GLUTEN-FREE COCONUT CARROT CAKE* + COCONUT CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

Since I’m moving to France before my birthday, I celebrated with my family a little early. I refused everyone’s offers to make me a special dessert and decided to bake my own, non-traditional birthday cake instead. (I really hope that’s not bad luck.) Because I love dense and hearty treats, a carrot cake sounded like the perfect option. I cannot get enough coconut in my life, so, of course, I added it to the cake. Without any cane sugar (other than the frosting), this not-too-sweet cake was the perfect way to end my birthday dinner!

{ Lovin’ from the oven, Chelsea }

Makes one 9 inch cake. Double to make a layered cake!  

2 cups almond meal

2 tsp baking soda

2 tsp cinnamon

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup coconut oil (or for lower fat try 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce)

½ tsp Stevia or 1 tablespoon honey

1 cup raisin sauce*

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

3 cups carrots, grated or chopped

4 eggs

½ cup walnuts, chopped

~1 cup shredded coconut 

*Raisin Sauce: Place one cup of raisins in container with about one cup of water. Soak raisins overnight or longer in refrigerator. Puree the raisin and water mixture in blender.

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and powder-sugar (tastes better than flour!) a 9 inch round cake pan.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together the almond flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Using a hand- or stand-mixer, mix in the coconut oil, Stevia, raisin sauce, and vanilla. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Fold in the grated carrots, walnuts, and coconut. Pour into the cake pan. For extra crunch, add a layer of chopped walnuts to the top!

3. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until done. Allow to cool completely before frosting with Coconut Cream Cheese frosting (see recipe below).

4. Serve warm if not frosted, or at room temperature with Coconut Cream Cheese frosting. Refrigerate if not serving until next day, or leftover, but return to room temperature to serve.

COCONUT CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

Don’t forget to double (or even triple) the recipe if you’re making a layered cake.  

4 oz. cream cheese, softened

¼ cup butter, softened

½ cup powdered sugar

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

1. Mix together all ingredients with a hand- or standing-mixer until smooth. Spread immediately on cooled cake.

2. Top with toasted coconut and toasted walnuts.

* adapted from Skinny GF Chef

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