Vegan Spiced Mini Carrot Cakes

I've been craving carrot cake all summer, since Bon Appetit (who's been sending me unsolicited un-paid-for magazines in the mail for the past six months) published an article with a recipe for their "best" carrot cake (Bon Appetit's "best" anything is guaranteed to be amazing, from my experience with the recipes I've tried so far.)

Of course, their carrot cake calls for 4 eggs, a cup of buttermilk, a cup of sugar plus 3/4 cup of brown sugar, all items that are not on my eating plan at the moment. And I am sure their cake is delicious, but I need to eat a dessert that doesn't require me selling my soul to the devil.

So, I invented my own, and I made it gluten-free, sugar-free, and vegan, and for my palate, it is freaking delicious. What I love most about it is the moist, melt-in-your-mouth texture I was able to achieve right out of the oven. (A lot of gluten-free baked goods have to cool completely before you cut into them or they just don't hold together. These mini-cakes are spongy, soft, and moist right out of the oven. I should know; I just wolfed down two of them before writing this post.)

I am also still on soft foods while waiting for my TMJ disorder to heal, and this dessert totally fits the bill on that account as well. Yay. Once I'm healed up, I will definitely be trying these with chopped walnuts mixed in.

Vegan Spiced Mini Carrot Cakes

(Gluten-free, sugar-free, vegan - makes 10 mini-cakes)

1 large Fuji apple, peeled and cut into chunks
2-3 small carrots, peeled and cut into chunks (8 oz)
1/3 cup Golden Lakanto + 5-6 drops liquid stevia (you could use coconut sugar if you aren't trying to go 100% sugar free but want a healthy-ish sugar)
1 egg replacer (I use "Ener-G" brand egg replacer in this recipe - you mix it with water before adding to recipes)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup coconut oil (no need to melt)
1/2 cup all-purpose gluten-free flour (I use Bob's Red Mill)
1/2 cup oat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
Pinch of nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease 10 cups in your muffin tin with coconut oil.

Pulse the apple in a food processor until it forms a coarse puree, then add the carrot chunks and pulse until finely grated. Add Lakanto, stevia, egg replacer mixed with water as indicated on the package, vanilla, and coconut oil, then pulse until you have a well-mixed puree.

In a mixing bowl, mix the two flours, the baking powder and soda, salt, and spices, breaking down any chunks with a fork. Add the carrot puree and mix just until moistened. (You could add 1/4 cup chopped walnuts at this point--would be delicious.)

Divide batter evenly between muffin cups and bake for 15-18 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the fattest one comes out clean. To keep mine moist, I don't let them bake until they are crispy brown on top, but you might want to let them brown more.

Enjoy with a hot mug of tea!