Growing up, my dad's favorite cake was always carrot cake. We would have it for every birthday celebration with him. It would always be dense, sweet, and full of buttercream frosting layers with bright orange frosting-made carrots on top. When I think of carrot cake, I think of my dad and how special he is to me. That's why I was so excited to get in the kitchen and create this perfect carrot cake that is gluten, grain, dairy, soy, nut, and refined-sugar free. It turned out SO darn well that I literally almost cried when I took that first bite, thinking how sweet it was to have my childhood favorite in a new way.
Cassava flour is the key ingredient in the cake making it nut free which is a huge bonus! Cassava flour is made from the whole food form of yuca root (minus the peel!), which is a staple for many countries. It has a really neutral taste and the texture is virtually identical to wheat flour meaning you can often use it one-for-one in your old favorite recipes! You can buy it online, on Amazon, or at most health food stores.
It's my latest kitchen obsession so pick some up for future recipes you might see around here!
I also use Kite Hill cream "cheese" which is almond-based and even better than the real thing. You can find it almost anywhere too! I love using the plain cream cheese as a frosting base or using the chive cream cheese for savory spreads. You won't even know the difference! If you can't tolerate nuts, you can use Simple Mills vanilla frosting.
That's the beauty of this cake. The flavor and texture of the entire thing are so amazing that it's nearly identical to a traditional carrot cake; paleo or not, this cake is incredible and maybe the best I've ever had!
Paleo Carrot Cake
(Gluten, Grain, Dairy, Soy,
Refined Sugar Free,
+ Nut Free Option)
For the cake
2 1/4 c cassava flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp sea salt
4 pastured eggs
1/2 c ghee, softened
1/2 c pure maple syrup
2 c unsweetened almond milk, or other dairy free milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 c shredded carrots (I used a food processor)
For the frosting (Optional)
8 oz Kite Hill cream "cheese"
1 T pure maple syrup
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease two nine inch round cake pans with ghee or coconut oil and sprinkle lightly with cassava flour. In a medium-size bowl, whisk dry cake ingredients until well incorporated. In a stand-up mixer or large bowl with hand-mixer, mix eggs, ghee, syrup, almond milk, and vanilla extract until fully incorporated then gently mix in shredded carrots. With mixer off, gently add in dry ingredients then mix until well combined. Pour evenly into the two round pans and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. As soon as they come out of the oven, gently run a knife along the edges then set aside to cool.
In the cleaned stand-up mixer, use the whisk attachment to mix the cream cheese, maple syrup, and vanilla extract until soft and smooth.
To assemble, gently invert one of the round cakes onto your serving plate so the smooth side faces up. Spread half of the cream cheese frosting evenly. Place the second layer of the cake on, smooth side facing up, then spread the remainder of the frosting over the top. Use a small spatula to spread the excess down the sides until the cake is evenly covered. Serve immediately or store in the refridgerator.