Raw Carrot Cake & Cream Cheese Hearts

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If you love carrot cake and have a special adoration for the cream cheese frosting that often accompanies it you will fall in absolute LOVE with this dessert masterpiece by Ann Oliverio of An Unrefined Vegan. Two heart shaped layers of yummy raw vegan carrot cake made entirely free of gluten and sugar sandwich a generous amount of sweet vanilla and lemon cashew cream cheese frosting. Divine!

Ingredients

Cream Cheese Layer

1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes, soaked in water for ~30 minutes and drained
1 cup raw cashew pieces, soaked in water for ~1 hour and drained
2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. vanilla extract
30 drops liquid stevia, or your favorite sweetener, to taste
1/4 cup coconut oil, gently melted

Carrot Cake Layer(s)

3 cups carrots (about 10 small), peeled and roughly chopped
3 cups raw pecans
2 cups pitted prunes
2 tsp. vanilla extract
3 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. allspice
1/4 tsp. ground cardamom
2 tbsp. water
2 tbsp. flaxseed meal

Instructions

Make the cream cheese layer:

1) Line a quarter sheet (8 1/2″ x 12″) baking pan with parchment paper.

2) Put all of the cream cheese ingredients into a high-speed blender and process until very smooth. This will take several minutes and will require stopping and stirring or tamping throughout processing.

3) Scrape the mixture onto the prepared pan and smooth to completely cover the bottom. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator while you prepare the carrot cake layer.

Make the carrot cake layer(s):

1) Line a quarter sheet (8 1/2″ x 12″) baking pan with parchment paper.

2) Put the carrot chunks into the bowl of a food processor and process until broken down into small pieces.

3) Add all of the remaining ingredients and process until fairly smooth; you’ll need to stop the processor and stir occasionally. (You can make this as smooth or as “chunky” as you like.  I prefer a smooth texture.)

4) Divide the mixture in half and store one half in a bowl or container, cover, and place in the refrigerator.

5) Scrape the other half of the mixture onto the prepared pan and smooth to completely cover the bottom. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator.

6) Let cream cheese and carrot cake layers set up for a few hours in the refrigerator.

Assemble the layers:

1) Remove the cream cheese and carrot cake layers from the refrigerator and remove the plastic wrap. Carefully loosen the cream cheese layer by running a knife along the edges of the pan. This layer will be fairly firm.

2) With one swift move, turn the cream cheese layer on top of the carrot cake layer. The parchment paper will come along for the ride – keep the parchment paper over the cream cheese layer while you gently and firmly press it onto the carrot cake layer.

3) Remove the parchment paper and discard.

4) Spread the reserved half of carrot cake mixture on top of the cream cheese layer, spreading it evenly over the whole surface. Gently press mixture so that it adheres evenly to the cream cheese.

5) Loosely cover with plastic wrap and put back in the refrigerator. Let chill for a few hours or overnight.

6) Run a knife around the edges of the carrot cake. Place a cutting board on top of the baking sheet and carefully turn it over and tap until the cake comes out of the pan.

7) Dip a heart-shaped cookie cutter into water and firmly press down into the carrot cake. Remove the heart and place the cake aside while you repeat the process until you’ve cut up all of the cake.  (I use the “scraps” to make carrot cake/cream cheese balls.) Alternatively, simply cut the cake into squares.  No “scraps.”

About Ann Oliverio

Plant-fueled since 2011, Annie writes, runs, and cooks in the heart of Cattle Country. An enthusiastic “home chef,” Annie started her blog, An Unrefined Vegan, to share her passion for creating cruelty-free,  unprocessed, whole foods that are delicious, healthful, and simple to prepare.  It’s all about nurturing body, brain, and conscience. Through her project, Virtual Vegan Potluck, she invites both vegan and non-vegan bloggers to share a twice-yearly online potluck, demonstrating how food can bring people together.

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