The holiday season is upon us and I’ve been dreaming of sharing an easy snack cake to have around if you happen to be hosting family or friends this time of year. You know, the kind of cake that is justifiable as a “snack” or “breakfast” because it has fruit and vegetables in it. Yes! That kind. Let’s bake, shall we?
This 1-bowl recipe starts with a flax egg for binding and mashed ripe banana for some natural sweetness and moisture. Then come tasty ingredients like brown sugar, grated carrots and apples, and cinnamon.
For dry ingredients, we went for a blend of almond meal or flour, oats, and our gluten-free flour blend, which kept the cake fluffy, tender, yet perfectly moist. Chopped walnuts add a bit of crunch and nutty flavor.
After a quick bake in the oven (and the painstaking minutes of letting it cool), it’s time for cake! While delicious on its own, it’s elevated with a simple cashew lemon maple frosting (recipe below)! Swoon.
We hope you LOVE this cake! It’s:
Packed with fruit + vegetables
Easy to make
& SO delicious
This would make the perfect cake to have on hand for gatherings or lazy days spent with loved ones this holiday season. It would also be delicious come spring! Basically, it’s perfect year round for just about any occasion.
If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!
1-Bowl Carrot Apple Snack Cake
- 1 1/2 batches flax eggs (1 ½ Tbsp (11 g) flaxseed meal + 3 ¾ Tbsp (56 ml) water as original recipe is written)
- 1/4 cup olive oil (if avoiding oil, try subbing a little nut butter or applesauce)
- 1/3 cup mashed very ripe banana
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1/2 cup brown sugar (or sub coconut sugar, but it’s not as sweet and the texture may be more dense)
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 cup plain unsweetened almond milk (or other dairy-free milk)
- 1 heaping cup (packed) grated carrot
- 1/2 cup finely grated apple
- 2/3 cup gluten-free rolled oats
- 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 cup almond meal (or flour)
- 1 heaping cup gluten-free flour blend
- 1/4 cup raw walnuts (chopped // for topping)
- 1 1/4 cup raw cashews (soaked in very hot water for 30 minutes)
- 1 Tbsp coconut oil (melted // optional – helps the frosting firm up when chilled)
- 1/4 cup full-fat coconut milk (or sub light // if avoiding coconut, sub almond or rice)
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- 3 Tbsp maple syrup (plus more to taste)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Prepare flax eggs in a large mixing bowl (by mixing water and flax seed and letting it rest for 5 minutes). Also preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 C) and line an 8 x 8 inch baking dish or similar size pan.
- To flax eggs, add olive oil, mashed banana, and maple syrup and whisk to combine. Next add brown sugar, salt, and cinnamon and whisk to combine.
- Add almond milk and stir. Then add grated carrot and apple and stir.
- Add oats, baking soda, almond meal (or flour), and gluten-free flour blend and stir to combine (see photo). You should have a thick but pourable batter – add more almond milk to thin if needed or more gluten-free flour or almond meal to thicken.
- Pour into prepared baking dish and top with crushed walnuts. Bake for 40-45 minutes on a center rack or until deep golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. When you press on the top, it shouldn’t feel too spongey, so don’t be afraid of over-baking! The GF blend just takes longer to bake than glutenous cakes.
- Remove from oven and let rest in the pan for 15 minutes. Then gently lift out of the pan and let cool completely on a wire baking rack or flat surface. The longer it cools, the more airy and light the cake becomes.
- OPTIONAL: While this is happening, you can make your frosting by adding soaked, drained cashews, coconut oil, coconut milk, lemon, maple syrup, and vanilla extract to a high-speed blender and blending on high until creamy and smooth. Taste and adjust sweetness or tartness as needed by adding more maple syrup or lemon juice, respectively. Then refrigerate to firm. Wait to frost the cake until frosting has thickened (about 2 hours), and the cake has cooled completely.
- Store completely cooled leftovers loosely covered at room temperature up to 3 days, 5 days in the refrigerator (if frosted, it does need to be refrigerated), or in the freezer up to 1 month. Best when fresh.
*Recipe heavily adapted from my Carrot Apple Muffins!