December 3, 2011

Carrot Cake - Free of grains, gluten, dairy, eggs, corn, soy, sugar, starch, gums


My sweet husband, Scott,  has been my inspiration to create this yummy allergy-friendly carrot cake. His favorite cake of all time is carrot cake and this week was his birthday.

A few years ago I designed a gluten-free sugar-free carrot cake, but now that we are eating grain-free it was time to create a new recipe. I asked him what he specifically liked about carrot cake and he described a chunky cake with nuts and raisins.

My first thought was to make a cake for him, but that I would just not eat it. That would be good - he would be happy... When I mentioned this, Scott encouraged me to make a cake that all of us could eat, even me.  That is what he wanted (I really wanted this too.)

I decided to use my biscuit recipe as a starting point, and played with it a bit. Since the batter is grain-free, sugar-free, starch-free and (amazingly) egg-free, it looked very different than traditional cake batter.  I had to smooth it into the shape I wanted. At first look, I didn't think it would work, but I knew I had to start somewhere. Instead of making full, 9-inch cakes, I baked two cupcakes to see how it would work.

When I removed the test cakes from the oven I had low expectations... until I tasted it.  I was amazed at the wonderful moist cake.  It was a winner!  I could have just danced! But instead of dancing, we cooked the rest of the batter, and ate and ate and ate....all were gone in a blink of an eye. 

Except this one.  No one dared to eat the "pretty one".  Mom needed to get a picture!

The cake by itself was really wonderful to me.  No icing was needed, but since this was for my "special guy" I wanted to make it look like a "special day" cake.  I made the frosting hoping for something to mimic cream cheese. It doesn't taste as close to cream cheese as I would want, but my family liked it all the same. There was no way I could keep testing more icing and not risk getting sick.  I would love to keep working on more icing, but for now I will be happy with the way it is. My family reassured me that it was great and proceeded to eat all the icing leftover in the fridge. To give more options for different diets,  I am including two other recipes for whipped cream and coconut creme icing at the end of this post.

And Happy Birthday to my sweet husband, Scott!  A cake just for you! ;)
Grain-Free Carrot Cake
 ~created by The Gluten-Free 'Dish'

Free of:  Grains,  Gluten,  Dairy,  Eggs, Corn, Soy, Sugar, Starch, Gums, Cinnamon, Vanilla, and  Almond

I use my electric mixer to make this cake.

Add to the mixing bowl:

5 Tablespoons chia seed ground

6 Tablespoons water 

Mix well.


1/2 cup unsweetened organic applesauce +2 Tablespoons

18 drops stevia liquid

3 Tablespoons raw organic honey

5 Tablespoons organic palm shortening

1 tablespoon organic apple cider vinegar

Mix well.

1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 cup pecan meal
1/2 cup coconut flour

Mix well.


1 1/2 cups shredded organic carrots, approximately 3 carrots, shredded (I use the food processor with the disk attachment.) 
1/2 cup pecans, chopped small
1/2 cup organic raisins

 Mix well.  
 The batter looks like this:

Line a muffin pan with natural paper baking liners. Use a medium size cookie scoop to make balls and shape and smooth with your hands.  Drop them into the muffin pan.

 Bake cupcakes in a preheated oven at 350 degrees Farenheit for 12 minutes. 
This recipe makes approximately 15 cupcakes.

Or a 9" round layer cake,  Be sure to grease cake pan and line with parchment paper cut to fit the bottom of the cake pan. Bake for approximately 15-20 minutes.  Allow to cool about 10 minutes before flipping the layer cake onto a flat surface to cool. 

Cashew Creme Frosting  (pictured above)

1 cup raw organic cashews, soaked in water 2-3 hours rinsed and drained.
8 drops stevia
4 tablespoons coconut milk
2 tablespoons coconut oil
2-3 tablespoons raw organic honey
Place ingredients in a high powered blender like a Vita-Mix and blend well until smooth.  Spoon on top of the cakes and top with chopped pecans if desired.

Other delicious options to replace the Cashew Cream Icing:

1. Coconut Creme Whipped Topping
  (Pictured on my blog here)

1 can of coconut milk, full fat, chilled in the refrigerator
(I use Thai Kitchen brand)
a few drops of stevia to your taste or honey

Chill the full fat coconut milk in the refrigerator. When ready to serve remove the canned coconut milk from the refrigerator. Do not shake.  With a spoon remove the fat or solid part of the coconut milk, leaving the liquid behind. Add sweetener to your taste. Whip with a hand mixer until creamy.

2. Coconut Creme Icing  (pictured on my blog here)

Inspired and adapted from Elana's Pantry

1/2 cup coconut milk, full fat,
cream from the top, refrigerated ahead to chill (I use Thai Kitchen brand)
1 1/2 tablespoons Lakanto
pinch of sea salt
2 1/2 teaspoons arrowroot powder
1/2 tablespoon water
1/2 cup coconut oil

In a medium saucepan on low heat combine the coconut milk creme from the top of the can with the Lakanto and salt until the dry ingredients dissolve.

