Sunday, May 13, 2018

Zen and Carrot Cake

Celebrate those you love this weekend with a homemade cake, and you might also do something good for yourself:

"Baking for others can increase a feeling of well being, contribute to stress relief, and make you feel as if you've done something good for the world."*

Aside from creating feelings of creativity and altruism, the process of baking can also foster a zen-like state of focused concentration. Culinary Art Therapy has now officially joined Art and Musical Behavioral Activation Therapies as an activity that can lead to better mental health.

So when you’re felling stressed out, set aside some time to bake. Then get out your prettiest plates, and shower the people you love with cake.

My Paleo Marin: 4.2 Persimmons


For the Cake:

1 cup golden raisons
1/2 cup Nantucket Nectars Pineapple Orange Guava Juice Blend Cocktail, or other thick juice
Image from TalDepot website

1 1/2 cups Cup4Cup gluten free flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 cup coconut sugar
3/4 cup grapeseed oil
1 ripe banana, mashed

3 large eggs

3 medium carrots, peeled and grated
1 cup chopped walnuts, or pecans, or eliminate for nut free

1 teaspoon vanilla

For the Frosting:

7 tablespoons butter, or Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks
8 oz. Daiya Cream Cheese Style Spread
1/2 cup fine sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla


For the cake:

1. Place the raisons and juice in a small bowl, and let soak for 2 hours.

2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform cake pan with butter, line the bottom with a circle of parchment paper and grease.

3. In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon and set aside.

4. In another bowl, whisk together the oil and sugar. Mix in the banana.

5. In a stand mixer with the wire whip attachment, pour in the oil, sugar and banana mixture, and combine until the lumps are gone (1-2 minutes). Add the eggs, one at a time, and mix just until well incorporated.

6. Remove the bowl of ingredients from the stand mixer. With a spatula or wooden spoon, stir in the carrots, nuts (if using), and raisons with all the juice.

7. Add the dry ingredients to the wet. and mix just until combined. Add the vanilla and mix.

8. Pour the cake batter into the prepared cake pan, and bake for 40 minutes. Check with a wooden skewer. The cake is done when the skewer comes out clean.

9. Set the cake pan on a rack to cool for 10 minutes. Remove the cake from the springform pan and allow to finish cooling on the rack.

For the Frosting:

1. In a stand mixer with the wire whip attachment, add the butter and cream cheese spread. Combine thoroughly at medium high speed. Add the sugar and vanilla extract. Taste and adjust the sugar to your desired preference.

2. When the cake has thoroughly cooled, spread the icing around the sides and on top of the cake.

Serve. Store extra in the fridge for up to 4 days, or freeze.

#paleo-inspired #carrot #cake #dessert #zen #glutenfree #nutfree #dairyfree #vegan #culinaryarttherapy #huffpost 

See "Psychologiets Explain the Benefits of Baking for Other People" in a HuffPost online article here.

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