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View more recipes in Treats & Cheats

Carrot Cake

prep:25 minutes
cook:35 minutes
ready in:1 hour
Difficulty
****-
Show nutritional information
  • Serves: 12
  • Calories: 353
  • Total Fat: 29g
  • Total Carbohydrate: 22g
  • Protein: 6g

As far back as I can remember, my mother has asked for a carrot cake for her birthday. This past year, we surprised her with a grain-free version, which was a huge hit. After sharing this recipe on our website, we received feedback from many followers that this was not only a great grain-free substitute, but the best carrot cake they've ever had!

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My Notes:

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Serves: 12

Serves: 12decrease servingsincrease servings

Ingredients

Process

Note, these instructions are written assuming the standard serving size, since you have modified the number of servings, these steps may need to be modified for best results
  1. In a food processor, using the grating blade, shred carrots.
  2. Place carrots in a large ziplock bag.
  3. Pour maple syrup over carrots and let marinate in the fridge for an hour.
  4. Preheat oven to 325°F.
  5. In a small mixing bowl, add sifted coconut flour, cinnamon, salt, and baking soda.
  6. Make date mixture with 10 medjool dates and 1 tablespoon maple syrup.
  7. In a large mixing bowl or kitchen mixer, blend eggs, vanilla, melted coconut oil, and date mixture.
  8. Add dry ingredients to wet and blend.
  9. Remove carrots from the fridge, and drain the excess maple syrup from the carrots using a colander.
  10. Stir grated carrots into cake batter.
  11. Grease two 9-inch cake pans with coconut oil.
  12. Pour batter into pans.
  13. (For easy removal, line pans with parchment paper)Bake for 35 minutes.
  14. Test center with a tooth pick—if the tooth pick comes out clean, then the cakes are done.
  15. Remove cakes from oven and cool.
  16. Frost cake with cream cheese frosting, garnish with walnuts, and serve.
Our recipes are created using Paleo, Primal and Gluten-free guidelines. Learn more about our diet and lifestyle at www.primalpalate.com.
RECIPE REVIEWS

  1. smitchell
    March 7, 2012

    I’m going to try this recipe but I thought I would let you know that while I was looking it over I noticed that dates are not listed in the ingredients but are used in the recipe. Luckily, I have dates already so there is no need to go back to the store :) Thanks.

  2. March 7, 2012

    Thank you for notifying us about the error – we’ve adjusted the recipe! Hope you enjoy it. :)

  3. nmikami@hawaii.edu
    March 23, 2012

    Hello, I was looking for a delicious paleo recipe for my dinner guests. I used this recipe as cupcake mix and baked it as cupcake. Made the frosting with cream cheese and sugar though. Turned out to be very delicious. My 6 yr old son has kept asking me to bake some cupcakes and I am trying to make his diet paleo gradually. He loved them! This is a good recipe.

  4. Kori
    March 24, 2012

    I made this for my son’s 2nd birthday today and it was AWESOME! The guests (most of them not Paleo) said it was among the best carrot cakes they had ever had. Cream Cheese frosting (in the frosting section) was a perfect topper. I just did a simple sheet cake and it was perfect.

  5. leesa.jernigan
    April 3, 2012

    I am going to make these this weekend, but would like to try cupcakes instead of a cake. Do you think the baking time/temp would need any altering? Thanks!

  6. tfield77
    Supporting Member
    April 7, 2012

    OH MY! Such a great recipe! I made your cream cheese frosting and LOVE the ginger taste in it! This will definitely be a keeper. I couldn’t resist and added a “cash” of nutmeg to the cake (left out the ginger since the frosting had it).

    P.S. The instructions above leave out microwaving the dates with 1 tbsp water and mashing and then adding 1 tbsp of maple syrup after to make the paste (as listed on your other site). Just thought I’d let you know :)

  7. greek4pearl
    May 7, 2012

    I made this for an office birthday party right after my husband and I switched to Paleo. This was an INSANELY huge hit — the competing quadruple chocolate cake baked by someone else was barely touched, as the carrot cake was gobbled up! I actually indulged in two small-ish slices of this, and I felt very FULL afterward, but not in a sick, sugary way. I’m in love! :)

  8. greek4pearl
    July 8, 2012

    Ever since I bought this cookbook when it was released, I have been dying to make the carrot cake. Carrot cake has been my favorite cake my whole life even making an appearance as one of our wedding cakes (not paleo at the time). My in laws were coming this weekend, and I decided to pull the trigger. I followed the recipe to the T adding about 1/2c of golden raisins and a few chunks of dried pineapple (I soaked both beforehand so they would be nice and plump). Everyone thought the cake turned out amazing. The cake was dense but perfectly moist, and I can’t recommend enough the addition of raisins and/or pineapple pieces. I had refrigerated the cake after making it that morning so it was perfectly chilled by serving time (also recommend). I used organic, cultured cream cheese which gave the most wonderful tang? combined with the ginger. So, coming from one a devout carrot cake lover, this cake hit the spot. It serves beautifully and is not crumbly whatsoever. The recipe is easy to follow and I enjoyed making it every single minute. I can say with honesty that you could present this dessert to paleo/non paleo guests, and it will surely be a huge hit! Thank you Bill and Hayley for a wonderful recipe. I just don’t know how I managed to go this long without making it.

