A heavenly pairing of carrot cake & chai that uplifts the spirits. While it tastes decadent, there is more goodness in here than a typical cake. Flaxseeds are high in omega-3 fatty acids & healthy fibre & are used to replace eggs in this recipe. Carrots also contain fibre, along with beta-carotene. The tea & added spices in this recipe are associated with digestive & immune-boosting benefits.
This recipe also makes a scrumptious muffin—just bake it in a muffin tin instead of a cake pan & reduce the baking time.
Try it with one of our fabulous tea frostings, but you don’t have to—the chai makes it flavourful enough to enjoy plain.
To feel extra cosy, accompany it with a Chai tea latte, or serve it with a cup of our Herbal Chai, Silk Road Chai or Express Chai tea brewed without any sugar or milk. Any of these spicy teas served unsweetened are a lovely pairing with the cake.
It can also be a great idea to reach for teas that help counteract the effects of sweets, either with cake, or afterwards. Mulberry Tea has been used in Asian traditional medicine for hundreds of years as a way to support blood sugar balance & assist weight management. Studies are starting to support these ideas, & are finding that the Mulberry helps block carbohydrate absorption. Other herbs which have a similar effect are found in our Detox Tea. Accompanying treats with a cup of Detox or Mulberry Tea may be a healthier way to indulge.
CHAI CARROT CAKE
dairy-free, gluten-free & vegan
makes a double-layered 8-inch cake
4 tablespoons HERBAL CHAI tea
1 ½ cup water
1 ½ tablespoons flaxseed meal (ground flaxseed)
2 ¼ cups gluten-free 1-to-1 baking flour (or use your favourite flour)
1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon ginger powder
¾ cup cane sugar (brown or golden sugar enhances light caramel notes in this cake)
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
⅔ cup canola, sunflower (any neutral oil will work) or melted coconut oil (which will also add a pleasant lightly coconutty note to the cake)
2 cups grated carrots
optional: ½ cup walnuts &/or pecans, ½ cup shredded coconut
1. Bring water to a full rolling boil. Steep tea in water for 20 minutes, then strain & you have a tea concentrate. This is an unusually long time to steep tea for & it’s not usually recommended, but in this instance you can make an exception with Herbal Chai. It can be over-steeped without becoming bitter & the longer steeping time will release more yummy tea flavour into the cake. While tea is steeping, preheat oven to 350°F. For a 2-layered cake, lightly grease two 8-inch round cake pans. (For one larger cake, grease a single 8 or 9-inch round or square cake pan.)
2. Measure 1 cup tea concentrate into a medium bowl & whisk in flaxseed. Set aside & allow to thicken for 15 minutes. Then, add sugar, vinegar, oil & carrots & mix thoroughly until well-combined.
3. In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg & ginger. Pour in liquid mixture & gently fold wet & dry ingredients together until just combined & no dry lumps remain. Do not overmix.
4. Spoon mixture evenly into cake pans & bake for 30–35 minutes. Note that if you are making 1 large cake, it will take longer to bake than 2 smaller cakes. Set timer accordingly. Cakes are ready when they spring back to the touch, or an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Remove from oven & allow to cool for 10 minutes in the pans. Gently invert cakes onto a cooling rack & allow to cool fully.
5. Place 1 cake on a serving plate. Layer frosting over it. Sandwich the second cake on top. Spread or pipe icing on top of cake & serve immediately. Keep leftovers in the fridge, & eat within a few days.
Try these frosting combinations with this cake:
Use our delicious TEA FROSTING recipe & make frosting flavoured with PHILOSOPHER’S BREW tea—it creates a delicate, sophisticated lemon-lavender frosting & is reminiscent of cream cheese frosting (but dairy-free). Our MATCHA TEA FROSTING is also unexpectedly tea-lightful with this carrot cake. Instead of frosting, enjoy Chai Carrot Cake with a dusting of Matcha Icing Sugar or feel free to use your favourite frosting.