The Best Grain-Free Carrot Cake (Super Moist + Paleo Approved)
The Best Grain-Free Carrot Cake
With Easter coming up this weekend I seem to be on a carrot kick. Between this Grain-Free Carrot Cake and last week’s Rosemary-Honey Carrot Ribbons, looks like I’ll be stocking up on Bugs Bunny’s favourite vegetable this weekend.
Our family LOVES this super moist carrot cake. It’s the perfect companion to any holiday dinner or, hey, just because you wanna have some cake! The grain-free flours make it safe for celiacs and anyone with gluten intolerance, too.
“So how do I make my baked goods moist and full of flavour without regular flour?”
These days there are so many options for you and most of them can be found at your local health or bulk food store. If you’re having trouble finding one of them, try online.
When baking with grain-free flours, it’s important to do a little experimenting with them. They aren’t all a straight 1:1 substitution. Sometimes it’s best to combine a few of them like in this Grain-Free Carrot Cake recipe where I used almond, arrowroot, and coconut flours.
Almond Flour: Heavier flour that requires a little more leavening agent. Most baked good recipes can use almond flour for straight 1:1 all-purpose flour substitution.
Arrowroot Flour (or Starch): Neutral taste and is easy to digest, arrowroot is a great substitute for cornstarch. Try thickening gravies, sauces, and stews with it. Substitute ¼ of the flour in a recipe for arrowroot starch.
Coconut Flour: High fibre content causes coconut flour to soak up a lot of moisture. Less is more and an extra egg or applesauce can be added to keep the recipe moist. It’s best to find a recipe that already uses coconut flour rather than trying to substitute with it.
Cassava Root Flour: Made from the yucca root, cassava is very easy to digest. It’s similar to coconut flour in the fact that it also tends to suck up moisture. Great to use as a sauce or gravy thickener.
Chestnut Flour: Adding a little sweetness and nuttiness to your recipes, chestnut flour can be substituted 1:1 for whole wheat flour.
Green Banana: Made from unripe bananas, this flour is great in almost all baked goods. For a wheat flour substitution, use ⅓ cup less green banana flour.
Tapioca Flour: Similar to cassava, tapioca is also made from the yucca root. Tapioca is extracted through a process of washing and pulping, while cassava is the whole root ground down. This is best used as a thickening agent. Replace 1:1 in any recipe that calls for all-purpose flour to thicken. To replace cornstarch, use 2 tablespoons tapioca flour for every 1 tablespoon of cornstarch.
Tiger Nut Flour: A nuttier and slightly grittier texture, tiger nut is high in fibre. You can typically use a 1:1 whole wheat substitution. Again, trial and error is recommended here.
The perfect grain-free dessert to enjoy with your holiday dinner.
15 minPrep Time
20 minCook Time
35 minTotal Time
Yields 1 layered cake
- 1 ½ cups almond flour
- ½ cup arrowroot starch
- ¼ cup coconut flour
- 2 tbsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp sea salt
- 5 eggs
- ½ cup maple syrup
- ½ cup coconut oil or ghee, melted and cooled
- 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 large carrots, finely shredded (about 2 cups)
- 1 can coconut cream, chilled
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla
- ¼ cup crushed pecans for topping
- Preheat oven to 350F and line two 8” baking pans with a circle of parchment paper. Use a little bit of coconut oil to grease the side of the pans.
- Add all the dry ingredients to a large bowl and mix well. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl, add all of the wet ingredients (except the carrots) and mix well. Make sure the coconut oil or ghee isn’t too hot when you add it to the wet ingredients to prevent cooking the eggs.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir till well combined.
- Fold in the shredded carrots.
- Divide the cake mixture between to two pans. Place in oven and bake for about 20 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
- In the meantime, scoop out the coconut cream from the top of the can. Reserve the liquid at the bottom and save for a future smoothie.
- Add coconut cream, maple syrup, and vanilla to a stand-up mixer. Beat on medium-high until whipped and thick. Place in the fridge to keep cool.
- When cakes are done baking, remove from oven and let cool about 20-30 minutes.
- Carefully remove from pans and transfer to a wire rack to cool another 20-30 minutes.
- Place one cake layer on serving platter and spread ½ of the whipped coconut cream on the surface.
- Place the second cake layer on top and spread the remaining whipped coconut cream on top.
- Decorate with crushed pecans if desired.
- Keep cake in the fridge until ready to eat as the coconut cream will melt.
To make a circle piece of parchment. Place pan down on top of parchment and trace. Cut along the lines and place in bottom of the pan. The cake may absorb the coconut cream so you may want to frost just before dessert.