Carrot Cake (aka birthday cake for weirdos who don’t prefer chocolate cake.)

My boyfriend is one of those weirdos.

His birthday is a week from today, and it’s the big 4-0. I’ve made his birthday cake for the past 4 or 5 years, but haven’t had a tried and true recipe, so they’ve been different every year. The first year was a gluten-bomb, since I hadn’t yet eliminated the stuff from my life. 2012 was Elana’s recipe (with some substitutions for agave and grapeseed oil), and it was delicious. The years in between were likely some kind of transition from gluten bomb to grain-free. This year I decided to develop my own recipe with the grain-free flour combo I’ve come to love so much.

grainfree carrot cake

You might notice the lack of nuts and raisins in this cake. It’s not an accident. There are only a few things that upset Simon; nuts and raisins in his baked goods is one of them. He’s a lot like this little girl (okay, just about the raisins, he doesn’t wear polka dots): - Raisin Cookies That Look Like Chocolate Chip Cookies Are The Main Reason I Have Trust Issues.

Feel free to add them if you’d like. You might also notice that the frosting is not even close to being paleo. It’s frosting. There are lots of recipes for “cream cheese” frosting that use nuts or coconut in place of the cream cheese. But the main reason Simon likes carrot cake is the frosting, so I’m happy to make it legit for my Shmoopers. If you’d prefer to make a more paleo frosting (oxymoron alert) a quick google search will surely return lots of good results.

all of the ingredients

all of the ingredients

Carrot Cake

Makes a 2 layer 8 inch cake or 14-18 cupcakes

2 cups almond flour
3/4 cup arrowroot powder
3 tablespoons coconut flour
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon cloves
1/8 teaspoon cardomom
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
6 eggs, preferably pastured
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted, plus more for greasing pans
3 cups (packed) grated carrots (about 6 medium carrots)

Maple Cream Cheese Frosting


  1. Preheat oven to 325 and grease 2 8 inch pans with coconut oil
  2. In a large bowl, mix the dry ingredients together with a whisk, or sift if you’d prefer. (almond flour through baking soda)
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs and add the maple syrup and melted coconut oil. Mix well and then stir in the carrots.
  4. Combine the wet and dry ingredients until just combined.
  5. Pour into prepared pans and bake for 25- 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  6. Allow to cool on a wire rack completely before frosting.For cupcakes: Line a muffin tin with parchment liners and fill each one just about to the top. Bake for 22-26 minutes. 
I'm a horrible frosting maker.

I’m a horrible frosting maker.


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  1. Hahahhaha I love the title of this post. That’s me. I’m totally a weirdo who prefers carrot-laden cake over chocolate cake any day.

  2. I made this cake for my husband’s birthday this year. He’s not a chocolate cake or even sweets fan (and actually neither am I), but he was all over this one! I think carrot cake was intriguing especially one without wheat flour.

    We both like raisins, and I was following the recipe soooo carefully I forgot to add them! Oops! I ended up putting them on top of the bottom layer after it was iced, so there were raisins on the inside. It worked very well, but I’d like to bake them in next time. I used golden raisins which seemed to be just the right thing in this delicious carrot cake.

    I went totally off-script with the frosting. I used cream cheese, sour cream, maple syrup, and vanilla. I just kept adding stuff until it tasted good, so I’m not sure on the measurements. Neither of us are fans of sweet, so we let the cake be the sweet and used the frosting as a cream-cheesy-tart contrast. It was lovely. This cake recipe is AWESOME. I can’t wait for another occasion to make this! Thank you, Simone for another wonderful treat!!


  3. Wow, what an a** i am. somehow i forgot to add the baking soda. i made these into mini loafs, halfway through baking them i realized they weren’t rising cuz i’m a doofus. i left them in the oven to kind of ‘dehydrate’ them a bit and even with my major screw up they still turned out delicious! i added raisins and walnuts and coconut, so morish and satisfying! can’t wait to make them again (with the baking soda!)

  4. Pingback: You're No Bunny 'Til Some Bunny Loves You and They Will When You Make These Carrot Cake Desserts! | All Gluten-Free Desserts...All the Time