In a small bowl, combine arrowroot and water to form a smooth paste and add to the saucepan.

Using a hand mixer combine the ingredients in the saucepan and bring to a boil for a second (BRIEFLY because this will thicken quickly).

Remove saucepan from the heat and blend in the coconut oil with the hand mixer.

Put the saucepan into the freezer for 20-25 minutes until the icing is solid and turns white (set a timer so you don't forget).

Remove from the freezer and mix again with the hand mixer until fluffy.
Spread on a cooled cake and enjoy. 

Debbie's Notes: 

1. Since this cake is egg-free and made without guar gum or xanthan gum to hold it together, it is more delicate and doesn't hold together as well as it would with those ingredients. We think it is best to eat this cake with a fork in order to avoid sharing this with your favorite four-legged friends!  We don't mind using a fork, if it means we get to eat cake.  Of course you get to decide how your eat your cake, but just be sure to enjoy every bite!

2 .Just so you know when I refer to "allergy-friendly." I mean that all my families allergies are accounted for.  This cake uses pecan meal, so if you are truly nut allergic this may not work for you.


  1. Carrot cake is my husband's favorite also and what he always asks for on his birthday too. Thanks so much for sharing this recipe Debbie.

  2. It is my pleasure to share the recipe! Cathy, I like that our husbands have the same favorite cake.

  3. This looks fabulous - emailing the recipe to myself to try this weekend.

  4. Thank you, Anonymous. I hope you enjoy it, too.

    Best wishes,


  5. Carrot cake is a favorite at our house too. I love the fact that your husband wanted you to make something you could eat too. How exciting that this turned out beautifully on the first try!

    Merry Christmas, Debbie!

  6. These look so good. I had made some carrot cake at one point, but I didn't like it. I will have to try this.

  7. This recipe looks divine! I just nominated you for the Liebster Blog Award. You can read about it on my blog.

    Thank you for all of your hard work and keep the great posts and recipes coming!!

  8. This carrot cake looks incredible, Debbie!! LOVE the photos! In fact, I think you should make one of them your header and move the pic of the boys to your sidebar for a "then" and "now" pairing. Your blog has matured so much that it needs to show one of your lovely dishes in the header. But that's me being bossy. ;-) Pay no attention if not interested. LOL


  9. Wow! I have gotten behind here! Must have been caught up in the holidays...

    Thank you Linda. It is really nice to see you visiting here. I hope you had a Merry Christmas, too.

    My Journey with Candida- I hope you get a chance to try this cake I really think you will like it!

    Hi Jenn - Thank you for the nomination! You are so kind! It's always fun to met new bloggers.

    Now, Shirley- LOL! I think your idea of moving the boys picture for a then and now is an answer to my prayers. Really I had been thinking about how much they have grown and just didn't know what direction to take with it. Now, I know! I love the idea! Do you do blog design, too?

  10. Some information on Palm Oils:

  11. Thank you for posting this comment regarding palm oil. I have to confess that while I have not read all 48 pages of the document you linked to, I do share your concern about finding responsible providers for the products I use. Tropical Traditions is my supplier-of-choice for organic palm oil, coconut oil, and coconut.
    The link above includes details on the methods they use to farm and process their products, and I take great pride in recommending them.

  12. How can you call this sugar free when it calls for both honey and applesauce??

  13. Trumbelina,

    Thank you for stopping by. You have a great question. My definition of sugar-free may be different from yours. The word "sugar" is defined as: 1) sucrose which is a white crystalline sweet carbohydrate normally extracted from sugar cane and sugar beet. Sorry if this recipe doesn't work for you.

    1. Perhaps this recipe would work better for you.

  14. Yum! I love carrot cake and this one looks fantastic. I'm trying to limit the amount of dairy I eat too so this looks like a fun recipe to try! :)

    1. Hi Gluten-Free Traveller,

      Welcome to my blog and thanks for leaving me a comment! I hope you get a chance to try it soon!

  15. Thank you so much for this Grain Free Carrot Cake. It is my mother's favorite birthday cake and I am baking this one so that I can have a piece! Does the recipe for the 9" cake make two 9" layer cakes to stack (layer) or just the one 9"cake?

    1. Hi Mindy! Thank you for visiting with us on the blog! The recipe is for one 9" cake pan. Hope your mother has a happy birthday and that you enjoy the cake!

  16. Is there something I can use instead of pecan meal in this recipe? My son loves carrot cake but he is highly allergic to tree nuts and peanuts.

    Thank you for sharing your recipe!

    1. Hi Lori,
      Thank you for your comment and question. I am not sure what would be a good replacement for the pecan meal in this particular recipe. Perhaps we need to create a new one! Feel free to email me and we can discuss it more.


I am made richer by your being here. Please leave us a comment.


Related Posts Widget for Blogs by LinkWithin