You’re going to slap me in the face when you find out what’s in this carrot cake. Spoiler alert: it’s a parsnip.
The snow hath fallen!!! Okay, not a uuuuge amount…just a little sprinkle sprinkle to keep things real…just enough to take pretty pictures and go fiddle around in, but every bit counts. One of my favorite things to do during a snowstorm is bake, and there’s something about this time of year that screams, “carrot caaaaaake” to me.
I’m not much of a cake person, but carrot cake? It’s like the Dave Grohl of cakes. The Danny DeVito, Meryl Streep, Jeff Bridges, Bette Midler, Stephen Colbert, Alexandre Dumas, Snoop Dogg of cakes. I know. It makes no sense, but that’s why it’s so good.
And get this: there is a parsnip in these cake muffs. I know. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.
The parsnip makes the carrot cake taste 56,784,098 times better than an all-carrot carrot cake. That’s a lie. It really tastes no different. But we get brownie points for wise use of parsnips, right? We may not have control over all the things in life, but we 200% have power over how we eat our parsnips. Let’s eat them in cake.
How do you make your carrot cake? Do you give the carrots a little pre-soak in hot water? That’s what I do. I like to believe a hot water bath allows the sweetness of the veggies to come out…but it could just be an extra unnecessary step, who knows? Do you add walnuts and raisins and pineapple and all those carrot cake-ly things? As much as I love a good crunch, I like my carrot cake sans crunch. You may adjust as necessary by adding your crunch-ables.
I made the cake into portion-controlled muffins, but you can also bake the batter in an 8″ x 8″ cake pan. The recipe turns out light and fluffy, and the muffins are perfect for breakfast-on-the-go. For my next go-round, I’ll have to quadruple the recipe, because 7 joyful carrot cakes is simply not enough.
To summarize: parsnip + carrot + almond flour + pure maple syrup make this a super healthy take on classic carrot cake. Like why wouldn’t you eat your protein and vegetables in the form of cake? And why wouldn’t you make muffins out of it because: portion control? And why wouldn’t you eat every last portion-controlled muffin in one sitting while marathon-watching Parenthood on Netflix? You would.
Bake some edibles!
Grain-Free Carrot Cake Muffins (Paleo)
- 2 cups almond flour/meal
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom optional
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 eggs lightly beaten
- 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
- 1/3 cup grapeseed oil*
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon fresh ginger peeled and grated, optional
- 1 cup medium carrot peeled and grated (1/3 )
- 1 cup small parsnip peeled and grated (1/3 )
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened shredded coconut optional
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and lightly oil a muffin pan (you'll only need to oil 7 holes)
Heat a small pot of water and bring to a full boil. Peel and chop the parsnip and carrot in half. Place in the boiling water for 2 minutes, then immediately strain the water, pat dry, and allow the veggies to cool. When cool enough to handle, grate the veggies using a box grater.
In a mixing bowl, stir together the almond flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, and sea salt (dry mixture).
In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, maple syrup, grapeseed oil, fresh ginger, and the grated carrot and parsnip (wet mixture).
Add the wet mixture to the bowl with the dry mixture and mix until well-combined.
Fill the oiled muffin holes 2/3 full of cake batter and sprinle with shredded coconut. Place muffin tray on the center rack of your oven and bake for 18 to 22 minutes, until muffins are cooked through. Remove from oven and allow to cool for at least 20 minutes. Run a butter knife along the perimeter of the muffins to release them from the muffin tray.