Do you ever have a craving for an old-fashioned favorite and wish there was a gluten-free version? A few years back my husband asked for a carrot cake for his birthday. I was gluten-free at the time, so I definitely wanted to make a cake that I could enjoy too on his special day. As long as it was a carrot cake he didn’t care.
I had a zucchini bread recipe that was really “cakey,” so I played with that a time or two and came up with this creation. (I have since packed away the zucchini recipe and will have to post it after we move.)
This cake is super moist and full of carrot, fruit, and nuts. My husband’s favorite frosting is the traditional cream cheese, but I LOVE coconut cream frosting, so that is what I included here.
TIP: If you don’t have a springform pan I would recommend turning these into cupcakes using paper liners, otherwise you will have a tough time getting it cleanly out of a regular cake pan.
3 cups blanched almond flour, plus more for dusting
1 Tbls Ceylon cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground ginger
2 teaspoons fine ground sea salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup oil (coconut or grapeseed), plus more for greasing the pan
1/2 cup maple syrup (or agave nectar or raw honey)
5 large eggs (organic pasture-raised preferred)
3 cups grated carrots (I like to grate short pieces on a box grater)
½ cup dried cranberries
½ cup raisins (or currants)
1 cup chopped walnuts (or pecans)
1 to 2 batches of whipped coconut cream (recipe below)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Using a small amount of oil, grease an 8 or 9-inch springform pan. Sprinkle a little bit (1 to 2 tablespoons should do it) of almond flour in the pan and dust it across the bottom and sides of the pan. Pour out any extra flour.
Combine the almond flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, salt and baking soda in a large mixing bowl.
Take the oil, maple syrup, and eggs, and whisk in a medium bowl until thoroughly combined.
Add the wet mixture to the flour mixture and combine. Gently fold in the carrots, cranberries, raisins, and walnuts.
Pour the batter into the springform pan and bake for 40 minutes. Check that the cake is done by inserting a toothpick or knife into the center. It is done when the knife comes out clean. If needed, bake an additional 2-3 minutes, or until the cake is baked through.
Cool the cake for at least one hour before removing it from the pan. Cool completely on a cooling rack before frosting.
You can use a traditional cream cheese frosting for this cake, or you might like to try the Coconut Cream frosting noted below. It’s delish!
1 can organic coconut milk (13.5 ounces, full-fat)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract (not the fake stuff)
1 Tbls raw, unfiltered honey (or 6 drops of stevia, or 1 Tbls of maple syrup)
Place the can of coconut milk upside-down in the refrigerator overnight. This will allow the coconut solids to separate from the water, leaving the water on top (right-side) for easy draining.
When ready to prepare the whipped cream, reverse the can of coconut milk so that the right-side is on top. Open the can and pour off the water (save this for a smoothie). Spoon the solid coconut cream into a small bowl for mixing. You want to be sure all of the water is removed.
Add the vanilla extract and your sweetener of choice to the coconut cream and use a hand mixer to whip until light and fluffy. Refrigerate if you are not using immediately
Spread evenly over the cooled carrot cake and enjoy!
(NOTE: The amount of coconut cream frosting used is entirely dependent on you – if you like a lot of frosting on the top and sides of the cake, you might make two batches of this recipe. Any leftovers can be kept in the fridge for a few days and used in a coffee drink or added to a smoothie for extra creaminess.
Almond Flour – you can use any blanched fine-milled almond flour. I usually have Bob’s Red Mill Super Fine Almond Flour on hand. Another great option is Honeyville brand – the finest ground almond flour I have found.
Coconut Cream – my favorite organic coconut mild is Native Forest Unsweetened Coconut Milk. You can find it on Amazon.com, Vitacost.com or ThriveMarket.com. Be sure you are buying the 13.5 ounces can, as it does come in a 5.4-ounce version.
Eggs – I prefer to use pasture-raised eggs. Vital Farms is a great option and can now be found in many grocery stores, including Target. They offer an organic version, but I find it is more difficult to locate in local stores. Click here to find a store near you that carries Vital Farm eggs. You’ll be glad you did.
Corrie Ann Gray is a writer, researcher, coach, and cookie enthusiast who lives in Los Angeles, CA. She started the Clean Body Project to share all of her knowledge and resources with others who are interested in running their own experiment into clean holistic living. She is also known as The Renaissance Soul Writer at www.corrieanngray.com.