Carrot Cake

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!

25 minutes
35 minutes
Show nutritional information
This is our estimate based on online research.
Fat:29 g
Carbohydrates:22 g
Protein:6 g
Calculated per serving.

Serves: 12

Serves: 12decrease servingsincrease servings



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 325Β°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 pickβ€”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.

Add a Note

My Notes:

Add a Note

Never Miss a Bite

Get recipes delivered to your inbox every week

shop Primal Palate spices

  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 πŸ™‚ Thanks.

  2. March 7, 2012

    Thank you for notifying us about the error – we’ve adjusted the recipe! Hope you enjoy it. πŸ™‚

  3. 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 πŸ™‚

  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! πŸ™‚

  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. 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.

  11. 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!

  12. 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 πŸ™‚ . 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!

  13. 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!

  14. 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?

  15. 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! πŸ˜‰

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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!

  19. 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 :)!

  20. 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.

  21. 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!

  22. September 6, 2013

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

  23. 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

  24. 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?

  25. 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

  26. 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?

  27. 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.

  28. 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 πŸ™‚

  29. 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 πŸ™‚

  30. katemotter
    April 27, 2014

    Made this exactly as written for Easter last weekend and absolutely loved it – got rave reviews all around! The ginger in the cream cheese frosting was absolute perfection.

    This week I got curious, though, and calculated the calories – holy cow. I wish I hadn’t. There are almost 7,000 calories in this cake! Even split into 10 pieces, thats 700 calories each. So just a heads up to those using paleo/primal to lose weight – might wanna skip this recipe.

    I’m working on a version today that uses applesauce instead of all the oil, less maple syrup, and a greek yogurt frosting instead (not paleo obviously, but neither is cream cheese). I’m hoping it’ll be good!

    1. Kara McCartney
      Kara McCartney
      May 9, 2014

      Hi Kate: Sorry we’re just seeing this post, but wanted to let you know that if you ever want to know caloric information for a recipe, it’s already on the website! Each piece of cake for this recipe is actually only 353 calories (although we put it down for serving 12, not 10). If you want to see the nutritional data, simply click “Show Nutritional Information” underneath “Difficulty” to the right of the photo in the recipe. Hope this helps! Kara

  31. TamiLynn
    May 6, 2014

    I think this is without a doubt the most amazing recipe ever if you love Carrot Cake! (I use 1/2 cup coconut oil and 1/2 cup butter and I always put coarsely chopped pecans in too.) I love to make it just to shock our non-paleo friends! Everyone I make it for loves it and asks for more.

    I decided to try to make a version with YAMS (sweet potatoes) instead of carrots! It was so sweet we ate it with no frosting! No complaints and it was ALL GONE!

    This morning, since I had extra shredded yams left over, I decided to experiment and made a 1/2 recipe slightly different. I didn’t have coconut flour, so I decided to use shredded coconut, and I used less oil and OH my goodness πŸ™‚ what a wonderfully delicious breakfast muffin!

    1 Cup shredded coconut, 1/2 tsp sea salt, 1/2 tsp baking soda, 1/2 tsp All spice (i’m allergic to cinnamon) MIX
    5 eggs, 5 dates softened in 1 Tbl of Maple syrup. 1/3 c melted and slightly cooled coconut oil, 1 1/2 tsp Vanilla MIX
    Mix both bowls together and add 1 cup shredded yams that soaked in maple syrup and about 1/2 cup or more of chopped pecans or walnuts.

    Pour into 1 lined and greased round pan cook at 350 for 30 min or until knife comes out clean. Less time if you use a muffin tin!
    Eat without frosting!! Yum!

    Thanks again for all the great ideas and recipes – it is very much appreciated!

    1. Kara McCartney
      Kara McCartney
      May 9, 2014

      Glad you enjoyed it! -Kara

  32. sarahcnolan
    January 1, 2015

    This recipe is genius! I have made it 2 times in the past month. Amazing! It was easy and flawless…and delicious! Also, I love that it is actually healthy- tons of protein, fiber, and nutrients. I made the recipe exactly as written, except I used xylitol as the sweetener. 1/2 cup for the cake and 1/2 cup for the frosting. Thank you! I will be sharing this page on my blog at http://www.vibrantlifenaturalhealing.com

  33. tdemmitt
    March 5, 2015

    I plan on making this cake for Easter and I’m hoping to get clarification on one of the ingredients. It says 10 eggs. Is that 10 whole eggs?

  34. resonnant
    April 1, 2015

    I just love you guys. I have made this recipe SO many times and always for Easter. I came here hoping I could print the recipe instead of getting food all over the recipe book that I have. I was surprised to find it here!

    THEN, I bought your new cookbook and planned on also making the Luscious Lemon cupcakes with Lemon Curd and Vanilla frosting AND that recipes is here too!! I put the printed recipe in sheet covers then use a cheapo pant hanger to hand on my kitchen cabinet so it’s easy to see the recipe and then I don’t ruin the book.

    Thanks so much! I love your cookbooks and recipes and can’t wait to try the Lemon cupcakes! <3

  35. resonnant
    April 1, 2015

    @tdemmitt – Yes. It’s 10 whole eggs! πŸ™‚

  36. booboo
    April 10, 2015

    I read that the cake needed to be refrigerated after made and under stand that to keep it. But does it have to be refrigerated before you serve it as well or can you make and serve in an hour or two then refrigerate the leftovers.
    Also, can you reused the maple syrup from the carrots for the frosting or would that add a color to it.

