Monday 7 July 2014

Carrot {Protein} Cake with Vanilla Bean Frosting

Carrot cake is so classic. There is something so comforting about carrot cake to me. If you've ever had it (and if you've probably have!) then you know how rich and satisfying it is.

First -- don't forget to check out these No-Bake Carrot Cake Protein Bars if you are looking for a 'no bake' treat.

Second, just know that this is a healthy and decadent replica of the fan favourite: carrot cake. You know the drill! No refined sugar, no gluten, lots of protein and good fats...just...YUM!

Third, this cake broke my mind. I am not even joking. I have never been so sad for a cake eating experience to finish maybe ever in my life? When my teenage brothers will eat something and say it's REALLY good...Well, that's saying something.

Especially now that Ramadan is under full swing, I want to make sure my body is getting the most out of everything I eat. The days are long, meaning we don't have a whole lot of time to eat after iftar.. Cue protein cake:

The smell, the crumbly texture, the {healthy} cream cheese's all what we know and love about carrot cake. My mom and I counted down until sun down just because of this. JUST LOOK AT IT!

Simply stunning. 

And this beautiful frosting with flecks of vanilla bean, protein and coconut oil. Can we just get a hellssss yesss please?

So if you want to majorly impress the health buffs and loved ones in your life -- get on making this cake! 

Carrot {Protein} Cake 

Yields 2 9-inch Round Cakes
Gluten Free, Refined Sugar Free, High Protein, Vegan Option


  • 1 1/2 cups gluten free all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup vegan protein powder (SunWarrior works great!)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/3 cup shredded unsweetened coconut 
  • 2 cups fresh carrot, shredded 
  • 1 cup greek yogurt or 3/4 cup applesauce or canned pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup liquid sweetener (such as honey) 
  • 3 eggs, separated or flax eggs/egg replacer
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 - 1 cup almond milk 
  • Reserve extra walnuts, coconut and other add-ins for garnish

*No protein powder? Just substitute it with equal amounts of your flour and increase liquid if necessary to thin batter!*


  1. Preheat oven to 350 Degrees Fahrenheit
  2. In a large bowl, combine all dry ingredients plus shredded carrot and whisk together so your carrot is coated. 
  3. In a separate bowl, combine and mix all wet ingredients except the eggs
  4. Separate the egg whites from the yolks, adding the yolks to your wet ingredients bowl
  5. Beat the egg whites to stiff peaks and set aside
  6. Add your wet ingredients (except the egg whites) to your dry ingredients and mix together until you have a thick, fluffy batter. Add your non-dairy milk as needed to get a batter that is thick, but stirs easily and can be poured out of your bowl. If it gets stuck when you stir, add more milk!
  7. Fold in egg whites
  8. Scoop batter into two 9-inch round baking pans that have been thoroughly greased (I use coconut oil!) 
  9. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean! You want the top of the cake to turn from wet looking to matte and to spring to the touch
  10. Transfer to a wire cooling rack by placing the rack on top of the pan, holding the two together and flipping very quickly!
  11. Let cool completely before frosting. This is especially important because we don't want melted frosting!

Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese Frosting 

Yields 1 1/2 cups frosting 


  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 5 drops Now Foods liquid stevia* optional
  • 3-4 tablespoons honey or maple syrup 
  • 1/2 cup cream cheese (light or regular) or vegan non-dairy alternative
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or beans for 1 vanilla pod


  1. Add melted coconut oil and protein powder into a medium mixing bowl and mix together with a mixer
  2. Add in remaining ingredients and mix until mixture is fluffy, creamy and smooth
  3. Refrigerate to allow icing to set before use 

That's it! Assemble the layers using the frosting (you can also double the batch of frosting and use it to ice the middle layer but I was lazy and used whipped topping instead!)

Did you know I cried during this cake? I was really tired from fasting and making stupid decisions. I frosted it too fast and lost a bunch of icing as it dripped off and I broke the cake when getting it out of the pan. So I cried and cried. But in the end, it all worked out.

The cake alone is beautiful:

Thanks to these carrots that my mom and I drove around the city for (Canada Day everything was closed, DOH!)

Step 1 Middle Layer Down:

Step 2 SQUISH:

Step 3 FROST: 

Step 4 Go NUTS. Literally:

I garnished with walnuts, roasted coconut, shredded coconut and a few raisins! As well as a small amount of chopped white chocolate.

I really loved the colours here. Muted but distinct. 

Simply stunning. The first slice!

I cut the piece to small and it fell over.. womp womp wompppp. 

But it was still perfection.

Crumbly, moist, tender perfection.

I really hope you take the time to try out this recipe. Or the protein bars (most popular post on the blog!). I promise you won't be disappointed. It's comforting without being heavy or cloyingly sweet. It's the perfect treat during Ramadan or any time, really!

Fun may have noticed the cake stand changed. That would be because I dropped the cake slightly and made a huge mess and had to switch stands. See, I told you there were tears. 

And thank you, Mom. For taking me out and driving me around to look for carrots even though I was hangry and all around unpleasant to be around. This cake is for you. 

Hope you had a wonderful Canada and are having a blessed Ramadan.



  1. If I wanted to use flax eggs, how would you do that since you cannot separate them?

    1. Hi Ani! I have made this cake without separating eggs before and it works great! I would say just add the flax eggs to the wet mixture and so you don't have to worry about separating them!