I never really liked conventional carrot cake — it tries to be too “healthy” while actually filled with loads of refined sugars and rancid vegetable oils. Adding to the sugar assault is the sickly sweet cream cheese frosting. Here is a recipe that is grain, sugar and dairy free and astonishingly satisfying without being cloyingly sweet. The earthy taste of the dates and pecans combined with the mild sweetness of the carrots makes for a beautifully textured and amazing comfort food. The thin layer of coconut cream icing adds another dimension to the experience. Your kids will love it!
Carrots have been used in sweet desserts since medieval times mainly because sweeteners were scarce and expensive, while carrots, which contain more sugar than any other vegetable besides the sugar beet, were much easier to come by. The origins of carrot cake are disputed but it is thought to come from Gothenburg, Sweden. Because of rationing during World War 2 the popularity of carrot cake was revived.
Here, I used 3 tablespoons of honey, but you can experiment and probably use less because the dates and carrots also sweeten the cake. I also like to soften the grated carrots by cooking them first in ghee, but you can skip this step if you like a somewhat coarser texture.
Grain-Free Carrot Cake
- 6 large eggs (pastured if possible)
- 4 tablespoon ghee (where to buy ghee) (how to make ghee)
- 3 tablespoon raw honey (where to buy raw honey)
- 8 pitted and pureed dates
- 1.5 teaspoon vanilla
- 1.5 cups grated carrots (organic)
- 3/4 cup pecan butter from 1 1/2 cup crispy pecans (where to buy crispy pecans) (how to make crispy nuts)
- 1/2 – 3/4 cup coconut flour (where to buy coconut flour)
- 1.5 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon sea salt (where to buy sea salt)
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon (where to buy high quality spices)
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg or freshly grated
- pinch clove
- In the food processor grate about 6 – 8 medium organic carrots
- Remove and place in a large pan and saute the grated carrots in ghee until somewhat soft (this can be omitted if you prefer raw carrots)
- While the carrots cook, place the pecans in the food processor and process until it is a nut butter
- Place the eggs, ghee, honey, cooked carrots and vanilla in the food processor and mix
- In a bowl soak the pitted dates until soft (about 30 minutes) (start this when you start preparing)
- In a small processor, puree the dates until it is a paste (this will still have some chunks in it)
- Add the date paste to the large food processor and mix
- Add the coconut flour (start with 1/2 cup), baking soda, and spices and mix
- The batter should be somewhat thick but still pourable
- Pour batter into 3 small (7″) baking pans
- Bake on 325 for 25 – 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean
- Cool on a rack
- Dairy-free coconut whipped cream (where to buy coconut cream for whipping) (how to make it into whipped cream – video)
- Slice the cake in half horizontally and create a layer in between the two halves. Ice the top as well.
- Here is my video for creating the layers for my Cocoa Butter Layer Cake.