I make this hearty Carrot Cake recipe more than any other dessert since it’s a hit with everyone! I usually make it as an 8×8-inch, one-layer square cake, but see Notes for instructions on baking muffins, a loaf or as baked donuts.
- 1½ cups nondairy milk
- 4 ounces pitted dates (7 to 8 Medjools or 14 to 16 Deglet Noor), chopped
- ½ very ripe banana, sliced
- ¼ cup raisins
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or seeds from 1 vanilla bean)
- 1¾ cups old-fashioned rolled oats
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
- 1½ cups grated carrots (2 to 3 medium)
- ½ cup raisins
- 2 ounces walnuts, chopped (about ½ cup; optional)
- Vanilla or Lemon Frosting (optional; see recipe below)
- Place the nondairy milk, dates, banana, ¼ cup raisins, and vanilla into a small bowl, and set aside for at least 15 minutes (so the dates can soften).
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 8×8-inch baking pan with parchment paper.
- Grind the oats into flour with a blender. Transfer to a medium bowl, and whisk in the cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, and cloves.
- Place the milk, dates, banana, raisins, and vanilla in the blender, and blend until smooth.
- Stir the date mixture into the bowl of dry ingredients. Fold in the grated carrots, ½ cup raisins, and walnuts (if using).
- Spoon the batter into the pan and spread evenly. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until the top is medium brown. Let cool for 10 minutes before removing from the pan and placing on a cooling rack. Cool completely before serving plain or with Vanilla or Lemon Frosting.
To bake a standard loaf, decrease the milk by ½ cup, line a 9×5×3-inch loaf pan with parchment paper, and bake at 325°F for 50 to 55 minutes, or until the top is medium brown. Let cool completely before serving.
To bake as donuts, see the instructions below (under the photo of the frosted donut).
Above: To make baked donuts, spoon batter into a non-stick donut pan, filling to the top and smoothing batter flat. Bake for 20-25 minutes. If you press on the cake lightly and it bounces back a bit (instead of staying indented), it’s likely ready. These continue to set up as they cool.
Cool for 5-7 minutes before removing the donuts from the pan (if left in too long it will be hard to get the donuts out). Using a fork or knife, gently go around the donuts (outside and inner circle) to loosen them from the pan. Even though we’re using a non-stick pan, we are not using any oil so we need to help them out a bit. After loosening the edges, invert onto a cutting board (shake a bit if still not coming out the first time) and let cool at least 5-10 minutes more before serving plain or with Vanilla or Lemon Frosting. Makes 10 to 12 donuts.
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