Black Sesame Carrot Cake

An all-time favorite for packs, pockets, and snacks just about anywhere.

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Season: Spring, Fall, Winter
Dosha: Pitta, Vata

Everyone loves a banana bread, amiright?

But what to do when you don’t have any overripe bananas, but you DO have a hankering for a snack cake? Something that doesn’t need anything to be tender and great, but that you also wouldn’t mind toasting up and slathering with butter?

This Black Sesame Carrot Cake is the answer. It came to be in a moment when I was resisting buying bananas, (not local, and when is a banana’s “season” anyway?) and so I decided to experiment with carrots instead. The results were effing awesome and this cake is a favorite for pockets, packs, and snacking…specifically toasted with that dollop of butter on top.

Recipe Notes

  • On folding: To ensure that there are no lumps in your batter you will want to use the proper folding technique. I have created a little tutorial for you here.
  • Gluten-free and vegan: This recipe is naturally vegan, Yay! I haven’t tried it with GF flour but if you do so, I recommend using a cup-for-cup replacement.
  • On substitutions: You can adapt this carrot bread as you please with similar results. Want to use a different oil? Great. Different milk? Go for it! Personally, I like almond and coconut but feel free to use your own preferred ingredients.
  • On flours: I love using whole-grain heirloom flours because they have richer flavors and more nutrients than their bleached counterparts. I buy mine from Dry Storage, a local favorite baker. I highly recommend using heirloom flours purchased from a local source, if possible. Not only do they taste better than store-bought options, they’re better for you.
  • On ginger: I used fresh ginger in this recipe because I use it often in my cooking and always have a surplus to spare. If using ground ginger is your preference here, use 1 tsp and whisk it into your dry ingredients rather than the wet.
  • On storage: This carrot bread keeps best when stored in the refrigerator for no more than 5 days after baking.

Flavor Notes

Flavors are FUN, yes, but they also are the mechanisms by which our bodies nourish themselves. Flavors basically tell our bodies what the food is giving us – on a nutritional and energetic level. Our bodies then prepare enzymes to break those components down, assimilate them, and turn them into fuel for our vibrant lives. We can’t eat just one flavor and get all of the things we need, so learning to track the flavors in our foods helps us to be sure that we’re really getting all of the things we need in our meals. This particular recipe has all six flavors. The more flavors we can enjoy in any meal or food, the happier and more balanced our bodies will be. If you’re wanting to learn more about how the flavors we eat fuel our bodies – energetically and nutritively, check out this little blog post.

  • SWEET: almond milk
  • SALTY: Kosher sea salt
  • SOUR: applesauce
  • BITTER: sesame seeds
  • ASTRINGENT: carrot, cinnamon, sesame seeds
  • PUNGENT: ginger

Black Sesame Carrot Cake

An all-time favorite for packs, pockets, and snacks just about anywhere.

Serving size: 1 slice


Active Time: 1 hour 45 minutes


Serves: slices


  • 1/2 cup (95g) almond milk (or your favorite dairy free milk)
  • 3/4 cup (177.5g) applesauce
  • 2 tsp fresh ginger (shredded)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups plus 2 Tbsp unbleached whole-grain flour (311g)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp Kosher sea salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup (8oz) carrot (shredded)
  • 2/3 cup (142.5g) cane sugar
  • 1 cup (149.5g) coconut sugar
  • 1/2 cup (95g) coconut oil (melted)
  • 2 Tbsp black sesame seeds


  • 1Prepare equipment & ingredients

    Preheat the oven to 375℉ and place a rack in the center of the oven.

    Grease a 9×11″ pan with coconut oil and line with parchment so it hangs over the sides in the form of a sling.

    In a large bowl whisk together almond milk, applesauce, fresh ginger, and vanilla extract. Set aside.

    In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Set aside.

  • 2Make the batter

    Add shredded carrot to the wet ingredients and mix thoroughly. Stir in the sugars and stir with a spatula until combined.

    Fold in the dry ingredients until no dry pockets remain. The batter will still be a bit chunky. (For additional guidance on proper folding technique check the RECIPE NOTES!) 

    Now fold in the melted coconut oil. The batter will loosen slightly and become more voluptuous.

    Transfer the batter to the prepared baking pan and sprinkle with black sesame seeds. Press them gently into the batter.

  • 3Bake the cake

    Place your loaf in the oven on the center rack.

    Bake for 1 hour 15 minutes to 1 hour 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

    Allow to cool completely in the pan, 20-25 minutes, then remove using your parchment sling. Enjoy immediately or store refrigerated for up to 5 days.

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