Recipe courtesy of Watercress.
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):
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
1.5 tsp baking soda
Pinch of salt
1.5 tsp baking powder
170g ground almonds
1.5 tsp ground cinnamon
150g gluten free flour (we used Dove’s)
30g chopped walnuts
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
Carrot Cake with Watercress & Cream Cheese Frosting Method:
1.) Firstly, 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:
So what do you think about this Carrot Cake with Watercress & Cream Cheese Frosting (vegan and gluten free)?
Do you also fancy trying it? Because I know I do.
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:
Recipe Photography credits Lara Jane Thorpe.
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