Easter Carrot Cake Loaf with Maple Cashew Frosting

S: Happy Easter! And no, it’s not a joke (seeing as though it lands on April’s Fools Day as well). Easter is really here, which sets the scene for spring, family time, and renewal.

Most of my Easter memories consist of waking up to go a rampant search and following the trail of green grass leading to my Easter basket full of goodies, though one year, I got so frustrated that I couldn’t find it so I just sat and cried over how it was the worst Easter ever. I eventually found it. Other family traditions include flashlight Easter egg hunts that we do in the evening and as the Easter bunny has hopped away over the years, a sunrise church service with my family has been best way to wake up on Easter morning.

While many people symbolize Easter morning with the image of a cross or empty tomb, the holiday has also been synonymous with an Easter bunny, which I was not entirely sure had any meaning at all. After a quick Google search, the Easter hare, or bunny, is commonly known for it’s fertility and it signifies new life, parallel to that of Jesus’ resurrection. In the past week, I’ve had some really great conversation, about the truths in my own faith, and by far my favorite quote has been by Greta in reference to my doubts about myself and future; “I am Jesus, let me love you!” As silly as may sound, it is true, especially in reference to this holiday. Beyond all the colors and candy, Easter truly represents rebirth and new life.

So to celebrate new life, what better than a new recipe. In all its gluten-free, dairy-free, low-carb, paleo, vegan glory, this Easter carrot cake loaf is actually quite simple; full of wholesome ingredients and real food without the preservatives and empty calories of most desserts. The pure maple syrup sweetens the loaf as the carrots and coconut give it texture and density. For this recipe, we used Bob’s Red Mill for top-quality coconut flour and flaxseed meal, though you can buy any brand that is natural at your grocery store. Coconut flour is low in digestible carbs so it doesn’t spike your blood sugar levels and flaxseed, which contains healthy omega-3s, lignans, and fiber, helps reduce one’s risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes and stroke. F And the creamy cashew maple frosting?  It’s just real DANG GOOD.

Half a cake demolished later, my last sentence still stands. Gather your friends and family and make this sweet spring treat this is worth celebrating until next Easter.

Recipe: Easter Carrot Cake Loaf with Maple Cashew Frosting

Serves: 6-8 people

4 flax eggs*
½ c maple syrup pure
⅓ c coconut oil melted
1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup Bob’s Red Mill coconut flour
¾ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
¾ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp salt
¾ c carrots finely shredded
⅓ c coconut finely shredded
½ c walnut pieces

maple cashew frosting:
1 cup raw cashews- soaked in hot water for 1 hour
5 Tbsp pure maple syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
4 tsp coconut oil melted
Salt to taste

To make 1 flax egg, take 1 Tbsp of flaxseed and mix with 3 Tbsp of water (In this case, 4 Tbsp of flax seed with 3/4 cup of water).  Let sit in fridge for at least 15 min. We used Bob’s Red Mill Whole Ground Flax Seed Meal, though if you don’t have flax seeds on hand, you can substitute 1 flax egg with 1 regular egg; 1:1 ratio.

c a r r o t   c a k e   l o a f
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Combine the flax eggs, coconut oil, maple syrup, vanilla extract and vinegar in a large bowl and mix.
3. In a separate bowl combine coconut flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
4. Gradually add dry ingredients to the bowl of liquid ingredients and stir until just combined.
5. Then add carrots, coconut and nuts to bowl. Stir until all ingredients are spread in the mixture thoroughly.
6. Line a loaf pan (8.5” x 4.5”) with parchment paper and spray with non-stick cooking spray. Spread batter evenly in the pan.
7. Place in oven for 50-60 minutes or until top turns a golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean.
8. Let loaf cool completely at room temperature before frosting.
f r o s t i n g
1. Place all frosting ingredients in a small food processor and process until a smooth consistency is reached (4-6 minutes). Set aside.
2. Once carrot cake is completely cool, frost with frosting.
3. Sprinkle with crushed walnuts and coconut for garnish.

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