Wholesome Carrot Cake

by lydia on March 3, 2012

I am so excited to bring this post today, because my friend Julie is sharing her recipe for carrot cake! I haven’t made carrot cake in AGES, simply because I haven’t had the time to come up with my own recipe. Now I don’t have to! My friend Julie is one of those intuitive bakers always whipping up yummy healthy goodies for her family and friends. Without further to do…………here’s Julie, and her awesome carrot cake recipe!

‘So, my good friend Lydia has been asking me  to share a recipe for ages now.   I’m finally getting around to it!  This recipe is a family favorite around here; we’ve used it for birthdays, holidays, and just because.  My oldest daughter absolutely loves it!  When we started changing our diet a few years ago I started learning to convert some of my recipes. This carrot cake is grain-free and gluten-free, not to mention much lower in sugar. It is dense and moist and satisfies all the carrot cake lovers in my life, even the ones who normally eat ‘regular’ food. The icing I used this time was strained raw milk kefir  (thickened to an icing consistency) lightly sweetened with raw honey and flavored with vanilla extract.  I most often use a basic cream cheese icing and will post a recipe for that as well.’



Wholesome Carrot Cake
Recipe type: Dessert
  • 1 cup coconut flour
  • 1 cup arrowroot flour
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. ground nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp. ground allspice
  • ¼ tsp. ground cloves
  • ¾ cup coconut palm sugar (For an even moister cake, you may use honey instead.)
  • 6 large eggs 1 cup butter, melted
  • ½ cup milk
  • 4 cups grated carrots (I used a food processor.)
  • ½ cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  • ½ cup chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)
  • Cream Cheese Icing:
  • 1 8 oz. block of cream cheese, softened (or 1 cup homemade yogurt cheese)
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • ¼ cup honey (or to taste)
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease two 9-inch cake pans very well.
  3. Place all dry ingredients in large bowl and whisk together until there are no lumps.
  4. Whisk eggs, butter, and milk together.
  5. Add to dry ingredients and stir well.
  6. Stir in carrots, coconut, and nuts (if using).
  7. Divide batter between the 2 cake pans and bake for 35-40 minutes.
  8. Let cool for a few minutes before removing carefully from pans. Cool completely before icing.
  9. For the Cream Cheese Icing: Beat cream cheese and butter together until completely combined. Add honey and vanilla and beat well.
  10. ENJOY!!!


Can’t wait to try this out Julie! Thanks so much for sharing your secret family recipe with us all! If you want to see more of Julie’s recipes and work, check out her blog, Body & Bowl (she hasn’t written much yet, but will be in the future), and find her on Facebook, @The Happy Belly, she is working on gluten-free baking mixes and hopes to start her business in the near future. Bookmark, The Happy Belly page so you can keep in the loop.

This post contributed to Real Food Wednesdays, Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays & Gluten Free Wednesdays.




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Jo-Lynne {Musings of a Housewife} March 3, 2012 at 6:44 am

OMYGOSH and it’s gluten free! I LOVE YOU!!! :-) :-) (I miss cake, can you tell??) lol.

Pam March 3, 2012 at 9:57 am

I tried a gluten free coconut cake a couple of weeks ago that we liked and a carrot cake before that. Although both were really good, the recipes called for refined sugar and powdered sugar in the frosting. I used coconut sugar instead but didn’t know what to sub for the powdered sugar. This recipe is just what I needed! I’m so glad to see it calls for healthier sweeteners! This is one of the main issues I have with the gluten free recipes- the sugar issue. Do you find that to be a problem as well?

Debbie @ Easy Natural Food March 10, 2012 at 1:16 am

This looks so good! Love that it doesn;t use any almond flour either. I’m going to pin this one!

lydia March 18, 2012 at 12:59 pm

Pam – I don’t do the ‘typical main stream’ type of gluten free. To me going gluten free was not just to remove gluten and keep eating the same way most people in America do. So I tend towards much lower sugar content baked goods, with healthier sweeteners and usually lean towards coconut flour and arrowroot. I don’t do well with most grains anyway. So, to answer your question I usually write my own gluten-free recipes partly due to the reason you mentioned.

June Melanson March 18, 2012 at 4:25 pm

A substitute for the cream cheese would be Kefir cream, made from live milk kefir grains. I use it all the time. Love it!

Lisa March 28, 2012 at 11:09 pm

Looks so delicious!

Has anyone tried using all coconut flour or substituting nut meal for the arrowroot? We are on GAPS and can’t have arrowroot.

lydia March 29, 2012 at 6:54 am

Hi Lisa,

I am about to start GAPS myself and am considering making a version of this GAPS friendly! I’ll post it if it turns out well!

Clair April 19, 2014 at 9:51 pm

Coconut palm sugar seems to be all the rage lately but harvesting it ensures that the tree will never produce coconuts again. There are many other sweeteners that are healthy including maple syrup that could be used. This link explains why. http://www.tropicaltraditions.com/coconut_palm_sugar.htm

Lisa July 18, 2014 at 4:43 am

I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong, but when I cook with coconut flour, which usually calls for lots of eggs, I end up with an”eggy” bottom layer and a dryer coconut flour top layer. It was no different with this cake. Do you know what I’m doing wrong?

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