It is a healthy carrot cake recipe that is light and surprisingly refreshing.
I sometimes get a little bit of cake envy when I’m scrolling through Pinterest and see all of these ultra-beautiful, frosted-to-perfection, ultra-tall layered cakes. It’s the equivalent of why we tell young girls not to read too many glamour magazines…they’ll starting comparing themselves to others, which often breeds discontentment.
Well, call me discontent. Why should gluten flour have all the fun? Why should sugary-y fondant icing get all the attention? I want a layered cake and I want it now! (With whole ingredients and natural sweeteners, please and thank you.)
Enter my two-layer Citrus Almond Carrot Cake with Tangy Orange and Lemon Curd filling/frosting. My favorite thing about this cake (other than the taste!) is the fancy factor. Because fancy can be hard to do with all natural, whole ingredients.
I created this carrot cake recipe when my cousin Lynda pointed out a recipe contest for recipes using honey. Count me in! I love, love, love baking with honey. (Check out 4 other natural sweeteners I like to use here.)
Before I even pulled it out of the oven, the smell convinced me I had a winner.
If you’re looking for a little slice of heaven, then I recommend baking two cake layers, slathering a generous helping of the lemon curd (it’s like a custard) between the layers and on top. If you’re feeling luxurious, add some candied pecans on top.
I promise you won’t regret it. As long as you don’t eat 3 slices in one sitting. You might regret that. (I would know.)
Citrus Almond Carrot Cake
1 cup carrot puree* (see note below)
1 tsp coconut oil
2 cups finely ground whole almonds
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 medium lemon, zest and juice separated
1 medium navel orange, zest and juice separated
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup plain yogurt
2 eggs, yolks and whites separated
1 cup grated carrots
2 1/2 cups Tangy Orange and Lemon Custard
*To make carrot puree: Peel and chop 2 to 3 large carrots. In a small saucepan, cover the carrots with water and bring to boil. Reduce to simmer until carrots are very soft. Mash vigorously until smooth, or whir in food processor. Carrot puree should be smooth with no lumps.
Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease two round 9” cake pans with coconut oil. Using cake pan as template, trace and cut out two circles of parchment paper to line the bottom of each pan. Place parchment paper in bottom of each pan.
In a large bowl, combine ground almonds, baking soda, salt, lemon zest and orange zest. Use your fingers to mix so there are no almond clumps and the lemon and orange zest is thoroughly mixed in.
Add honey, yogurt, egg yolks, carrot puree, lemon juice and orange juice to ground almond mixture, stirring to combine thoroughly.
Whip egg whites until stiff peaks form. Add whipped egg whites to batter and stir until just combined.
Divide batter equally between two greased cake pans. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until very golden.
Allow to cool completely. Loosen the cake layers by running knife around edges. Try to get your knife under the parchment paper if possible, before flipping cakes layers onto wire racks.
To Assemble Cake: Make sure all the elements are completely cool before assembling. Place first layer on cake stand. Spoon 1 cup of Tangy Orange and Lemon Custard onto first cake layer, spreading evenly. Add second cake layer and spread remaining custard over top.
Optional: Sprinkling pecan brittle or candied nuts pieces in centre of cake.