This cake makes a nice change from pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving, and its beautiful colors are perfect for a festive Christmas dessert. I adapted the recipe from Vegan Holiday Kitchen by Nava Atlas, eliminating the small amount of oil in the original. Use her cream cheese frosting, if you like, or simply sprinkle with confectioners sugar for a very low-fat dessert.
1 3/4cupswhole wheat pastry flour(or white whole wheat flour)
2tablespoonsaquafaba (liquid from canned or cooked chickpeas)or plant milk of choice
Maple-Cream Cheese frostingoptional (see recipe in Notes)
1/3cupfinely chopped walnutsoptional
Place the cranberries in a food processor fitted with the blade and pulse on and off until evenly and finely chopped. Transfer to a bowl. Add the sugar, stir well, and set aside.
Preheat oven to 350F.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, flaxseeds, baking powder, baking soda, ginger, and cinnamon. Stir to combine thoroughly.
Make a well in the center and add the applesauce, syrup, aquafaba/plant milk, and vanilla. Stir until the wet and dry ingredients are completely combined, but don’t over mix.
Stir the cranberries and carrots into the batter. Pour into a 9-inch round silicone cake pan. or lightly oiled springform pan (see headnote). Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.
If using the walnuts, toast them in a small dry skillet over medium heat until they brown lightly.
Once the cake has cooled to room temperature, release from the pan if you’ve used a springform or other easy-to-release pan and spread the frosting over the top evenly, allowing it to drip over the sides. Otherwise, leave the cake in the pan and simply frost the top.
(If you don't wish to use the frosting, you can sprinkle the top with confectioners sugar or just serve it plain.)
Sprinkle evenly with the optional walnuts, then cut into wedges to serve.
Maple-Cream Cheese Frosting
Nava says, "I love this simple frosting on fruit- or vegetable-based baked goods, especially those containing carrots or pumpkin." Makes about 3/4 cup, enough to frost one average-sized cake
1/2 cup vegan cream cheese
2 to 3 tablespoons maple syrup, to taste
2 tablespoons rice milk or other plain or vanilla vegan milk
Combine the ingredients in a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Process until creamy and smooth. Use a flexible cake spatula to remove from the container. Spread on cakes or cupcakes once they’ve cooled to room temperature.Nutritional information does not include frosting or walnuts.