Gajar ka halwa-inspired carrot cake

This vegan gajar ka halwa-inspired carrot loaf cake isn’t perfect. I baked it at 350 instead of 325 degrees, I cracked the oven door open too early, and we nibbled on it before getting a decent photo. But I love how it tastes and I’m sharing it anyway. It’s moist and fragrant and delicious with a cup of tea. Oh and did I mention it’s 100% vegan?

I used cashew cream, pistachios, and cardamom to make this cake taste like one of my favorite Indian desserts: carrot halwa, or gajar ka halwa. It’s a dish my late grandmother used to make in the winter, when Indian carrots are at their best. This cake makes me nostalgic for those cold Delhi nights when I used to visit her.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup + 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 cup cashew cream
  • 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon whole wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup grated carrot
  • 1/2 cup pistachios, finely chopped

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Grease a loaf pan and line with parchment paper.
  3. In a small bowl, mix wet ingredients until combined.
  4. In a medium bowl, sift dry ingredients together so there are no lumps. Stir until ingredients are well distributed.
  5. Add wet ingredients to dry, and gently mix with a wooden spoon until a uniform batter is formed.
  6. Stir in carrots and half of pistachios, and pour cake batter into pan.
  7. Gently tap the pan on the counter a couple times to get rid of any air bubbles. Sprinkle on remaining pistachios. Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until you can insert a toothpick and it comes out clean.

Tips for baking a cake that doesn’t sink in the middle

  • DO NOT crack open the over door too early, especially early in the baking cycle
  • Don’t overmix your batter
  • Before you put the cake in the oven, tap it on the counter a few times to get rid of any air bubbles

 

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