Country Living (UK)



Preparatio­n 35 minutes Cooking 55 minutes Makes 20 squares Suitable for vegans, this cake is light, moist and made with wholemeal flour.

150g vegan spread, such as pure sunflower spread, plus extra to grease 250g pitted dates 350ml unsweetene­d almond milk 2 tsp bicarbonat­e of soda 75g soft light brown sugar zest and juice of 1 orange 350g wholemeal plain flour 1 tbsp baking powder 1½ tsp ground ginger 2 tsp ground cinnamon 250g peeled coarsely grated carrots 50g desiccated coconut 50g dried cranberrie­s, plus extra to decorate 25g pumpkin seeds, plus extra, toasted, to decorate 50g pecans, chopped, plus extra to decorate FOR THE ICING 150g vegan spread 75g smooth almond butter 325g icing sugar, sifted

1 Preheat the oven to 180˚C (160˚C fan oven) gas mark 4. Grease and line a 30cm x 23cm tray-bake or roasting tin with baking parchment.

2 Put the dates and almond milk in a small pan, bring up to the boil, then simmer for 5 minutes. Transfer to a blender or food processor, and whiz until smooth. Stir in the bicarbonat­e of soda and set aside.

3 Meanwhile, in a large bowl, beat together the spread and sugar with electric hand-beaters until combined. Beat in the date mixture along with the orange juice and zest.

4 In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder and spices. Fold into the batter, followed by the carrots, coconut, cranberrie­s, pumpkin seeds and pecans.

5 Pour into the roasting tin, level and bake for 45-50 minutes until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Cool in the tin on a wire rack.

6 Meanwhile, make the icing. In a medium bowl, beat the spread and almond butter with electric handbeater­s until smooth. Gradually beat in the icing sugar and chill until needed. 7 Remove the cake from the tin and spread with the icing. Scatter with the cranberrie­s, seeds and pecans.

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