04.27.22

Grain-Free and Dairy-Free Carrot Cake

One of my absolute favorite desserts is Carrot Cake, and I am so excited for y’all to enjoy this Grain-Free and Dairy-Free Carrot Cake!

Grain-Free and Dairy-Free Carrot Cake

I have deemed this recipe “Cady’s Carrot Cake” because it is truly one of her greatest masterpieces. (If you don’t know, Cady is the Director of Operations at The Defined Dish). Carrot Cake is her husband’s favorite dessert and after making her mother-in-law’s recipe many times over the years, she decided to try her hand at a grain-free and dairy-free rendition and absolutely nailed it. Cady, you’re a real hero.

I, too, remember as a kid being offered carrot cake for the first time, turning my nose up at the thought of a carrot in a cake!! But as soon as I sunk my teeth into the first bite the rest was history and I am forever a carrot cake lover. Carrots add sweetness and moisture, and this recipe is just that. Moist, fluffy, and incredibly flavorful. 

I also love this recipe because it is incredibly simple to make and pretty foolproof! The hardest part? Waiting for the cake to cool so that you can ice it! haha… but seriously. That is pure torture to me.Grain-Free and Dairy-Free Carrot Cake

This is the perfect recipe to make this spring for any occasion– whether it be for Mother’s Day, a baby shower, or even to make to snack on throughout the week!! I absolutely LOVE this cake with a cup of coffee. 

Grain-Free Carrot Cake

Grain-Free Carrot Cake
Serves: 9 To 12 Squares
Print
Prep Time25 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Total Time1 hr

Ingredients

For the Cake:

  • 2 ½ cups superfine almond flour
  • 1 ¼ cups tapioca flour
  • 2 ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • 3 large eggs room temperature
  • ¾ cup avocado oil
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • ½ tsp orange zest
  • 2 cups shredded raw carrots about 4-5 medium carrots, see note
  • ½ cup loosely chopped golden raisins

For the Frosting:

  • 4 oz dairy-free cream cheese - room temperature
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter or vegan butter - room temperature
  • tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest
  • ½ tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 ½ cups powdered sugar

For Serving:

  • ¼ cup chopped pecans

Instructions

Make the Cake

  • Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a 9x9 square baking pan with avocado or coconut oil spray and place a parchment sling into the pan for easy removal. Set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, thoroughly stir together the almond flour, tapioca flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, or a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, add the eggs. Beat on medium high for 3-4 minutes until they are pale yellow and fluffy. Mix in the avocado oil, maple syrup, vanilla extract, lemon zest and orange zest. Beat on medium to combine.
  • Adjust the mixer speed to medium low, and working in increments, slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed. Mix for 1-2 minutes until everything is well combined.
  • Next, slowly add the shredded carrots and add the golden raisins to the batter and mix until well combined.
  • Tip the batter into the prepared baking pan, spreading the batter with a spatula if needed. Transfer to the oven and bake until the top is lightly browned and when pricked with a cake tester it comes out clean, about 30-35 minutes. If the top starts to get overly browned, place a sheet of foil over the top, but do note this is a darker cake.
  • Remove from the oven and allow the cake to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Then use the parchment sling to carefully transfer the cake to a wire rack until completely cooled.

Make the Frosting

  • Meanwhile, make your icing. In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment add the dairy-free cream cheese, butter, vanilla extract, lemon zest and juice. Beat on medium for 2-3 minutes until light and fluffy. Next, slowly add the powdered sugar and beat on high for 2-3 minutes until combined. Transfer the icing to the fridge until your cake is completely cooled.
  • To finish, smooth a generous amount of icing and smooth out with an offset spatula evenly across the cake. Once you’ve iced the cake, sprinkle with the chopped pecans, cut into squares and enjoy!

Notes

Carrot Shredding Notes: Once your carrots are washed and peeled, you can either hand shred or use a food processor with the shredding blade. 
Batter Notes: Your batter may be a bit thicker than a typical cake batter, but this is to account for the moisture the carrots will release in the oven. 
Storage Tips: This cake is best the same day it is made but any leftovers can be kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.

 

Food Photography and Styling by Modern Food Stories

11 Comments

  • Reply
    Kelley
    May 9, 2022 at 1:17 am

    Is it really 2 1.2 cup of powered sugar? I did a tablespoon ha — still delicious!

  • Reply
    Holly
    May 7, 2022 at 5:33 pm

    My mom is allergic to avocado, can I use another oil?

    • Reply
      Alex
      May 7, 2022 at 9:45 pm

      yes, any neutral in flavor oil (safflower, sunflower, vegetable) would work here.

  • Reply
    Haleigh
    May 5, 2022 at 3:04 pm

    Hi!! You recommended to *see note for the carrots but i don’t see it at the bottom!?

    • Reply
      Alex
      May 5, 2022 at 4:41 pm

      Just updated this!

  • Reply
    Anastasia
    May 5, 2022 at 2:36 pm

    Hi! Any substitute for vegan cream cheese?

    • Reply
      Alex
      May 5, 2022 at 4:43 pm

      You can sub regular cream cheese!

  • Reply
    Barb
    May 5, 2022 at 3:35 am

    Looks SOOOO good! For “ superfine” almond flour….can I put my regular almond flour in my cuisinart to refine it?

    • Reply
      Alex
      May 5, 2022 at 11:25 am

      Sure!! If you have the Bob’s Red Mill brand, that’s the one I recommend. But if yours feels more coarse, pulsing it in a food processor will lend to best results and super perf cake!
      ENJOY!

  • Reply
    Rosemary
    May 5, 2022 at 1:53 am

    Quick question so I can make this for Mothers Day- would you use a julienne peeler for the carrots or pre-shredded?

    • Reply
      Alex
      May 5, 2022 at 2:07 am

      Hi!! I don’t recommend pre-shredded (I feel like they tend to be thicker) but a julienne peeler should work or see our note about shredding tips!

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