  9. fara
    August 5, 2012

    Hi – I have all my ingredients and looked over the recipe before getting started. I saw instructions on how to prepare the date mixture in the review section but would like to know for how long do you microwave the dates? Thanks! Can’t wait to try this carrot cake. I plan on making it for my daughter’s one year birthday!

  10. heather@bandhsolutions.com
  11. fara
    August 29, 2012

    Carrot cake is my husband’s most favorite cake. Loved the recipe. We must have eaten half the cake while frosting it. Loved the ginger in the frosting. Very yummy.
    Big hit with my sister who is far from paleo way of eating. Very delicious.

  12. DrMommaLaelle
    September 15, 2012

    Curious about the why of soaking the carrots in a full cup of maple syrup, then draining it all off? Does it sweeten the carrots considerably to do so? Does it have something to do with the moisture content of carrots?

    My cakes are in the oven right now, but I think something didn’t work out quite right. My batter was so thick there was no “pouring into the pans”. I had to scoop and spread instead. I did end up with more than a full cup of liquid drained out of my carrots, so wondering if maybe some of it should have stayed in the cake? Or is it supposed to be a super thick batter? I guess we’ll see how it turns out…here’s hoping for the best!

  13. DrMommaLaelle
    September 17, 2012

    I have to say that even with my “scoopable” batter, the cake turned out great! Frosting was fantastic too, although because it was for a 3 year old birthday party we decided to leave out the ginger. Can’t wait to make it again for me and leave it in…especially since I only got to have one itty bitty slice with sharing at the party :-) . As others have commented, everyone loved it and never would have guessed it was grain/gluten and processed sugar free if I didn’t tell them. Awesome, thanks!

  14. Beth
    September 28, 2012

    Oh. My. Gosh. This carrot cake is amazing!! I’ve been paleo for a little over a year, and had given up the idea of ever finding a satisfying substitute for the occasional baked goods craving. Every recipe I had previously tried that called for coconut or almond flour has either turned out overly dry or soggy in the middle. Which is so unfortunate, because I love to bake but couldn’t bear to keep wasting expensive ingredients! This though… Well let’s just say that I can not get over how fantastic this carrot cake is! I used a bit less maple syrup and fewer dates than the recipe calls for to dial back the carb and sugar content and it still came out perfectly sweet and moist. It wasn’t dry at all like other coconut flour recipes I have tried. My only question is I see that under nutrition it has the breakdown of calories etc. for one serving, but what is considered a serving of this recipe? I made the recipe into mini donuts using a Babycakes machine, so it’d be great to be able to calculate the calories, fat, carbs etc. in each one!

  15. jenniferconductor
    October 15, 2012

    We love this recipe!! The first time I made this recipe, I recall seeing a process for making the date mixture. I remember it including heating the dates. Am I missing those directions somewhere?

  16. October 28, 2012

    I made this as a layer cake for the second time today. The first time was to welcome my husband home from deployment and this is to celebrate my parent’s first visit to Germany. I have two children, 3 and 5 years old. Everyone loves it! The first one I remembered to buy fresh ginger and it was an amazing addition to the frosting. This one I only had dried ginger but it still tastes delicious (I added 2 tsp.). The cake itself gives no hint that it is paleo. It is dense, moist, and perfectly flavored. The walnut garnish makes for beautiful presentation and I always feel fancy when I make it! ;-)

  17. bekahsct
    December 10, 2012

    Made this cake for my daughter’s 2 year old birthday party. It was the hit of the party. It was so moist. People told me it was the best carrot cake they had tasted…maybe party hyperbole but still it is all gone this morning.

    I changed a couple things and still it was a hit. I soaked the carrot in 1/3 cup of honey instead of (1C maple syrup) that I did not drain off (I some how missed that part of the instruction) and used 2/3 cup of coconut sugar added when dry and wet ingredients were combined. Still, it was not overly sweet. I chopped the dates and soaked them 1 T of honey (instead of maple syrup and with out the extra warming that isn’t included in the recipe). Lastly I didn’t have enough coconut oil so I melted some butter with the coconut oil to make up a cup (it was probably 2/3 c coconut to 1/3 c butter). Since it was for 2 year old birthday party, I chose a frosting from another site with cream cheese, whipped cream and sweetened with honey. It was also delicious. Yum yum yum. For some one afraid to try paleo baking this was big hit and boosted my confidence.

