Tag Archives: healthy dessert

Delicious and Healthier Carrot Cake, Gluten Free

This gluten free carrot cake is moist and so good you wont even know it is missing flour or half the sugar.  If you really want to use flour, I'll give you the conversion for that.  I was super excited at how well this turned out.  There are lots of recipes out there for people going gluten free and many just don't work for me.  But here is another recipe you might like as well that is gluten free.  On another post, I'll share with you how I don't think it is the gluten, but rather all the chemicals on wheat and other factors.

I didn't always love carrot cake.  In fact to my horror, carrot cake was used in my wedding cake (which I specifically requested it not to be) and I was not a happy camper as my new husband tried to feed me the traditional wedding bite.  Fun times.  In our family it seemed, carrot cake was a tradition.  And I never really liked eating carrot cake, it just never tasted good to me.  That may have been because my grandmother didn't make her special carrot cake.  For my wedding, I requested chocolate, white or red velvet cake (Mark's favorite).  My grandmother made the cake - a beautiful cake - and she make carrot cake for some of the layers including the top that the bride and groom cut and eat.  I had heard she was having lots of fits stacking the cake and I can see why - carrot cake just doesn't perform like other cake.  But amazingly she turned out a beautiful cake - with carrot cake.

As Mark stuffed a piece of carrot cake in my mouth that night 30 years ago, I was disappointed.  But, it wasn't as bad as I remembered.  I might have even liked it.  But I wasn't going to tell anyone.  I did give my mom a hard time about it.  She had her own ideas for my wedding and we joke about it.  A year later when I requested the frozen cake that the bride and groom save to eat on their anniversary, my mom informed me that since I didn't like carrot cake and she needed more freezer space, she and the kids ate the cake.

I tell this story to laugh at the great stories of our lives.  At the time, I might have been perhaps a little upset.  Today, with gratitude and love I have fun stories to tell and laugh about.  These are stores that bring joy and variety and lessons and are part of what makes us human.  

So I'll update this post with a picture of my wedding cake, when I get into my house again.  Currently we still live in temporary housing from a huge storm.

Since my wedding day, I've learned to love carrot cake, but it has to be made right.   My daughter doesn't like carrot cake.  She'll turn it down or just eat the cream cheese frosting.  In general she doesn't like frosting unless I make it (as all other are way too sweet.  I "made" her try a piece of the carrot cake.  Which she did just to get my cream cheese frosting.  She declared this is the only carrot cake she likes and actually really loves it.  The next day, she asked for another piece and it wasn't just for the frosting.  

I love to bake, but wheat these days doesn't love me, I end up gaining weight.  So it is best to avoid it until my body decides to not to react this way.  In the meantime, I look for gluten free options and experiment with alternate flours like coconut flour.  I make my family naturally fermented wheat products and try alternate recipes for me.  Sometimes I have massive failures, like 2 weeks ago, I called them scrambled crepes.  This carrot cake is not only a winner for me and those looking for gluten free options, it is a winner for everyone that loves a good carrot cake on the healthier side.

Optional - you can make this cake with fresh ground wheat flour or white flour or any optional flour out there.  You could even make it from a naturally fermented starter, you would just have to adjust your liquids and use less eggs.  Coconut flour needs the extra eggs.  

Delicious Coconut Flour Carrot Cake, Gluten Free

Prep time 1 hour, 30 minutes
Dietary Diabetic, Gluten Free
Meal type Breakfast, Dessert
Misc Serve Cold
This cake can be a breakfast cake with or without the frosting. You can even add some shredded zucchini if you like. It is moist and crumbly and delicious. If you would like to use regular flour here are the adjustments: skip coconut flour, use regular white or whole wheat flour and increase to 2 cups, decrease eggs to 3. You may. If you use a natural yeast starter, you can use 2 or more cups of starter, decrease eggs to 3, increase baking soda to 1 1/2 teaspoons and don't use baking powder. Don't use the juice of canned pineapple unless it is not moist enough.

