Vegan Chocolate Walnut Cake
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After her cancer diagnosis in 2003, Kris Carr headed straight for the kitchen (she calls it her "pharmacy") and immediately tossed out all the processed junk to cook up healthful, vegan, whole foods instead. Thanks to this switch to a plant-based diet, Carr found she could feel good and have an active, healthy lifestyle despite living with an incurable disease. Since then Carr has published several best-selling books about her "animal-free, plant-passionate" lifestyle and has become one of the foremost health advocates in the field today.

This vegan recipe for Chocolate Walnut Cake, from Carr's Crazy Sexy Kitchen cookbook, is easy to whip up. Enjoy the intense chocolatey, nutty flavor for a sweet snack or an after-dinner delight.

RELATED: 6 Vegan Cookies

Serves: 12

Ingredients:
For cake
Canola spray
1/2 cup walnuts
1 cup unbleached white flour
2/3 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup canola oil
1 cup maple syrup
4 ounces vegan sour cream
3/4 cup water

For frosting
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup Earth Balance or other vegan butter
1/2 cup chocolate soy milk or vanilla soy milk
1 teaspoon vanilla

For garnish
1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts
Raspberries

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8-by-8-inch baking dish or a 9-inch round pan with canola oil.
2. Grind walnuts in a food processor until they have a flourlike consistency. Be careful not to grind them into a paste. In a medium bowl, mix walnuts, flours, salt, baking soda, and cocoa powder together. Set aside.
3. In another medium mixing bowl, stand mixer, or food processor, blend canola oil, maple syrup, and sour cream together until creamy. Add water and mix again.
4. Add dry mixture to wet mixture and mix until well combined, being careful not to overmix. Pour batter into prepared pan and spread evenly.
5. Bake about 30 minutes or until cake springs back when touched in the middle and is pulling away from the sides of the pan. Remove from oven to cool. Once cool, run a knife around sides of cake and gently turn over onto a plate.
6. To prepare frosting, blend all ingredients in a food processor or blender until creamy.
7. Frost top, then sides of cake. Sprinkle with chopped walnuts and garnish with raspberries.

Nutrition score per serving: 395 calories, 24g fat (5g saturated), 46g carbs, 5g protein, 4g fiber, 304mg sodium, 26g sugars

Recipe adapted from Crazy Sexy Kitchen by Kris Carr. Copyright 2012 by Crazy Sexy Wellness, LLC. Used with permission by Hay House, Inc.

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