I really like carrot cake. Like, a disgusting amount. My sister knows this and ever-so-sweetly took her first attempt at vegan baking to make me this vegan carrot cake with macadamia nut frosting for my birthday. It was outstanding. I ate a lot of it.
Carrot cake is great because it’s a lovely “everyday” kind of cake. There are few days I’d turn it down. It’s sweet. It’s spicy. It has raisins and nuts inside. Mmm. I buy big slabs of it from a local vegan bakery (East Side Ovens) and sort of have it as a regular fixture in my refrigerator. That’s normal, right? Okay good. Noms.
In addition to eating lots of carrot cake, I’m also very into making granola lately. It’s so quick, easy, and far less expensive and more tasty than store bought. I made this Nutty Gingerbread Granola, and then this Banana Bread Granola and this almost-a-bit ridiculous Puppy Chow Granola. Granola kick anyone? Yes I think so.
The idea of gingerbread granola and banana bread granola and puppy chow granola got me thinking of turning other dessert-y things into granola. And while mixing carrot cake chunks and some granola into my coconut milk yogurt for dessert a few weeks ago: BAM the idea for carrot cake granola hit me.
I made it a few times before getting it quite right. The first time I used quick cooking oats by accident because I accidentally got those instead of rolled. Pro-tip: don’t do this. Use rolled oats.
Anyways, below is my perfected recipe for carrot cake granola. It’s spicy and sweet and crunchy and reminiscent of carrot cake in all the right ways. Full of pecans, walnuts, raisins, coconut shreds, and real carrot, it’s almost like cake for breakfast. Almost.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Bake Time: 30 minutes
makes about 4 cups granola
- 3 cups rolled oats
- 1 cup shredded carrots (about 1 cup baby carrots or 3 large carrots)
- 3/4 cup chopped walnuts
- 3/4 cup chopped pecans
- 3/4 cup raisins
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
- 1/4 cup molasses
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1/4 cup maple syrup or honey
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Shred carrots into a large bowl. Add oats, shredded coconut, nuts, raisins, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, and salt. Mix well.
3. In a small bowl, combine coconut oil, molasses, brown sugar, and maple syrup or honey. Mix well.
4. Pour wet mixture over dry mixture and mix until well combine. The oats should all be a little wet. Transfer to a parchment-lined or nonstick baking sheet. Place into the oven for 30-35 minutes until nuts and oats have browned. Mix once about 15 minutes into baking. When it is done, it will still be sticky. Take it out of the oven anyways. It will harden as it cools.