  18. Marci
    February 4, 2013

    Just made this carrot cake and it was delicious. It had only been an hour in the fridge but I just had to try a piece. I know it will only get better, atleast that is my experience when using coconut flour. I made two layers and used the frosting for the cake also provided on this site. The only thing I would change is perhaps a bit more frosting in between the layers. I didn’t have any ginger so next time I will also try that. It was a lot better that the carrot cake I ate in a cafe the other day. Also, am very happy this is paleo. I almost forgot to mention that I did add a bit more carrots and believe that is why I had to bake it an additional 30 minutes. Thanks for sharing this great recipe.

  19. thenorthcountrywoman
    February 9, 2013

    I had a question about the amount of carrots. I made a wheat flour cake with sugar as well as the recipe above, so I grated a pound of carrots all at once. The wheat flour recipe calls for 2 cups of grated carrots, and since “5 carrots” is not a very specific measurement, I ended up using 2 carrots in the above recipe, and it seemed to work just fine. Has anyone else measured the volume of carrots to go into their cake?

    And if you are reading this and wondering if it is the recipe for you, I would like to let you know that the consistency of the cake (at least my cake) ended up more like a souffle than cake, which is not surprising when it calls for 10 eggs. I am not experienced with coconut flour, so maybe it needs that many eggs to create any lift in the batter?

    The flavor is just great, though, and I am sure my baby and toddler will enjoy it tomorrow at the baby’s 1st birthday. They don’t ever eat pastries, so I am sure this will be a huge treat!

  20. nicolef5786
    February 25, 2013

    Hi Bill and Hayley
    I really am excited about making this cake from the great reviews. However before I did I wanted to make sure I do it right. Can you help tell me how many cups (5 carrots) should be. Also, you mention making a DATE MIXTURE. I have seen that others have commented about this but no one has gotten an answer. I typed in “Date Mixture” in your search bar and I found a recipe. It calls for using 4 Tablespoons of water but less Dates than in our recipe. Is this what we are supposed to be making in the microwave. I want to make sure I do it exactly as you have. I would love some answers. Thanks for all your wonderful recipes :)!

  21. amcken3
    May 3, 2013

    I’m new to baking and need help with this recipe. I was wondering if anyone can tell me how many cups of grated carrots they use for this recipe and if the dates need to be warmed. I was also wondering if I add raisins if I need to add more liquid or anything? And one last question, can someone please post how to modify this recipe’s cooking time and temperature for cupcakes? I hope someone answers this. Thanks.

  22. September 6, 2013

    I was wondering how you store the cake after its been made. Do I keep it refrigerated OR do I leave it in my nice cake display glass on the counter? I made this today for my husbands birthday. I don’t think there will be any left bust just in case…Thanks a bunch ya’ll!

  23. September 6, 2013

    Also I think this is the best carrot cake I have ever had in my life!

  24. crossfitboxdiaries@gmail.com
    October 6, 2013

    Probably the best grain free, coconut flour cake I’ve ever had in that it was VERY moist and didn’t crumble. However, I could taste the coconut oil more so than the carrots or cinnamon. I think next time I could cut back on the oil a bit, add a smidge of nutmeg or all spice. This cake is not at all sweet, which is good for me I don’t like sugary cake – although if I was to make this for someone else or bring it for a potluck I may add a bit more sweetener

  25. pinksparkle71
    November 27, 2013

    This recipe, along with several others, are listed in the fodmap free section, yet contain dates. Dates contain fodmaps. Are they listed because they are LOW fodmap?

  26. November 27, 2013

    Hey there – Dates being a FODMAP is news to me (literally). But upon further research, you’re definitely right. I’ve never personally had a reaction from them, but it looks like i’ll need to revise the way Dates are classified on the site. Thanks for pointing that out, PinkSparkle71

  27. truffleshuffle83
    February 7, 2014

    question? am i just discarding the maple syrup after i empty the carrots in the collander? can i salvage a half cup of it for use in the cream cheese frosting?

  28. CarolineMarie
    April 4, 2014

    So this turned out to be super delicious, as everyone else mentioned. The only thing is that my cake was extremely flat. I’m wondering if this is because I improvised with my sifting or because I live at a mile high in Colorado. Did anyone else have this problem?

    Truffle Shuffle, I think that’s a great idea to save the drained off maple syrup considering how costly Grade B can be.

  29. LoriCl
    April 20, 2014

    Just made this today for Easter. Several of my son’s college friends (“typical” eaters) agreed that it was “competition worthy”. I added a bit of raisins, walnuts, and some drained crushed pineapple. Thanks for making me look good :-)

  30. LoriCl
    April 20, 2014

    Just made this today for Easter. Several of my son’s college friends (typical eaters) declared it was “competition worthy”. I added a bit of raisins, walnuts, and some drained crushed pineapple. Thanks for making me look good :-)

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