Oil or low-cal spray for the cake tin plus greaseproof paper OR a cake liner
1 tbsp flax meal (ground up flaxseeds) mixed with 3-4 tbsp hot water
375g/13oz fine wholemeal self-raising flour (If you can't obtain it, use fine plain wholemeal flour with ½ tsp baking powder added)
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
½ tsp salt
1½ tsp cinnamon
1½ tsp allspice
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
200g/7oz light brown sugar or caster sugar
4 medium carrots, grated on small holes
1½ cup raisins or chopped dates
80ml plain vegetable oil
200ml/7fl oz soya or other plant milk
60g vegan margarine, eg Pure or Vitalite
60g coconut block, grated
150g/6oz icing sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla or lemon essence
1. Oil or spray a 20cm/8 inch loose-bottomed or spring-form cake tin.
2. Cover the base of the tin with greaseproof paper if using - or use a cake liner that fits inside the tin.
3. Pre-heat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/Gas Mark 4 - no hotter because the cake needs to cook quite slowly so the middle cooks but it doesn’t get burned on the top. If you have a fan-assisted oven, reduce this temperature by about 20 degrees.
4. Mix the flax meal and hot water together and set aside.
5. Sieve all the dry ingredients into a bowl. Add the grated carrot and raisins.
6. Add the oil, soya milk and flax meal mixture and stir in well into the dry mixture - do this by hand, not with an electric beater - gently but thoroughly to amalgamate all the ingredients.
7. Pour the cake batter into the tin and place on the top shelf of the oven.
8. Bake for 40-50 minutes. Test after 35 minutes by sticking a toothpick or thin sharp knife into the centre of the cake. If it comes out clean, the cake is done. Otherwise, return the cake to the oven and bake for another 5-10 minutes - if it's starting to look brown, cover with a bit of baking parchment.
9. Leave the cake to cool properly before placing on a wire rack for about 20 minutes. (a clean rack from a grill pan will do nicely!).
10. Meanwhile, make the icing.
11. Cream the margarine and grated block coconut with a fork and mix in the icing sugar until smooth - or whizz it all in a food processor! Stir in the flavouring. Chill, covered, in the fridge until needed. Make sure the cake is completely cooled before icing the cake. Use a rubber spatula to smooth on the icing - or else use a fork to make patterns.