Hi friends! Today is my 2 year blogiversary! This has been a very fun year, I have almost 100 recipes now, I did about 20 less than last year, but got 50% more views– booyah! ‘Gianna’s Kitchen’ has almost 30,000 views now, so thank you, oh-generous-Pinterest-pinners and followers.
So, despite the great improvement, I have recently gone from posting about once a week, to almost nothing in two months. This is because I got a new job in the art department of a show called Fab Life. It’s a very Fun And Beautiful new daytime show where we do cooking segments, diy projects, fashion, business, and home improvement. It stars super models Chrissy Teigan and Tyra Banks and it is pretty darn cute! As any Pinterest fanatic like myself will tell you, getting paid to shop and make DIY projects all day is a dream come true. Check it out weekdays at 3pm PST to see just what it is that is keeping me from my precious kitchen.
While making and shopping for props is probably the most fun job I’ve ever had… Man! It is so exhausting. We work 12-17 hour days so when I get home I am physically and emotionally drained. I definitely miss coming up with fun recipes and eating wholesome home cooked meals everyday. Coming home and eating microwaved Gardein chicken nuggets at midnight because you are too tired to make a meal can really wear on one’s soul after a while, haha. The good news is, as demanding as this job is, it really makes me flex my creative muscles, so I’m coming up with lots of fun recipe ideas that I can’t wait to share… eventually!
Normally I don’t care too much for cake, but put some veggies in there and all of a sudden I’m interested, of course! Carrot cake is just so classic and weirdly amazing. It wouldn’t work with most veggies, but somehow, it’s just a perfect dessert– with secret healthy ingredients. This recipe is ultra moist and really brings back childhood memories when you get to play with the fondant like its play dough.
Thank you to all my friends, family, and complete strangers who read these recipes and give me so much love and support!
Carrot Cake with Macadamia Maple Frosting
makes 1 double layer 9″ cake
2 1/4 cups flour
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup apple sauce
1 cup cashew or almond milk
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup raw sugar
1/2 cup melted expeller pressed coconut oil
2 tightly packed cups finely grated carrot
1.5 cup macadamia nuts, must be raw and soaked in water for an hour or as long as overnight
1 cup cashew nuts, must be raw and soaked in water for an hour or as long as overnight
1/4 cup cashew or almond milk
1/4 cup maple syrup
3 tb coconut oil
2 tsp vanilla
juice of 2 lemons
1/2 tsp salt
store-bought or homemade fondant
orange and green food coloring
optional: crushed walnuts
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
Combine the dry ingredients in one bowl (except the sugar), and the wet ingredients in another (add the sugar). After they are stirred and properly combined, put them together in the same bowl and stir until just combined. Fold in the shredded carrot.
grease 2x 9″ round cake pans and pour in the batter, then immediately put into the oven. Bake for 35-45 minutes, test with a toothpick to see if it comes out clean.
Meanwhile, combine the soaked nuts and remaining frosting ingredients in a food processor or high speed blender. FYI, the nuts must be raw, not roasted, or the frosting will taste very strange. Don’t make the mistake I did! If you can’t find raw macadamias, just go with all cashews.
Blend until it is completely smooth, this took me about 10 minutes. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes.
Note: if you are a crunchy vegan hippie like me, then carry on. If you are more into ‘traditional food,’ or feeding this to someone who is (like my husband) you might want to go with store-bought vanilla frosting, and just add a bit of lemon juice. This frosting is yummy and delicious, but I could see someone who is expecting cream cheese getting their panties in a bunch.
When the cakes come out, allow them to cook to room temp. While you are waiting, grab some hunks of fondant and roll them into pointy cylinders. Use a knife and tap it all up and down the ‘carrot’ to make it look realistic. The leaves are harder, I pretty much just rolled really skinny cylinders and then used a knife to tease out little frilly leaves.
Using a paint brush, brush the fondant with food coloring.
Set one cake on a plate, smear on frosting, top with second cake, smear on more frosting, then add your carrots. Sprinkle with nuts if desired.
Voila! Easy but not so quick carrot cake. I’m going to eat mine for dinner right now, cuz that’s juat how I roll.