Original recipe – Gluten and Grain-Free, no refined sugars
Be it a birthday celebration, or the end to a tough week, (or BOTH), we all need a treat now and then. This carrot cake did it for us – and without adding any grains!
Truth be told, I was skeptical about how a cake would turn out without the usual additions of flour and refined sugar. Baking can be so touchy – and then you end up with a brick of a cake, or something so dry that you need a vat of birthday punch to wash it down. Well, surprise, this cake is fabulous! Take that gluten….we don’t need you no more! I absolutely could not tell that this cake was grain free – the texture was moist, but not dense. It had a pleasantly sweet taste and cinnamon-y flavor, and was chocked full of carrots, raisins, and walnuts. It was indistinguishable from carrot cakes I’ve made in the past with wheat flour. Carrot cake is pretty versatile, so feel free to experiment a little with other ingredients. I like to switch up the raisins and walnuts with chopped dates and macadamia nuts – add a little ginger and pineapple and you’ll think you’re vacationing in the tropics!
- 1/2 cup walnut oil
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/2 cup coconut palm sugar (I used Big Tree Farms SweetTree Organic Coconut Palm Sugar)
- 5 eggs
- 3 cups blanched almond flour (I used JK Gourmet Almond Flour)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 3/4 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut (I used Let’s Do Organic Coconut)
- 3 cups grated carrots (about 2 large carrots)
- 3/4 cup raisins or chopped dates
- 3/4 walnuts, toasted and chopped
- Additional chopped nuts to top cake (optional)
Preheat oven to 325F. Line two 9-inch-diameter cake pans with parchment paper and butter bottom and sides (or use non-stick spray).
Using electric mixer, beat oil, palm sugar, and honey until well mixed. Add eggs one at a time, beating well between eggs.
In a separate bowl, mix together almond flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and shredded coconut. With mixer on low speed, slowly add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients. When it has all been added, beat until well blended. Stir in carrots, raisins and toasted walnuts.
Divide batter between cake pans. Bake at 325 for 35 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean. Cool cakes in pans for 15 minutes. Run a small knife around the edge of the pans to loosen the cakes, then invert carefully on a cooling rack; cool completely.
This frosting recipe is adapted from Whole Foods Recipes. It is very rich, but not very sweet. It was perfect for this Carrot Cake!
Maple Cream Cheese Frosting
- 2 8-ounce packages cream cheese
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter (I like Kerry-Gold, unsalted)
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
Cream together cream cheese and butter in an electric mixer. Gradually add maple syrup and beat until well-combined and fluffy.
Place 1 cake layer, flat side up, on cake platter. Spread approximately 1 cup of frosting over the layer. Top with the second cake layer, flat side down. Spread remaining frosting over the top and sides of cake. Top with chopped nuts (optional). Refrigerate, if possible. (Not going to fit in my refrigerator!) Serve at room temperature.
Today, most of all, I wish you a happy birthday…couldn’t have done without you. Literally!