A gluten free carrot cake recipe that is also dairy free and refined sugar free, with a cashew cream cheese frosting.
Carrot cake has long been my favourite, go-to cake to make for special occasions. Probably because it means we get some extra vegetables in the form of baked convection. Also because it tastes so. Damn. Good.
How to Make this Gluten Free Carrot Cake Recipe
The first thing you need to know about baking this cake is that it is simple. This cake is mixed by hand - a recipe that requires no electric beaters used to be my gold standard recipe to make because it meant I could bake while the baby slept without fear of waking her up. These days I'm not so worried about that but cleaning up one less appliance is very appealing to me.
When I say this cake is simple to make I mean, it literally is SO simple. All you need to do is mix all of the dry ingredients in one bowl, wet ingredients in the other and then mix together. Wallah! Read below for a few tips.
- Sieve the flour, baking powder and spices into the bowl. When you add the almond meal, use a whisk to combine and fluff instead of a spoon. This way you maintain more air in the mixture.
- When grating the carrot, grate on the fine side of the grater. This assists the carrot in cooking more evenly and results in a beautifully smooth carrot cake.
- Reduce the amount of sugar to ½ cup if desired or increase to 1 full cup depending on your taste preference. I personally found ¾ cup coconut sugar just right but this will change for everyone.
Let's get real, having all of the ingredients for any given recipe is a challenge at the moment (thanks Corona). So here are some ingredient substitutions in case you don't have all of the ingredients on hand.
- Swap blanched almond meal for natural almond meal, hazelnut meal OR increase the flour quantity to replace it all together.
- Use brown sugar or rapadura sugar instead of coconut sugar.
- Swap mixed spice for ¼ teaspoon extra cinnamon and ¼ teaspoon nutmeg.
- Walnuts can be swapped for Brazil nuts, pecans or left out of the recipe all together
- Pure maple syrup can be used in place of honey.
- Extra virgin olive oil can be swapped for rice bran oil.
This is a forgiving recipe so don't be afraid to alter ingredients if need be.
Cashew Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe
Do you love cream cheese frosting on carrot cake but get serious dairy belly afterwards? Yeah, me too! That's why I created this dairy free cream cheese frosting recipe using cashews as the base. Cashew cream cheese frosting is so creamy that you'll hardly notice it's not made from dairy. All you'll need is a lemon, cashews, maple syrup and water.
Of course if you don't care a fig about the cream cheese frosting you can always leave it off all together. Just whatever floats your boat really. If you do choose to make the cashew cream cheese frosting it's best to use a high powered blender or food processor to get that real creaminess.
Looking For More Healthy Baking Recipes? Try these:
- 2 mixing bowls
- Measuring spoons
- Mixing Spoon
- Cake tin
- Baking Paper
- 2 cups blanched almond meal
- ¾ cup coconut sugar
- 1 cup buckwheat flour
- 2 tsp baking powder aluminium free
- 1 cup walnuts roughly chopped
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp mixed spice
- ¼ cup honey
- ⅔ cup extra virign olive oil
- 3 eggs
- 2 cups carrot grated
Cashew Cream Cheese Frosting
- 2 cups raw cashews soaked in water
- 2 tbsp pure maple syrup
- juice of 1 lemon
- zest of ½ lemon
- ¼ cup water
- 1 tbsp coconut cream
- Preheat the oven to 170 degrees Celsius. Line round cake tin with baking paper.
- In a large mixing bowl sieve buckwheat flour, mixed spice, cinnamon and baking powder. Add coconut sugar and almond meal and whisk lightly to combine.
- In a medium sized mixing bowl whisk together the eggs, olive oil, honey and carrot.
- Pour wet ingredients as well as chopped walnuts into dry ingredients and stir through until just combined.
- Pour cake batter into baking paper lined cake tin and into oven to bake for one hour, or until cake springs back when pushed down gently in the centre.
- Once cake is cooked, remove from oven and allow to cool in tin for 5 minutes before transferring to cooling rack.
Cashew Cream Cheese Frosting
- Add the soaked cashews, maple syrup, lemon juice, coconut cream, lemon zest and water to a high speed blender. Blend on high until mixture is smooth and creamy.
- Using a frosting tool, spoon or the back of a butter knife, spread the cashew cream cheese over the top of the carrot cake. Serve topped with extra walnuts and lemon zest if desired.
Cashew Cream CheeseThe recipe yields enough cashew cream cheese frosting to frost the top and sides of the cake or to frost the top plus a layer (if you wish to create a layer cake). If you are only wanting to frost the top of the cake then you can halve the recipe. Coconut cream is not essential to this recipe but does make the cream cheese more smooth and creamy. Leave out if you don't have any on hand.
Storing the Carrot CakeStore this carrot cake in the fridge. If you choose to frost the cake you can store in the fridge for 2-3 days and then transfer to the freezer.
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