This Carrot Cake recipe from Forks Over Knives (original recipe linked below) is one of my favorites! It is sweetened naturally using dates and banana and packs a punch of spiced flavor.
1½ cups unsweetened plant milk, such as almond, soy, cashew, or rice
4½ ounces pitted whole dates, chopped
¾ cup raisins, divided
½ cup sliced ripe banana
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (or seeds from 1 vanilla bean)
1¾ cups regular rolled oats
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Pinch of ground cloves
1½ cups finely shredded carrots
½ cup chopped walnuts (optional)
1 cup Vanilla Bean Frosting (optional)
Combine the plant milk, dates, ¼ cup of the raisins, the banana, and vanilla in a medium bowl. Let stand for 15 minutes or until dates are softened.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper (or use a silicone baking pan).
Place the oats in a blender. Cover and blend until a powder forms. Transfer to a large bowl. Stir in the baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, nutmeg, and cloves.
Transfer the date mixture to the blender. Cover and blend until smooth. Add the date mixture to the oat mixture in bowl; stir just until combined. Fold in the remaining ½ cup of raisins, the carrots, and walnuts (if using).
Spread the batter into the prepared baking pan. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until golden. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Remove from the pan; cool on a wire rack. Spread the cake with Vanilla Frosting (if using).