Made with cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamom, this paleo carrot cake recalls the waning warmth of summer under the falling leaves of autumn. It is a moist cake that is balanced in weight and density. This recipe yields two 9-inch baking pans that can be stacked on top of each other with a layer of coconut whipped cream frosting in between, on top and all around. Walnuts, raisins, dates, chocolate chips and shredded coconut can be added into the batter or used as toppings to give the final touch. You can also pour the batter into a muffin pan for paleo carrot cake muffins.
Paleo Carrot Cake
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Servings: Two 9-inch baking pans
- Zest from one orange
- 3 cups carrot, finely grated
- 3 cups almond flour
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon cardamom
- Pinch of sea salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ cup coconut oil
- 1/3 cup raw honey or maple syrup (more or less according to taste)
- 5 eggs
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- Walnuts, coarsely chopped
- Chocolate Chips
- Shredded Coconut
- Preheat your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Grease two 9-inch baking pans with coconut oil and line with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients (almond flour, salt, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg and baking soda).
- In another bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients (eggs, honey/maple syrup, coconut oil and vanilla extract).
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until well-combined.
- Stir in the carrots, zest and any of the additional ingredients that you want to use (walnuts, raisins, dates or chocolate chips).
- Divide the batter equally between the two baking pans. Use a spatula to spread it out evenly in each pan so that it has a uniform thickness (this is important! It ensures that the cakes cook evenly throughout).
- Insert into oven and bake for 30-35 minutes. Do the toothpick test to see when it’s ready (poke a toothpick into the center of the cake, if it comes out clean it means the cake is ready).
- Allow the cakes to fully cool before removing them from their pans. Remove by running a knife along the edge to help the cake separate from the pan. Allow to cool and then add frosting.
Coconut whipped cream frosting
- 2 cans of coconut milk (full fat)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Raw honey (for extra sweetness)
- Open a can of coconut milk and place it in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours or overnight. This step ensures that the milk’s cream separates from the water and thickens (and who wouldn’t want a rich and creamy frosting?)
- Once it has been in the fridge overnight, the water will be resting on the bottom of the can and the separate thick coconut cream will be on the top.
- A bowl by your side, use a spoon to scoop out the thick (and nearly solid) coconut cream, making sure to not get any of the water. Place the cream into the bowl.
- Add vanilla extract and honey (if using). Use a mixer to whip the frosting. You know it’s ready when you’ve got fluffy frosting!
If you like your cakes frosted, whip up a batch of the coconut whipped cream frosting. You can divide the frosting evenly between the two cakes if you want two separate 1-tier cakes. Or, if you want to stack high, top one of the cakes with 1/3 of the frosting before placing the other cake on top of it and using the remaining frosting to cover the top and the sides of the cake. Adding the frosting to carrot cake muffins would also yield delicious results. From there, you can top off with a sprinkle of shredded coconut and chopped walnuts for an elegant and simple finish.