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Posted by on Oct 24, 2013 in dairy free, dessert, gluten free, Holidays, homemade for the holiday, paleo | 27 comments

Grain-Free Carrot Cake with Dairy-Free Cream Cheese Frosting



Grain-Free Carrot Cake with Dairy-Free Cream Cheese Icing from

A delicious Paleo friendly, Gluten & Dairy Free Carrot Cake. perfect for your holiday get-togethers.

This was my birthday cake back in April.  It’s about time I shared the recipe with you! I adore carrot cake; even as a child, it is what I asked my Dad to make for my birthday every year. Who needs chocolate or vanilla when you have carrot cake!?

To make this grain-free carrot cake, I adapted my Chocolate Zucchini Muffin recipe. I have really missed cream cheese frosting, so I am really excited about this recipe. Using dairy-free yogurt really gives this frosting that slight taste of sour one would expect from a traditional cream cheese icing.

Paleo and Gluten Free Carrot Cake with Dairy Free Cream Cheese Frosting on

Carrots are one of those root seller veggies that last into winter, making this a seasonal favorite dessert around the Holidays. I am not big on dried fruit or nuts in my cake, but I am sure you could add that into this mixture without any trouble.

Be sure to check out the rest of my Homemade For The Holidays Recipe Collection.

Paleo Carrot Cake with dairy free cream cheese frosting


4.7 from 3 reviews

Grain-Free Carrot Cake with Dairy-Free Cream Cheese Frosting

Serves: 12
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:

  • Cake Ingredients
  • Dry
  • ½ cup ground Pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
  • ¼ cup coconut flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon allspice
  • ½ teaspoon ground vanilla
  • Wet
  • 2 cups shredded carrots
  • ¼ cup apple butter
  • ½ cup sunflower seed butter
  • ½ cup pure maple syrup
  • 4 pastured eggs
  • Dairy-Free Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients:
  • 1 cup coconut oil
  • 1 cup coconut yogurt (or other dairy free yogurt option)
  • The cream from the top of one full fat can of coconut milk (approx. 1 cup)
  • 1 tblsp ground vanilla
  • 3 tblsp maple Syrup

  1. Preheat oven to 325F
  2. Grease two 8 inch round cake pans and line their bottoms with unbleached parchment paper.
  3. In a medium bowl whisk together all of the dry ingredients.
  4. In a small bowl whisk the eggs until frothy and loosened.
  5. In a large bowl combine the carrots, apple and sunflower seed butter. Add in the eggs and combine.
  6. Add the dry ingredients to the large bowl with wet ingredients. Stir until combined.
  7. Divide between the 2 cake pans and bake for 25-30 minutes.
  8. NOTE: The cake pictured has 4 layers, I made the cake recipe twice.
  9. Dairy-Free Cream Cheese Frosting Instructions:
  10. Place all ingredients in your blender. Blend smooth and allow the mixture to set in the fridge for several hours or over night.
  11. Once icing has set, spread a thin layer on the top of each layer of cake. Chill and serve.


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  1. What are pepitas & wet?

    • Pepitas are a type of seed (pumpkin seeds) Wet I used to title all of the wet ingredients

  2. Can vanilla extract be used instead of ground vanilla?

    • Yes! I would use more than 1/2 a teaspoon. The ground is stronger in flavor. Try 1 teaspoon of the extract.

  3. Do you double the recipe of the icing since you doubled the cake recipe?

    • Thanks for asking Emily! I should have clarified that. No I did not double the icing recipe. It was enough for a thin layer on each layer and on the top. If you wanted icing all over the outside of the 4 layer cake I would suggest doubling. If you make a small 2 layer torte, it should be enough icing to do inside and all over the outside.

  4. I am going to make this cake for Thanksgiving! And it’s my friends birthday.

    Do you think it would be ok to add some chopped walnuts and raisins to the recipe? Also I am going to use homemade apple sauce instead of the apple butter, and homemade ginger syrup for half of the maple syrup!

    Also, could I use ground walnuts or ground almonds instead of the ground pumpkin seeds? What do you think? :)


  5. What type of coconut oil do you use? I use Wilderness Family Naturals raw cold processed extra virgin and it leaves such a heavy taste to everything I add it to. Any suggestion’s for a very mild flavored or even a no flavor one?

    • I get mine from Costco in Canada made by Carrington Farms.

  6. Grammar Nazi here. It’s ‘root cellar’, and holidays isn’t capitalized as you’ve used it, unless it’s a salutation on a greeting card (i.e., “Happy Holidays!), it’s at the beginning of a sentence, or you’re German.

    Great recipe!

    • I am so happy to know I’m not the only Grammar Nazi running around out here. (Former English teacher…..sorry)! And fresh4five, this does look like a good recipe. I have a question, though: Has the word “pasteurized” actually been shortened to “pastured” eggs? I didn’t know that. If,indeed, it has. Or is it a shortened texting word?

      • Not being an English teacher myself, you might have a better understanding.

        From my limited knowledge pasteurized is the sterilizing of foods ( eggs included) pastured means they ate out on a pasture.

        I realize spelling is important to many people…I also wish the same people realized it is NOT important to others…not a flaw. I am creative, 0 desire or energy for words. Let us each do what we do best. With that I have an editor hubby who is the polar opposite of me. Geeky, High IQ, sexy nerdy type whom I adore and admire. The same way he, in his brilliance is able to appreciate and admire my gifts. He edits every word I write (clearly besides comments) Editors exist for a reason. I know he will appreciate that he missed Seller…

        We live in a word with wildly different people. My son included, he is non verbal and uses his ipad to make basic requests with pictures. I wish he could text talk/type to me. If we understand one another and *get* what a person is trying to say…isn’t that what’s most important? a human connection… I create food…you make/eat the food. Perfect relationship. I don’t worry about spelling shit as a hobby.

        Now tell me my recipe is GROSS or the best thing you ever tasted…offer criticism or encouragement in that area of my life… that would be appreciated.

  7. What is apple butter? Where do I get it or how can I make it?

  8. From Australia here, love the recipe, about to try it out, but what is apple butter?

    • I buy Apple butter at the grocery store. It is apple sauce that is cooked down longer, so it is thicker. However I have made this cake with apple sauce one time because I didn’t have the butter on hand and it turned out fine :)

  9. Can i use another seed or nut instead of pumkin seeds?

    • yes you can, any other seed or nut should be just fine. Pumpkin seeds have a great Fat profile, so I use them often :)

  10. I’m tempted to make this soon. Has anyone recommended it?

  11. This looks delicious! When you say coconut yogurt, do you mean coconut-flavored yogurt or coconut milk yogurt? If coconut milk yogurt, what flavor? Plain?


    • I used plain So-Delicious Coconut milk. HTH

  12. root cellar unless it is a seller of roots. Then it would be a root salesman.

  13. Not impressed, the cake fell apart and the icing was extremely runny even after cooling overnight. Not a good recipe

    • Sorry to hear you did not have success. One of our favorite recipes

      • After setting and cooling the flavour came out and although it didn’t taste like carrot cake it did taste like pumpkin pie and I ended up enjoying it despite the fact that it fell apart. My husband however spat it out. Overall I re rate it to 3/5

  14. I am a blogger and teacher as well but pointing out grammar on a food blog? Really? Well answered Danielle!


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