Carrot cake is the ultimate spring dessert for me, so I am welcoming the new spring season by making a delicious grain-free carrot cake. I will be serving this for our Easter meal this upcoming weekend, so if you are looking for something to serve for the holiday, I highly recommend this cake. This is one of the recipes I make for family gatherings and share with friends who are wanting to bake something easy and grain-free. It wins people over every time, and they can never tell it is made without processed ingredients.
The cake is moist and full of carrot-y, nutty goodness, and it is topped with a slightly sweet cream cheese frosting. The frosting is lightly flavored with hints of maple syrup and fresh orange zest, which compliments the carrot cake perfectly. I sweeten my cake and frosting in this recipe with maple syrup, as it lends itself well to creating a moist cake, and I love the flavor. I also wanted to give a nod to the maple sugar season that we are in right now up here in Wisconsin. If you wanted to use honey to make this GAPS-friendly, that would work as well, just use an equal amount of honey as maple syrup called for in the recipe.
I made mine as a single-layer cake, but you could easily double the recipe to make a beautiful two-layer cake. You could also make the recipe into cupcakes as well. This will make about 9 cupcakes; just fill the cupcake liners to the top with frosting and reduce the baking time by about 15 minutes.
Carrot Cake with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting
Makes 1- 9" cake or ~9 cupcakes
For the cake:
1 1/2 cups almond flour, sifted
3 Tbs coconut flour
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground dried ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg
3/4 tsp baking soda
3 Tbs coconut oil, melted
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 Tbs orange zest (about 1/2 an orange worth)
3 Tbs orange juice (from ~1/2 an orange)
1/2 cup real maple syrup
2 cups grated carrots, packed
1/3 cup raisins
1/3 cup shredded coconut
1/3 cup walnuts, chopped
Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly grease a 9" round cake pan or line a cupcake pan with liners.
In a large bowl, combine the almond and coconut flours, salt, spices and baking soda. Stir to combine.
Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Add the eggs, vanilla, orange zest and juice and maple syrup into the center and mix together. Stir to incorporate the wet and dry ingredients together until just mixed.
Add in the carrots, raisins, coconut and walnuts. Fold in to evenly distribute throughout the batter.
Pour cake batter into the prepared pan and spread to create an even surface.
Bake for 40-45 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through cooking. When the cake is done, it should be lightly browned on top and a toothpick inserted should come out mostly clean. Be careful to not overcook the cake, or it will become dry.
Let the cake cool completely before frosting.
For the frosting:
1- 8 oz. block full-fat cream cheese
1/4 cup butter, softened to room temperature
2 Tbs sour cream
2 Tbs maple syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 Tbs orange zest (from 1/2 an orange)
3 Tbs orange juice (from 1/2 an orange)
Cream together the butter and cream cheese until fluffy and smooth. Add in the sour cream, vanilla, maple syrup and orange zest and juice. Stir well until all the ingredients are well combined and the frosting is creamy.
Spread evenly on top of cooled cake. Garnish with extra chopped walnuts and serve.
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Brine & Broth
I am a gut health-focused nutritionist and online health coach based in Southwest Wisconsin. My recipes and philosophies center around traditional, nutrient-dense foods that support robust gut health.