Grain-Free Carrot Cake

The December theme is up!  I am quite pleased with it; the photo in the header is my Dairy-Free Egg Nog in front of our fireplace.  Om nom nom nom nom.  ‘Tis the season, and all that jazz.


My apologies to the readers who are allergic to nuts; I’m still researching alternative non-grain flours (and am still trying to decide if buckwheat flour is acceptable), so this recipe is made with almond flour.  For everyone else, this is an excellent carrot cake – you can’t tell it’s not made with refined flour/sugar.

You’ll also note that the piece pictured is frosted, and that I am not including the recipe for that.  If you insist, it consists of 4 ounces goat butter (room temp),  4 oz. soft goat cheese (chevre – also at room temp), 1 teaspoon vanilla and 2 cups evaporated cane juice that’s been run through the food processor until it is roughly the texture and consistency of powdered sugar (the 2 cups is measured after it’s been processed), then mixed at high speed in a stand mixer until it is light and fluffy.  It has a great flavor and texture but, while Beloved is quite enthusiastic about it, I’ve scraped most of it off of the two pieces I’ve eaten – it is just way too sweet for my tastes these days.  And the cake is simply marvelous without it, so the next time I bake the cake – and I will bake it again – I will probably leave it unfrosted.  If you make the frosting, you can, of course, use cow’s butter and cream cheese if you prefer.

Note:  The servings aren’t huge, but it’s dessert – not an orgy. 😛

Grain-Free Carrot Cake

Grain-Free Carrot Cake

serves 10

2 large eggs
1/4 cup light olive oil
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 1/4 cups almond flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup shredded carrots
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup crushed pineapple, well drained
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Generously grease a 9″ cake pan.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, olive oil, 1/2 cup coconut sugar, vanilla extract, and lemon juice until well combined. In a separate mixing bowl, stir together the almond flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients in 2 or 3 additions, stirring and scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl each time, until the batter is smooth – it will still be “grainy” because of the almond flour, but make sure there are no lumps. Stir in the carrots, raisins, pineapple and walnuts; spread into the prepared cake pan.

Bake the cake for 25 to 35 minutes, or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Place the pan on a wire rack and cool for 10 minutes. Run a thin, flexible spatula around the edges of the cake, then invert a serving dish on top of the pan. Carefully flip the pan over on top of the serving dish and carefully lift away from the cake.

Allow to cool completely before icing and serving.

Nutrition (per serving): 296 calories, 21.1g total fat, 37.2mg cholesterol, 180.1mg sodium, 314.1mg potassium, 20.1g carbohydrates, 4g fiber, 14.1g sugar, 2.6g protein.

Printable version (requires Adobe Reader)

11 thoughts on “Grain-Free Carrot Cake”

  1. Jan, this looks so delish carrot Cake is my favorite of all deserts!

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    Art by Karena

  2. jan, would subbing coconut crystals for the evaporated cane juice be a viable alternative? and if not, can you buy evaporated cane juice at the grocery store? i made some paleo cookies for a party tonight that turned out quite bland, much to the disappointment of the hubby, and am thinking that the addition of this yummy sounding frosting just might be the pick me up the little buggers need to actually taste good 🙂 thanks!

  3. This recipe sounds great! Do you know how much fructose is in the coconut sugar? I’ve heard that it’s low glycemic, but would hate to avoid one problem just to run into another one. Also, what brand of almond flour do you use?

  4. I just made this yesterday with a few minor alterations, which were probably not totally necessary but were items I had and wanted to use. I have to say this was pretty much grain-free-perfection! Two yr old grandson, daughter, her hubs, and mine all thought it was wonderful. Thanks for the recipe!
    FYI: I used coconut oil instead of olive oil. Added a Tbsp of lemon zest; used 1 1/2 cups Almond flour with 1/2 cup Coconut Flour (it’s what I had on hand). Also included 1/2 cup of sour cream to use it up. Baked it in a 9×10-ish rectangle pan at 325 for 50 minutes.

  5. Hi Jan!

    Another Jan here! When it was Easter, I was searching for a “paleo” carrot cake recipe and found a pretty good one with dates in it. My family was pleased. Long story short, my aging mother has requested a carrot cake from me, but since I don’t use wheat flour and she does (but of course shouldn’t!) I needed to continue my search for one that contained pineapple. Enter Jan’s Sushi Bar! Thank you so much for your recipe. It was delicious. My husband and son thought this one won hands down to the other one I recently made. Now, I can feel confident in making a revised carrot cake for my Mom and Dad. By the way, it’s nice to see someone around my age in the paleo blogosphere! Thanks again Jan, I’m glad I found your site!

    Take care,


  6. Hello!! Just wanted to say i love this cake!! I made it today for my birthday party and everyone said it was the best carrot cake they have ever had! I made a simple cream cheese icing and marzipan carrots to go on top for decoration. The only substition i made was using gelatin in place of the eggs- two packets of knox. I am egg free and this always works well when i use it in baking. I ate too much and now have a cake gut, but birthdays only come once a year so i figured i would splurge. I will definitely make it again.

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