Demerara Quinoa and Carrot Cake

Just a warning, this is not your typical all-American, “carrot cake.”

I’ve said in the past that I hate carrot cake.  I wish I liked it, I really do.  It would, for example, make family functions easier, as my father loves carrot cake.  He has even gone so far to question my relation to him, as he can’t understand why I, his daughter, would loathe a nut filled, over spiced, cream cheese laden thing.  Ok, the latter part is my description of the cake.

Sorry Dad, I’m yours, carrot cake hating daughter and all.

Well, now that we’ve gone over that speed bump, let’s start over fresh.

I’ve been receiving what seems like an endless supply of carrots from my CSA.  Week after week I’ve opened the cute, little green reusable shopping bag to find bundles of crooked-legged carrots waiting to be used at the bottom.

I love carrots raw, cooked in savory dishes, whatever, just don’t put them in a cake.  Roo on the other hand, likes carrot cake, but isn’t a fan of them otherwise.  And for someone who doesn’t like carrots, he’s had to endure them for dipping into hummus, soups with a suspicious amount thrown in (“Where are the potatoes?”), and a stir fry that should have honestly been called, “carrot sauté with a couple green leaves on the side.”

Needless to say, I needed a new sneaky method to use up the carrots without Roo becoming convinced he was going to turn orange from an overdose.

Quinoa carrot cake was the answer.  I was a bit nervous making it as I’m clearly jaded from the original stand-by from (what I’m convinced of) “suburgatory.”  Also, I’ve never used quinoa as a “flour” for a cake before, and had no idea how it would turn out.  Would it still be intact, curly-tails and all?  Would it have a strange aftertaste?

The cake turned out to be extremely moist, with a subtle nutty flavor (from the quinoa), and the crunchy demerara sugar topping almost made me almost feel a little guilty when eating it.  Like stealing the sugar crusted tops of blueberry muffins your mother would make on a Sunday morning, kind of guilty.

Was that just me as a kid?

But don’t feel guilty dear reader, it is so so good.

Like snakes on a plane good.

If you like that kind of thing.


Well then you’ll just have to take my word for it.

Adapted from Fresh365


1 cup cooked quinoa

1 cup demerara sugar, plus 1 tablespoon for sprinkling

Three quarters of a cup of white whole wheat flour (If you only have all purpose, you can use that)

Three quarters of a cup all purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

Quarter teaspoon fine sea salt (I use Diamond)

Half cup vegan butter (like Earth Balance), melted and cooled

Half cup soy yogurt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 flax eggs (2 tablespoons of ground flax seeds, combined with 6 tablespoons of water, mixed and set aside for about 10 minutes)

1 heaping cup, loosely packed, finely grated carrots (I used the “fine grate” side of the blade on my food processor)


A loaf pan (I used an 8″x4″)

Two medium sized mixing bowls

A spatula

A whisk

Parchment paper (optional) to line your loaf pan with, or vegan butter and flour to coat your pan with

Place your oven rack in the middle position in the oven.  Preheat your oven to 350F.

Line your loaf pan with parchment paper, or grease and flour it.  Set aside.

In your first mixing bowl, add the quinoa, white whole wheat flour, all purpose flour,sugar, baking soda and salt.  Mix them together with a whisk.

In the second mixing bowl, add the melted butter, soy yogurt, flax eggs and vanilla extract.  Mix them till combined.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet, in increments, mixing till just combined.  Fold in the grated carrots till combined.

Pour/scoop (the batter is quite thick) the batter into your prepared loaf pan.  Smooth off the top of the batter.  Or not, and call it “rustic.”

Place the loaf pan in the oven.  Bake the cake for about an hour.  At the 45 minute mark, sprinkle the tablespoon of demerara sugar over the top of the cake.  At the 50 minute mark, check the cake with a toothpick/cake tester (I used a knife as I ran out of toothpicks).  If the toothpick/cake tester comes out clean, it’s done.  If not, bake for another five minutes, and repeat testing until the cake is done.

I’ve eaten this cake warm, and it’s delicious.  But, like most bakers suggest, it is better to wait to eat this cake when it’s cooled to room temperature as it tastes best the way it’s supposed to be served.


2 thoughts on “Demerara Quinoa and Carrot Cake

  1. Pingback: Quinoa, Greens and Root Veg Soup « Liz Lemon Nights

  2. Pingback: Breakfast Under Five Minutes: Quinoa with Dried Cranberries, Golden Raisins and Slivered Almonds « Liz Lemon Nights

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