Flora freedom is a dairy free spread that has all the greatness of original Flora but without the buttermilk. With no ingredients of animal origins (it uses fats and oils from plants instead) it's a great choice for those who need to eat dairy free for dietary reasons or those who choose a plant-based diet. It also has 60% less saturated fat than butter, no preservatives, artificial colours or flavours and is suitable for spreading, baking and cooking.
I'm a big fan of baking sweet treats but trying to make them a little healthier and keeping them dairy free, so the Flora freedom is the perfect substitute for me. The carrot cake recipe stood out to me immediately when browsing the dairy free recipes, as it has a really special place in our hearts. It was our tradition to eat it as dessert every time we visited Nando's when we lived in Bristol (it's where Warren took me for our first 'date') and we then had it as the topper on our tower of doughnuts for our wedding cake last month. As much as we love it, I had never attempted to make my own so I thought it was about time I had a go.
I love this recipe as it's so simple.. it uses minimal ingredients and the method is quick and easy to do which I love as I never have a lot of time to bake. I did put my own spin on it to make it slightly healthier than the original recipe and it still turned out really good!
Healthier Dairy Free Carrot Cake
For the cake
150g Flora Freedom
200g coconut sugar
2 medium eggs
100g self-raising flour
100g wholemeal/wholewheat self-raising flour
2tsp baking powder
1tsp mixed spice
175g carrots, grated
227g tinned pineapple chunks in juice, drained & finely chopped
For the frosting
200g dairy free cream cheese
2-3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
100g icing sugar
pecans for decoration
*Pecans are optional, I left them out of the actual cake as I wanted to make it baby friendly for my 9 month old but if you aren't worried about that and want it more like traditional carrot cake, add them in.
Preheat oven to 180 degrees, (160 degrees for fan of gas mark 4)
Thoroughly mix all the 'cake' ingredients together in a large bowl, you can do it bit by bit if you prefer but I just put the whole lot in and get mixing, so simple!
Divide the mixture between two 20cm sandwich tins that have been greased and bottom lined with greaseproof paper. Place on middle shelf of preheated oven and bake for 20-30 minutes until well risen and skewer come out clean.
Once done, turn out onto a wire rack and let them cool completely.
Once cooled, mix all the frosting ingredients (except pecans for decoration) together in a small bowl. Spread half in between the two cake sandwiches and spread the rest on top. Decorate with your pecans and you're done!
It really is that simple and it turned out so delicious, we couldn't even tell it was dairy free let alone slightly healthier than regular carrot cake.. Warren even said it 'tasted shop bought' which I think is the best compliment ;) I will definitely be making this recipe again soon.