  37. clarisse
    April 27, 2015

    Amazing, by far the most successful paleo baking I’ve done so far. Light and delicious, two highly Paleo-sceptical men in my life have polished off a slice each and both want more. A definite keeper, thanks!!

  38. debenj
    May 17, 2015

    This cake was FANTASTIC! Made it tonight and even our grand kids thought it was
    “Yummy” Our son gave it a try and couldn’t believe that it wasn’t made with flour. He took a big chunk of it home. πŸ™‚
    Will be making this again and the icing isn’t overly sweet… it’s perfect! Thank You.

  39. JamiLynn
    July 8, 2015

    I continue to enjoy this recipe and so does my husband! I’ve substituted the walnuts for toasted hazelnuts and it is to die for. I’ve also made it as cupcakes as well as muffins (sans frosting) for my hikes with the girls.

    I am curious to try this new version (2) – however I’m going to stick with this one for an event this weekend. If I ever get wild and crazy I’ll make both for a taste test!

    Thank you so much for an amazing recipe, and so easy to follow. This is definitely my GO TO for a special occasion.

  40. mapplebum
    November 16, 2015

    I’d like to make this but am allergic to coconut πŸ™ do you think it would be a disaster to substitute with almond flour & ghee?

    1. November 16, 2015

      Probably, as they are not readily interchangeable. A better idea would be to search for a cake using the coconut-free filter on our site. We don’t have a lot of cakes that don’t use coconut, but here’s one: https://www.primalpalate.com/paleo-recipe/paleo-angel-food-cake/

  41. Alejandra
    November 21, 2015

    Is anybody able to give the amount of carrots you need for this recipe in either weight or volume (a cup? two cups?). It doesn’t have to be exactly, but approximate would be great. “5 carrots” isn’t clear as carrots come in different sizes. Thank you!

  42. Mela
    January 10, 2016

    I just made this recipe tonight and WOW… I can honestly say that it is one of the easiest, best turnouts I’ve had with any of my hundreds of paleo and clean eating adventures.
    I did read the reviews thoroughly, and due to the comments I only used a half cup of Coconut oil. I also added a cup of raisins, and a half cup of walnuts into the batter before baking. It turned out perfect – moist, didn’t stick to the pan, evenly cooked, and delicious.
    My little girl devoured her piece in seconds. Thanks!!!

  43. catherine.amaris
    April 19, 2016

    I made this cake yesterday for my family, and we were all floored!! My mom said, “It’s a keeper! Write 5 Stars on this recipe!!” I followed the recipe exactly, with the exception of using carrot pulp that was left over from the fresh carrot juice I made in my Jack Lalanne. I used 3 cups packed carrot pulp. I also didn’t realize that the dates needed to be microwaved (not to mention I don’t HAVE a microwave!), so I soaked them in warm water, drained, and chopped them up as small as I could before soaking them in 1 Tbsp. maple syrup. Also, I made a vegan cream cheese frosting using soaked raw cashews, lemon, vanilla, coconut oil, pinch of sea salt, and a few Tbsp. filtered water. Blended that together until smooth, froze for 1 hour, then frosted the cooled carrot cake with it. IT TURNED OUT DIVINE!! You absolutely cannot tell this cake is Paleo, Primal, Grain-free, Refined sugar-free, or Gluten-free! I follow a strict GFCF diet due to Celiac, but my mom and sis who aren’t GFCF loved this carrot cake! Please make this for your friends and family. You will be glad you did!

  44. riemersma5
    May 10, 2016

    I made this for Easter dinner without a trial run. I figured if it’s terrible and no one likes it, we always have ice cream! My 11 yr old daughter helped me from the get go. Recipe is SO easy to follow – though I was confused by the 10 whole dates so I chopped mine up a bit, not much. It didn’t look so wonderful coming out of the oven but Oh MY! This is hands down THE BEST CARROT CAKE EVER!. To the extent that 12 people (8 of whom claim not to like cake, let alone carrot cake and 1 of whom carrot cake is his fav) ALL agreed it was the most moist, most flavorful, most evenly textured, light, fluffy, all-around wonderful cake! Age ranges of review = 9 – 76!
    Also, I am a Type 1 Diabetic who has to very carefully count every carb I eat for my insulin pump. I was able to calculate this cake and my dose was dead on (that rarely happens with baked goods of any sort!)

  45. aarvizo
    December 1, 2016

    How do i make the dates mixture? Do i leave the dates whole? Thanks

  46. weter.jen
    January 22, 2017

    I first had this cake around 3? 4? years ago. It was used as a cheat while eating strictly paleo/primal (so I could have cheese) and was the perfect cheat for my one off day per week, or family celebrations so I wouldn’t be left out. I just made it today for my husband who has never tried eating healthy in all of his 30 years until I changed him over to paleo/primal two weeks ago and he is dying to try it. He had to taste the batter, he has been peeking at it every few minutes as it cools. It smells exactly as I remember it. I follow the recipe exactly – there is no need to change perfection! I plan to give my family each a small voice in the morning (probably half of a serving or less even) and freeze the rest – when you take it out one slice at a time for cheat days it tastes just as good as having it fresh.

  47. weter.jen
    January 22, 2017

    I plan to give them each a small SERVING – gotta love typos!

Write a Review

You need to be registered and logged in to post a review.