This cake is festive and luscious, but with a minimum of fat and a plethora of fresh fruit (and a vegetable!) in the batter— not the least bit guilt-inducing. Using a springform pan makes it easier to release this cake in an intact round, but the same can be achieved with a flexible silicone pan.
- 8 to 10 ounces fresh cranberries
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 3/4 cup whole wheat pastry or spelt flour
- 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed, optional
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 cup apple sauce
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons safflower or other light oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup grated carrot
- 1/3 cup walnuts, finely chopped
Maple-cream cheese frosting
- 1/2 cup vegan cream cheese
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons rice mik or other plain or vanilla vegan milk
- Preheat the oven to 350º F.
- Place the cranberries in a food processor and pulse on and off until evenly and finely chopped. Transfer to a bowl. Add the sugar, stir well, and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, optional flaxseeds, baking powder, baking soda, ginger, and cinnamon. Stir to combine thoroughly.
- Make a well in the center and add the applesauce, syrup, safflower oil, and vanilla. Stir until the wet and dry ingredients are completely combined, but don’t overmix.
- Stir the cranberries and carrots into the batter. Pour into a lightly oiled 9-inch round cake pan or springform pan (see recipe introduction). Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center tests 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 fetchingly over the sides. Otherwise, leave the cake in the pan and simply frost the top.
- Sprinkle evenly with the optional walnuts, then cut into wedges to serve.
Maple-Cream Cheese Frosting
- Combine the ingredients in a food processor. Process until creamy and smooth. Use a flexible cake spatula to remove from the work bowl. Spread on cakes or cupcakes one they've cooled to room temperature.