This gluten-free and healthy carrot cake recipe will become a go-to recipe when you’re in need of a quickly and easily prepared cake that people will love. This is made with almond and coconut flour and naturally sweetened with pure maple syrup. Packed with coconut, raisins, and pecans and topped with a delicious cream cheese frosting that’s easily dairy-free! Grated carrots are, of course, the star ingredient.
This gluten-free cake is gently spiced and has a beautiful texture. It is suitable for many occasions; serve it for morning tea, for dessert, take on a picnic, or to a potluck. It is a cake that you will receive many a request for!
This healthy carrot cake recipe requires a few specialty ingredients but trust me when we say that this one is delicious! Here’s what you need:
- Almond flour- Almond flour is a wonderful substitute for regular all-purpose flour and has many health benefits. I recommend using fine blanched almond meal that will pack like sugar into your baked goods, but without compromising on flavor!
- Coconut flour- this is a great gluten-free flour to help absorb moisture in recipes and also add fiber and nutrition. No need to pack the coconut flour though.
- Finely shredded unsweetened coconut- This cake requires shredded coconut for texture. So please don’t skip without the shredded coconut, it’s crucial for texture.
- Spices- The sweet hint of cinnamon and nutmeg is a must-have for any carrot cake.
- Vanilla extract- just an essential.
- Eggs- This recipe uses four eggs to help with consistency and texture. If you’re vegan, there are some notes added below!
- Pure maple syrup- The maple syrup is just a nice touch to this recipe and adds so much flavor.
- Tahini- The tahini is the best! It makes for an incredible flavor and adds a unique texture. You can replace almond butter or cashew butter with some other nut spreads of your choice (just know that they won’t be quite as good).
- Coconut oil- If you don’t want to use coconut oil, you can always use melted butter.
- Almond milk- Any dairy-free milk will work.
- Carrots- This recipe uses 3 cups of grated carrots! You can have a small or medium grate for your carrot cake recipes.
- Mix-ins- You can add raisins and chopped pecans or chopped walnuts!
How to make paleo carrot cake
To make this carrot cake paleo and dairy-free, simply use dairy-free cream cheese and a paleo-friendly powdered sugar option. You can also use Simple Mills frosting.
Can I make this cake vegan?
If you want to try a carrot cake vegan, you can use 4 flax eggs (4 tablespoons flaxseed meal + 12 tablespoons water).
Can I use all-purpose flour?
Using all-purpose flour or any alternative flours in this recipe is not recommended because the texture of carrot cake will change.
Tips for making this gluten-free carrot cake
- Use medium grated carrots. You can grate the carrots in your food processor with the grating blade, or you can use a hand grater.
- Pack the almond flour. You’ll want to make sure you pack the almond flour just like you would with brown sugar. Do not pack the coconut flour.
- Use room temp ingredients: Be sure to let the eggs come to room temperature before using them in the recipe, otherwise, the coconut oil will coagulate the batter. The coconut oil should be melted but not HOT, but rather closer to room temperature.
- Make it ahead of time. You can make this cake 1-2 days ahead of time and it will still be absolutely delicious!
Tricks for beautiful frosting
- Cool before frosting. Make sure you follow the directions as written and wait until the cakes are completely cool before frosting them. After they are frosted, storing carrot cake in the fridge for optimal freshness is recommended.
- Do a crumb coat. Do a crumb coat for the frosting first by frosting the layers as you normally would and then coat the outside of the cake with a very thin layer of frosting then place in the fridge for 10-15 minutes before you finish frosting. This is so that the crumbs stick to this layer of frosting and not your main layer.
How do I store the Gluten-Free Carrot Cake?
If you have made your cake a day ahead and it is not frosted, store it in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. If the weather is hot or humid, store it well covered in the refrigerator. Once you have added the frosting, store it in an airtight container or well covered with cling wrap in the fridge for up to 5 days.