Carrot Cake (My Very First Cake)

This is the very, very first cake that I baked. I am ashamed to say that I was 24 years old. I was never really allowed to experiment in the kitchen when younger so as a result I didn't have much confidence in that area. When me and my husband moved to our small flat I couldn't even cook pasta and instead ate it dry. I was sure that I would ruin it anyway by cooking it so I thought better to just eat it straight out of the box. A little crunchy yes but I got used to it. My tummy however was not happy at all. A few years later I had started a very popular recipe website. And not just a recipe website but a website aimed at healthy eating. So you see, if I can do it, so can you.

I found this recipe on the noticeboard in my printmaking class (I did a printmaking degree in art school). One of my fellow students had pinned the recipe on the noticeboard and my curiosity was awoken. I hadn't had a cake for 12 years because I stopped eating sugar when I was 12. I didn't miss the sweet, unhealthy cakes (because I always felt poorly after eating them anyway) but I wondered if something like this could be for me? I wrote down the recipe but had zero confidence so didn't try it out. Years later I finally made the cake. I had a cupboard sized kitchen and a broken oven (on constant grill on one side with everything being undercooked on the other) but I really felt this urge to make a cake. I felt I was ready to face up to the kitchen demons that had been haunting me my whole life. I did make the cake and honestly, from that very day, a new Sigrun (me) was born. The cake was of course seriously burnt on one side and fairly raw on the other but in the middle I tasted this lovely, lovely cake. The aroma in the small flat was also delicious. I was intrigued. It was possible to make healthy AND yummy cakes! Sometimes all you need is a little inspiration and I hope that this website and perhaps this recipe will be just that.

To make this cake you will need a food processor and a 22 centimetres (8.7 inches) spring form cake tin.

It is also useful to keep in mind that the cake will turn soft on day two but you can re-heat it in the oven for a few minutes to get that "freshly baked" feeling again.

This recipe is:

  • Egg free
  • Gluten free
  • Lactose (dairy) free
  • Vegan

Carrot Cake (My Very First Cake)

Makes one cake


  • 125 grams (4¼ oz) dates, chopped coarsely
  • 250 millilitres (8¾ oz) apple juice
  • 350 grams (12¾ oz) carrots, peeled and shredded fairly coarsely
  • 50 grams (1¾ oz) hazelnuts, toasted, skins removed
  • 75 grams (2¾ oz) cashew nuts, toasted
  • 120 grams (4 oz) porridge oats
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • A pinch of salt (Himalaya or sea salt)
  • 1½ teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Chop the 125 grams dates and place in a small saucepan.
  2. Pour the 250 millilitres apple juice over the dates and bring to a boil. Let simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the dates turn soft.
  3. Peel the 350 grams carrots and shred fairly coarsely.
  4. Place 50 grams hazelnuts on a frying pan without oil and heat them on high heat for 10 minutes. Shift the nuts around in the pan. Let cool and rub the skins off. Remove from the pan.
  5. Place the 75 grams cashew nuts on the frying pan and toast for 5-7 minutes on high heat. Place in a food processor along with the hazelnuts.
  6. Blend the nuts for 7-10 seconds or until chopped fairly finely without being ground to a flour. Transfer to a large bowl.
  7. Add 1½ teaspoon vanilla extract, a pinch of salt, 1 tablespoon cinnamon and 120 grams porridge oats. Stir well.
  8. Pour most of the excess liquid off the dates into a small bowl (do not discard liquid) and mash dates slightly with a spoon or a fork.
  9. Add the dates to the large bowl along with the carrots. Stir well. The batter should be sticky but not runny. Add a little of the reserved liquid if needed.
  10. Line a 22 centimetres (8.7 inches) spring form cake tin with baking parchment. Pour the batter into the cake tin and spread out with a spatula or the back of a tablespoon. Press lightly so that the cake will be firm.
  11. Bake at 200 degrees Celsius/400 Fahrenheit/Gas Mark 6, for 45-60 minutes. If the cake is turning very dark (or hard to the touch) on the top, lower the heat (or place aluminium foil on top).


  • Decorate with fresh fruits and berries (such as grapes, kiwi, apple or banana slices, blueberries and more) or edible flowers.
  • You can also make a chocolate frosting to go with the cake.
  • Serve with cashew cream or cream of your choice.
  • You can use orange juice instead of apple juice.