A healthy carrot cake recipe that is gluten free, is very easy to make, is frosted with a delicious cream cheese frosting. This simple gluten free carrot cake is made with almond flour and can be easily made dairy free with the swap of cashew cream cheese frosting. Perfect for birthdays or holidays like Easter!
Yes, it’s okay to call it healthy because it’s jam packed with good for you ingredients like fresh carrots, almond flour, raisins (aka fruit!!!), walnuts or pecans, and no refined sugar.
Just close your eyes when it comes to the cream cheese frosting and we can pretend the whole thing is full of nutrients 😉
But since I was being so good with the entire cake, I figured having a little bit of an indulgent cream cheese frosting would make this healthy carrot cake perfect.
If dairy isn’t your thing, you can easily go dairy-free and make my homemade cashew cream cheese frosting which is equally as good, in my opinion!
I’ve always been a carrot cake lover, like hard core obsessed with the flavor combination and my eyes would always light up whenever I saw it on a menu.
Ingredients for Healthy Carrot Cake:
Almond Flour – the only flour you need for this cake is almond flour! It makes a perfectly fluffy texture, and keeps the whole cake low-carb if you’re watching your carbs! Almond flour is one of my favorite gluten-free flours to bake with.
Pumpkin (yes! really!) – pumpkin doesn’t have much of a strong flavor but adds in beautiful color and makes the cake perfectly moist and fluffy. This time of year you can find canned pumpkin in the baking aisle of your grocery store.
Eggs – I haven’t tried this with any egg replacer and I sadly don’t have faith that it would work without eggs! You really need them to hold this cake together!
Almond Butter – helps keep this cake nice and moist! I use regular unsalted almond butter for this recipe, but if you use salted, just use a little bit less salt in the overall recipe
Coconut oil – my favorite oil for baking, in place of traditional vegetable oil or butter!
Grated Carrots – quickly grated up some big carrot sticks in my food processor.
Raisins + Walnuts – these are optional, but highly suggested! You can also use pecans if you don’t have walnuts.
+ spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger.
I top this cake with a homemade healthier cream cheese frosting, and it uses ingredients like cream cheese, powdered sugar, a little bit of butter. You can easily swap this out for my cashew cream cheese frosting if you are dairy free.
Why is this carrot cake healthy?
The ingredients in this gluten-free carrot cake are fresh, natural, and all real food. That’s why I feel good when I’m eating it! Instead of using butter, white flour, and traditional sugar, I use coconut oil, almond flour, and maple syrup.
I even gave this cake to my parents who love traditional baked goods, and they both thought it was so good!
How do you make healthy carrot cake?
Super easy! All you need it do is combine all of the dry ingredients in a bowl, combine all of the wet ingredients in a separate bowl, and then add the two together.
Once those are combined, add in the carrots, raisins, and walnuts.
Separate into two separate 8 inch cake pans and bake! While it’s baking you can prepare the cream cheese frosting.
Once the cakes are completely cooled (must be completely cooled or else the frosting will cause the cake to get soggy!) frost them by adding frosting to the top layer of the first cake.
Then add frosting to the top layer, and frost the sides if you wish. I added crushed walnuts and coconut shreds to the top of mine!
What’s the best way to store healthy carrot cake?
If eating the same day, keep it out at room temperature! After 12 hours, I would store in the fridge. You can also pop it in the refrigerator right after frosting it and just take it out about one hour before so it comes closer to room temperature!
If you make this recipe, be sure to comment below and let me know how it was! Also tag @erinliveswhole on Instagram and use the hashtag #erinliveswhole so I can see it and feature you!
If you liked this recipe, you’ll want to try these!
- 1.5 cups almond flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tbsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp dried ginger
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup pumpkin – (can get year round in baking aisle of your grocery store!)
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted.
- 1/4 cup almond butter
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 2 cups finely grated carrots
- 2/3 cup chopped walnuts (or pecans)
- 2/3 cup raisins
- coconut + more walnuts for sprinkling
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 2 (8oz) blocks Neufchatel or reduced fat cream cheese, softened
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup butter, softened
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp salt
Can also use this vegan cream cheese frosting
1. Preheat oven to 350F and grease two 8 inch cake pans. I also line the bottom with parchment paper cut into circle shape.
2. In a small bowl, mix almond flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger.
4. Add in pumpkin and vanilla and whisk until well combined.
5. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and stir well.
6. Stir in carrots, raisins, and walnuts and then divide the batter between the two pans.
7. Bake for 34-36 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cover halfway through with aluminum foil if getting dark.
8. While baking, prepare frosting. Using a hand mixer, blend together cream cheese, powdered sugar, butter, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt until creamy. Chill in fridge for 30 minutes.
9. Let cakes cool completely before frosting, the icing will melt into the cakes if not completely cool. You can frost it however you want and there will be enough if you want to cover the entire cake in frosting.
10. Top with extra walnuts and coconut.
*Notes for how to store the cake in post!
This will make a double layer cake with enough frosting for the whole cake and middle layer!
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