Ingredients

Frosting

  • 1/2 cup butter (or less, softened)
  • 16oz cream cheese (softened)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup raw organic sugar (more or less for taste, you can also add stevia if desired)
  • 1 tablespoon milk (or possibly more)

Group 4

  • 2 cups carrots (grated)
  • 1 cup pineapple (I used fresh pineapple, that I)
  • 1 cup pecans (chopped)

Group 5

  • 1 cup coconut shreds (unsweetened)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Group 3

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt (we prefer Himalayan or sea salt)
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon

Group 2

  • 2/3 cups coconut flour

Group 1

  • 1 1/4 cup applesauce or fat (You can use any or all applesauce, banana, coconut oil, olive oil, or butter)
  • 2/3 cups honey (or sweetener of choice)
  • 5 Large eggs

Directions

Cake
Step 1 Mix Group 1 ingredients together until smooth. Note: you can use anything for the fat/applesauce ingredient. When I made the cake in the picture, I blended 1 small apple with the peel and 1 medium banana with some olive oil in my vitamix until smooth and added coconut oil to make 1 1/4 cups. You can use all applesauce or all fat, but I would not use all banana as it will take over the flavor of the carrot cake. I wanted a little banana for sweetness. The apple and banana add sweetness so you can use less sugar. For the sweetener - I used 2/3 cup honey and my honey was very dark - so you get a darker cake. You could use raw organic sugar (use a little more as honey is sweeter but you might need a little extra liquid, little not a lot).
Step 2 Group 2 - add coconut flour to Group 1 and mix well. Let it sit for at least 10 minutes to hydrate the coconut flour.
Step 3 Mix Group 3 together and set aside.
Step 4 Prepare Group 4 ingredients.
Step 5 Now you are ready to mix the cake all together. Add group 3 ingredients to your coconut flour and egg mixture and stir in well. Then add Group 4 and 5 ingredients and mix well. Check your consistency. It should be thicker than a normal cake batter.
Step 6
Butter a 9 X 13 cake pan or put parchment paper on the pan. You can also use 2, 9" rounds. If you plan to stack the rounds I would definitely use parchment paper. Pour cake batter into your pan. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 35 to 45 minutes for the cake pan or 25 to 35 minutes for the 9" rounds.

This is a moist cake and with coconut flour it is more crumbly. It will not have the same texture as a cake made with wheat flour. But a tooth pick inserted into the cake should come out nearly clean. It will not spring like a regular cake either. Do not over cook.

Let it cool before serving.
Frosting
Step 7 Beat cream cheese and milk together. Beat in Butter and vanilla. Add powder sugar and/or stevia. Make it as sweet as you like. We used 1/4 cup raw organic sugar and 10 drops of stevia extract. The stevia makes the little bit of sugar sweeter so you can use less. You can even use all stevia or zylitol or another sweetener of your choice.

*Note: to get raw organic powdered sugar, just mix your granulated sugar in a blender like a vitamix until a powder. Be careful the air will have sugar dust when you open the lid.
Final
Step 8
Do not frost the cake until it is cool as it will smash and get crumbs everywhere. You will need to refrigerate this cake and frosting as there is not enough sugar or preservatives to keep it fresh. It is so moist that it will not last outside the fridge. The cake might for a day or 2 depending on room temperatures. Obviously I learned this the hard way cooking with very low amounts of sugar.

It is a crumbly cake - so use care when serving slices. But that is the nature of using coconut flour. It would be a challenge to stack the rounds but give it a try. Don't be afraid of coconut flour.

It is hard to go wrong on this cake. If you have a little more or less carrots, pineapple, nuts or coconut - it all works, those ingredients don't have to be super exact.

Note

This cake can be a breakfast cake with or without the frosting. You can even add some shredded zucchini if you like. It is moist and crumbly and delicious.

If you would like to use regular flour here are the adjustments: skip coconut flour, use regular white or whole wheat flour and increase to 2 cups, decrease eggs to 3. You may. If you use a natural yeast starter, you can use 2 or more cups of starter, decrease eggs to 3, increase baking soda to 1 1/2 teaspoons and don't use baking powder. Don't use the juice of canned pineapple unless it is not moist enough.