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Coconut, Orange and Carrot Mini-Cakes

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ABOUT THE RECIPE:

These rich and moist Coconut, Orange and Carrot Mini-Cakes are as tasty as they are cute. Orange juice stands in for milk and flaxseeds make an excellent substitute for the oil and eggs. Topped with a decadent vegan cream cheese frosting, this dessert is a real standout.

MAKES THREE 6-INCH CAKES (12 TO 14 SERVINGS)

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INGREDIENTS:

VEGAN CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
2 containers (8 ounces each) vegan cream cheese
1/4 cup vegan margarine
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons vegan powdered sugar
To make the frosting, put the vegan cream cheese, margarine and vanilla extract into a small bowl and stir briskly with a fork until smooth and thoroughly combined. Stir in the vegan powdered sugar and mix until incorporated and smooth. Cover and refrigerate for 3 to 4 hours before using.

CAKE
2 cups whole wheat flour
11/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons freshly ground golden flaxseeds
1/3 cup unsweetened shredded dried coconut
3/4 cup firmly packed vegan dark brown sugar
11/4 cups freshly squeezed orange juice (zest the oranges first)
2/3 cup water
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
11/3 cups plus 2 tablespoons shredded carrots
1/2 cup raisins
2 tablespoons orange zest

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INSTRUCTIONS:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Generously coat three 6-inch round cake pans with vegan margarine.

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To make the cakes, put the whole wheat flour, baking powder and baking soda into a large bowl and stir with a dry whisk to combine. Add the ground flaxseeds, coconut and brown sugar and stir with the whisk to combine. Stir the orange juice, water and vanilla into the flour mixture and mix with a large spoon just until incorporated. Add 11/3 cups of the shredded carrots, raisins and 1 tablespoon orange zest and mix until incorporated. Pour one-third of the batter into each of the prepared cake pans.

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Bake 33 to 37 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of each cake comes out clean. Put the pans on a wire rack and gently loosen the sides of the cakes with a kitchen knife.

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Cool for 5 to 7 minutes and carefully invert each cake onto the rack. Let cool completely (about 2 hours) before piping or spreading the Vegan Cream Cheese frosting over the cakes. Garnish with shredded carrots, if desired.