuts

Instructions
 

  • Pre-heat the oven to 180°C. Prepare three 15cm loose based cake tins by brushing the insides with rapeseed oil and placing a circle of greaseproof paper in the bottom of each.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the baking soda and vinegar, then add in the rapeseed oil, apple sauce, oat milk, sugars and golden syrup. Mix together. Add in the grated carrot and stir thoroughly.
  • In a separate bowl sieve together the salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, ground almonds and gluten free flour. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet, ensuring they are fully incorporated, then add in the chopped walnuts and raisins and stir through.
  • Divide the mix equally between the three cake tins. Bake for 40 minutes before inserting a skewer or knife into the centre of each cake. If the skewer comes out clean then the cakes are baked, otherwise return to the oven and check again after five more minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes before removing carefully from cake tins. Once removed allow the cakes to cool completely before icing.
  • To make the icing, take the cream cheese out of the fridge one hour before using so that it is slightly softer and ensure your vegan butter is soft too. Use an electric stand mixer with the paddle attachment to beat the butter until smooth. Then add in the cream cheese and beat on a low speed until fully combined. You may need to stop the machine and scrape down the sides before beating again to ensure everything is fully mixed. Be careful not to beat on too high a speed as the mixture may split. Add in the icing sugar then beat on a medium speed until combined fully before stirring through the chopped watercress.
  • Once your cakes are cooled completely, use the icing to cover each layer before stacking, finishing with a thick layer of icing on top. Add fresh edible flowers and/or chopped nuts to decorate.

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Rare Roast Beef, Wasabi And Watercress Bagels:

For the carnivores try this modern twist on the original sandwich eaten by the Earl of Sandwich back in 1762 who is said to have first put some beef and watercress between two slices of bread so he could eat without interrupting his card game! This more sophisticated version with bagels is a perfect teatime treat. Rare Roast Beef, Wasabi And Watercress Bagels.

Watercress And Cheese Scones: Afternoon Tea:

A tangy alternative to the traditional sweet scone served with cream. These watercress And cheese scones are delicious with butter or perhaps topped with a cream cheese. Watercress And Cheese Scones: Afternoon Tea.

Chocolate, Orange & Watercress Brownies with Chocolate Ganache Topping:

Chocolate, orange and watercress may not seem the most obvious combination but by golly, it works!  The sharp pepper of the watercress contrasts deliciously with the citrus flavours and bitterness of the chocolate to make a truly mouth-watering treat. Chocolate, Orange & Watercress Brownies.

Afternoon Tea Recipes: Spoil Your Mum On Mother’s Day:

Mother’s Day (22nd March, tomorrow) is the annual opportunity to really treat that special lady and show her how much you care. 

The Watercress Company has worked with development chef, Keri Astill Frew to conjure up something a little bit out of the ordinary so you can splash out on a tea party with a twist. 

From sandwiches or scones to cake or brownies and even a celebratory cocktail featuring watercress to wash it all down, it will be a Mother’s Day she’ll remember! Afternoon Tea Recipes: Spoil Your Mum On Mother’s Day.


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16 comments so far.

16 responses to “Carrot Cake with Watercress & Cream Cheese Frosting”

  1. helenfern says:

    That has got to be the most beautiful cake I’ve seen in a long time. Thanks for sharing at the What’s for Dinner party – Have a lovely week!

  2. Miz Helen says:

    This cake is absolutely beautiful and thanks so much for sharing them with us at Full Plate Thursday. Hope you are having a great week and come back soon!
    Miz Helen

  3. Claire,
    OMG, that is the most beautiful cake. I just want to dig in but it looks to pretty to eat. Just wanted to let you know that you will be featured this week at Over The Moon party.

    Have a great day.
    Hugs,
    Bev

  4. Julie says:

    Carrot cake is my absolute favourite.

  5. helenfern says:

    Beautiful cake!! Thanks for sharing this delicious recipe at the What’s for dinner party! Have a great weekend.

  6. indah nuria says:

    Oh My God Claire..it looks so beautiful and for sure it’s delicious and healthy. You have such a great photos on this!

  7. Jennifer says:

    I’m so excited about this recipe. I recently found out that I’m allergic to eggs and wheat, so this is perfect timing. I’m really excited to try it. Thanks for sharing at the Weekend Blog Hop at My Flagstaff Home. Hope to see you here again next week! –Jennifer

  8. Jennifer says:

    Hi, Claire! Just wanted to let you know that your post will be featured next week at the Weekend Blog Hop at My Flagstaff Home! Be sure to stop by on Thursday afternoon to see it. –Jennifer

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