Best Carrot Cake Recipe Makeover (Gluten-Free)

Wake the Wolves | Best Carrot Cake Recipe Healthy (gluten-free) with Almond Flour

This healthy makeover is super moist, fresh, with soft nooks and crannies and just the right amount of sweetness. With a few healthy swaps in almond flour, coconut sugar, and coconut oil, you’ll be quite surprised how our fave (and best) carrot cake recipe compares to the traditional version.

Carrots = Nature’s Candy

Carrots have to be the alltime, signature vegetable for Spring. I swear you can grate up a carrot and throw it into anything to add a touch of sweetness (and fiber). From spaghetti sauce to chocolate brownies, if you want to add moisture and sweetness, the good ol’ root vegetable has your back.

I think we all know by now that carrots are great for eyesight – high in Vitamin A, but I often hesitate throwing out specific numbers. Why? As a nutrition and wellness coach, I swear all the nutrition factoids in the world don’t really get US to change the way we eat.

It really comes down to:

  1. Taste
  2. Easy to make/do/prep
  3. Making you look & feel good

And this carrot cake is definitely a WAY BETTER option than going the traditional route. So if you’re craving a cake this season, try making this one.

How does our carrot cake compare?

Curious, we wanted to see how our carrot cake (made healthy) compares to the No. 1 carrot cake recipe in Google Search by Tammy Elliot and over 4,600+ ★★★★ four star reviews. While cinnamon and vanilla are not key contributors to overall macronutrient and calorie results, we focused on comparing:

  1. sugar
  2. fat
  3. flour

Wake the Wolves | Best Carrot Cake Recipe Healthy


Cake by the pound!

3 Helpful tips to making this cake BOMB!

  1. Read the whole recipe (and steps).
  2. Refrigerate the damn cake (and frosting) before you put it together. (We’ve tried to rush it and failed. Trust us!)
  3. The coconut oil in the frosting helps solidify the ingredients. Don’t skip this.

Wake the Wolves | Best Carrot Cake Recipe Healthy (gluten-free) with Almond Flour
Wake the Wolves | Best Carrot Cake Recipe Healthy (gluten-free) with Almond Flour
Wake the Wolves | Best Carrot Cake Recipe Healthy (gluten-free) with Almond Flour
Wake the Wolves | Best Carrot Cake Recipe Healthy (gluten-free) with Almond Flour
Wake the Wolves | Best Carrot Cake Recipe Healthy (gluten-free) with Almond Flour
Wake the Wolves | Best Carrot Cake Recipe Healthy (gluten-free) with Almond Flour
Wake the Wolves | Best Carrot Cake Recipe Healthy (gluten-free) with Almond Flour

 



Carrot Cake with Honey Goat Cheese Yogurt Frosting

(vegetarian, gluten-free)

Carrot Cake INGREDIENTS

½ cup yogurt
¼ cup coconut oil
¾ cup coconut sugar
5 eggs
3 cups almond flour
¾ teaspoon sea salt
1 ½ teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg
3 cups carrots, grated
¾ cup currants (or raisins)
¾ cup walnuts, roughly chopped and toasted
⅓ cup walnuts, finely chopped and toasted (save for garnish)

Steps
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two 9” round cake pans with coconut oil and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, beat the yogurt, coconut oil, and coconut sugar with a hand-mixer. Add the eggs (one-by-one), beating well between each egg.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine almond flour, sea salt, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg. Use a fork to stir ingredients and break up any lumps.
  4. Carefully add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in parts, beating the mixture on low until everything is well combined. Use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides and continue to blend.
  5. Fold in the carrots, currants, and walnuts. Divide the batter into both pans and smooth to an even finish. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes. Use a butter knife to test the center. Prepare the frosting while the cake is baking.
  6. Remove and set aside on a rack to cool for 20 minutes. Using a knife, run the blade around the edges of the pan to release the cake, then invert them carefully back on a rack to cool completely before frosting, at least 1 hour.

Honey Goat Cheese Yogurt Frosting

1 ⅔ cup plain Greek yogurt
11 ounces goat cheese
½ cup honey, melted
¼ cup coconut oil, melted
1 teaspoon lemon juice

Steps
  1. In a large bowl, beat the yogurt and goat cheese together. Slowly add the melted honey and continue to beat on medium. Then add the coconut oil and lemon juice.
  2. Scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula and stir. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour.
  3. Once the cake and the frosting have been refrigerated, put everything together. Add frosting between the layers, then slowly frost the outside. Begin by adding a drop of frosting to the center of the cake (see photos) and spread out from the center all the way until you rich the edge. Cover up your mistakes with the extra toasted walnuts.

Yields one 9” ROUND CAKE

p.s. – If a double layer round cake is too crazy, simply bake it in a rectangle dish, then frost like a brownie (or sheet cake)!


