Saturday, September 6, 2014

Hard to Believe It's Grain Free Carrot Cake

I'm all about making healthier choices, but I believe in treating yourself occasionally as well. So when I come across a recipe that meets both requirements, that's the best news of all. I first saw this carrot cake in a TwoGrand post by Amanda, aka amandalolita, and it looked deeelicious. I know several carrot cake enthusiasts so I thought I'd give it a try.

This carrot cake turned out to be a real winner, gluten free or not. You'll be able to taste a slight difference in texture if you're looking for it, but otherwise, it tastes just like a regular carrot cake, maybe even better. The almond flour and coconut flour add a wonderful nutty and coconutty note to the cake. I added some cinnamon since I like my carrot cakes to be well spiced and went with a basic honey sweetened cream cheese frosting. Nuts, coconut, and raisins are typical carrot cake add-ins that would work well here, but the options are only limited by your imagination.

The original recipe is for cupcakes, but would make a 2 layer 8-inch cake. I decided to use half the recipe to make a 2 layer 6-inch cake.  I did not frost the sides of the cake, but if you wanted to do that, just double the recipe for the cream cheese frosting.

Grain-free Carrot Cake
Adapted from nourished kitchen
Makes One 2-layer 6-inch cake

Carrot Cake
8 oz. carrots, peeled and grated finely
1 cup blanched almond flour
1/4 cup coconut flour
3/8 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
large pinch of salt
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 large eggs
1/3 cup honey
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
1/4 cup whole milk yogurt, Greek style or otherwise

Preheat the oven to 375 deg F. Line two 6-inch cake pans with parchment rounds and a strip of parchment for the sides. In a medium bowl, combine the grated carrots, almond flour, coconut flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Mix well with a wooden spoon or spatula.

Warm the honey in a small pot over the stove until it is easily pourable. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs thoroughly for a minute. Add the honey and mix well. Then add the melted coconut oil and yogurt whisking thoroughly to combine. Add the carrot mixture to the egg mixture and mix thoroughly for 2-3 min with a spatula or wooden spoon breaking up any clumps of almond flour.

Divide the batter between the two pans and bake for 30-35 min until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the cakes cool completely before removing them from the pans.

Honey Cream Cheese Frosting
6 oz. cream cheese, room temp.
2 tbsp. honey
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
pinch of salt

To make the frosting, in a small bowl with a wooden spoon or with a mixer, give the cream cheese a good mix to smooth out any lumps. Then mix in the honey, vanilla extract, and salt.

To assemble the cake, remove the cake layers from the pans and remove the parchment. Slice off the tops if necessary to even out the cake layers. Place one layer right side up on a serving plate, spread half of the frosting over the top with a small offset spatula. Place the other cake layer upside down over the frosting and press gently. Spread the remaining frosting on the top of the cake.

Refrigerate the cake for about half an hour before serving. Cake will keep, wrapped, in the refrigerator for several days. For longer storage, wrap well and freeze.

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