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healthy gluten free carrot cake on a cake stand

The Best Healthy Carrot Cake You'll Ever Eat (gluten free & paleo-friendly!)

The BEST moist healthy carrot cake you'll ever eat 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! This paleo-friendly gluten free carrot cake will be your new favorite carrot cake recipe.
Course Cake, Dessert, Gluten Free, Grain Free
Keyword gluten free carrot cake
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 16 servings

Ingredients

  • Dry Ingredients
  • 2 cups packed super fine blanched almond flour (I use Bob's Red Mill)
  • ½ cup coconut flour (do not pack)
  • ½ cup unsweetened finely shredded coconut (I use Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Wet ingredients
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup drippy tahini
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup melted and cooled coconut oil
  • 3 cups shredded carrots (medium grate)
  • Optional mix-ins:
  • ½ cup raisins
  • ½ cup chopped pecans or walnuts
  • For the frosting:
  • ½ cup salted butter, at room temperature (or sub vegan buttery stick)
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature (or sub dairy free cream cheese)
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened almond milk (any milk will work)
  • For the topping:
  • Extra pecans and shredded coconut

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line the bottom of three 6-inch round cake pans or two 8-inch round cake pans with parchment paper rounds. Spray parchment paper and sides of pan with nonstick cooking spray. YOU SHOULD USE PARCHMENT PAPER or the cake is likely to stick. Please do not forget.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk the almond flour, coconut flour, unsweetened shredded coconut, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt together. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, pure maple syrup, tahini, almond milk, vanilla extract until smooth. 
  4. Slowly whisk in the melted and cooled coconut oil until it’s well incorporated, the stir in the carrots. Note: It is important that your eggs are at room temperature otherwise the coconut oil with coagulate. The coconut oil should be melted but not HOT, but rather closer to room temp.
  5. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix with a wooden spoon until well combined. Stir in raisins and nuts, if using.
  6. Divide batter evenly between pans and spread out with a spatula to smooth the tops. Bake for 22-32 minutes in the two 8-inch pans and 30-40 minutes for three 6-inch pans.
  7. Cakes are done when a tester comes out clean or with just a few crumbs attached. Allow cake to cool completely before frosting or removing from the pans. The cake should be room temperature when you frost it. This is very important. Cakes can be made a day ahead if you’d like.
  8. Make your frosting: In the bowl of an electric mixer, add the softened butter and cream cheese and whip on high until light and fluffy. Add powdered sugar, vanilla extract and milk and beat for 2-3 minutes more.
  9. Now it’s time to frost the cake: place about 1 tablespoon down onto onto the cake stand and spread out. Invert cake onto the cake stand, add about ½ heaping cup frosting between each layer, repeat with each cake, then frost the top and sides of the cake with the remaining frosting. 
  10. Decorate cake with pecans and shredded coconut on top. Once you are done frosting, place the cake to the fridge. Cake will stay good for 5-7 days in the fridge, and should be covered to ensure freshness. Serves 16.

Recipe Notes

To make dairy free/paleo: use vegan butter (I recommend Earth Balance) and a dairy free cream cheese such as Kite Hill. You may also need to use a paleo powdered sugar. You can also use Simple Mills Frosting as an alternative.

To make vegan: I haven't tried making this cake vegan, but if you want to try you can use 4 flax eggs (4 tablespoons flaxseed meal + 12 tablespoons water).