YOUR TURN.

Leave a comment below and let us know if you like it as much as we do. If you want to see one of the top carrot cake recipes (and the one we compared ours to), see full ingredients here.


Kale. All Day. Err Day.

If you like this post, checkout more nutritious and healthy living tips in our latest interactive book, Kale. All Day. Err Day. It’s enhanced and interactive for a super fun, learning experience. It’s filled with a great story all about kale, how-to videos, and recipes for the busy and the hungry. Did we mention, it’s FREE…for a limited time. Hurry – check it out here. (New book coming late 2016…)

 

Kale. All Day. Err Day. | Wake the Wolves

 

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Written By

steph

Stephanie Wong

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  • Christine Colton

    Any suggestions to make this dairy free ?!

    • http://wakethewolves.com/ Wake the Wolves

      YES! Ok but not quite sure if the consistency will be the same. What we love about the frosting, is the lightly sweet, tang, creaminess. It goes SO WELL with the cake and all its freshness.

      I thought long and hard about where you COULD take this, but haven’t tried, so forgive me if it flops 🙂

      1) COCONUT YOGURT: ditch the goat cheese and greek yogurt in the recipe, and look for “cultured” coconut yogurt (in the yogurt refrigerator section). I honestly have never purchased these mostly because of the filler ingredients, so I can’t stand by how “clean” they are, but for a slice of cake and a dairy-free allergy, I’d give it a go (since it’s a treat)! Now it may be more liquid-like, so you’ll probably need to increase the coconut oil and play with the honey/lemon a bit. Definitely frost it closer to serving time and use toasted walnuts to mask the drips. My biggest concern is that it would be runny. So you could make this like a drizzle on top?

      Here’s a good start recipe to play with: http://www.texanerin.com/vegan-cream-cheese-frosting/

      2) VEGAN CREAM CHEESE FROSTINGS: Do a google search for that and you’ll find a couple. I’d recommend staying away from “vegan cream cheese” or “tofuti” stuff. You can make a really delicious (but more runny) frosting with:

      soaked cashews
      lemon
      honey
      coconut oil

      Here’s a good start recipe: http://detoxinista.com/creamy-cashew-icing-dairy-free/

      Obviously, consistencies won’t be the same like ours. I actually had to experiment with our frosting a few times to get it right. I wanted it to stick to the cake like regular frosting, just without 2-4 cups of powdered sugar 🙂

      ENJOY!!!

  • http://wakethewolves.com/ Wake the Wolves

    Hi Charlotte,

    Oh I haven’t counted the calories. Kind of gave that up years ago and switched to whole foods, mostly vegetables, BUT I do think that running “treats” through a calorie counter can be helpful. I’d recommend plugging the recipe in through MyFitnessPal and seeing where it nets out. It also really depends on how big your slice is.

    Sorry I don’t have an answer for you on this one 🙂

    • Charlotte

      Thanks! No problem! Just plugged the recipe on myfitnesspal. Without icing it comes to around 267 calories per serving (16 servings in total) =)

      • http://wakethewolves.com/ Wake the Wolves

        Thanks so much for sharing! It’s a bout what I was thinking — roughly 300 cals, but the ingredients that make up those cals are what truly make this a winner!!! Another reader just made it and posted a pic 🙂 Have you tried it yet? OH and I shared with her that you can freeze the cake (without the frosting). We’ve actually tried making it and eating it in slices like banana bread. DELISH!

        • Charlotte

          Yes!! It was so delicious!!!!! I couldn’t wait to dig into it, will definitely take a pic next time. And you’re so right, the ingredients are so much healthier than the normal carrot cake, what an amazing guilt-free dessert! Have not tried the freezing method but thinking about eating it in slices like banana bread is already making my mouth water. Can’t wait to try it!

          • http://wakethewolves.com/ Wake the Wolves

            LOVE IT!!! Thanks for sharing the baking inspiration. Getting the itch again just in time for Mother’s Day 🙂

  • Vanessa

    I just took my first bite and omg…in heaven!

    • http://wakethewolves.com/ Wake the Wolves

      Gahhhhh!!! Soo awesome that you made it and shared a photo!!!! Was it easy or hard to make? Oh and the cake freezes exceptionally well too (without the frosting)! THANK YOU SO MUCH for sharing!!!

      • Vanessa

        It was so easy and super delicious. I literally danced around the kitchen when it was done! 😀
        I found your site when i was searching for an article about almond milk and I’m soo glad i came across it. Absolutely love what you guys are about and i can’t wait to try more recipes 🙂

        • http://wakethewolves.com/ Wake the Wolves

          Wooohoo! I’ve had blog/website recipes fail on me, so we completely DIG the happy dance 🙂 So glad you found us and thank you, thank you for giving it a try!!!!