Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Grain-Free Carrot Cake

As spring came around, we had a nice, long stretch of warm sunny days here in the northwest. The hubby and I planted a garden, uncovered our patio furniture, and drank homemade lemonade. The sunshine had me all geared up for light, citrus inspired summer desserts.

Then reality hit. I live in Oregon... where it rains... until July. As the gray clouds rolled back over the Willamette Valley and provided my newly planted flowers and vegetable starts with a nice watering, I lost all interest in cool, fruity desserts.

I really wanted to bake! But what? hmmm.....

I realized I had never baked my own carrot cake and decided it was time to try. Carrot cake seemed like it would be great grain-free and provide a little comfort food as we wait for the sunshine to return.

After looking over several basic carrot cake recipes I decided to use the recipe from James Beard's American Cookery as the skeleton for my grain-free version. The first time I attempt to convert flour based recipes to grain-free, the final product is usually not quite right and takes a bit more tweaking. After letting the cake cool for a few minutes I sneaked a bite...

Me: "Yum. Hun, come try a bite and let me know what you think."

Hubby: "Thats good!" after another bite a grin crept across his face (and this is a man with as many facial expressions as Arnold Swartzenager in the Terminator), "I think this is the best cake you've ever made!"


                    Grain-free Carrot Cake


1 cup butter, softened
1 cup coconut sugar
3/4 cup honey
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp grated orange peel
5 medium cage-free eggs
1 1/2 cup finely shredded carrot
2 cup almond flour
1/2 cup coconut flour
3 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt


4 cups yogurt made from half and half and strained 12 hours (or cream cheese)
1/4-1/3 cup honey
1 tsp grated orange peel
1 tsp vanilla


In a large bowl, cream the butter and coconut sugar until light and fluffy. Add in the honey and beat until well incorporated. Stir in the spices and orange peel. Beat in the eggs one at a time then add the carrot. In a separate bowl, combine the remaining dry ingredients. Fold into the wet ingredients until just blended.

Pour into two greased and parchment lined 9 inch cake pans. Bake at 350 F for approximately 25 minutes. Because of the honey, this cake (and other cake recipes on my blog) won't pass the traditional "toothpick test" or spring back when lightly touched. Watch for the cake to look set in the middle and not move when you tilt the pan. It should be slightly sticky, but not wet or runny. Cool in pans for about 15 minutes then very carefully transfer to cooling racks.

Beat the strained yogurt, honey, orange peel, and vanilla. Frost cake once it has completely cooled. Store in the refrigerator.

I hope you enjoy this cake as much as we have! Feel free to add in chopped walnuts or raisins. You could also make cupcakes instead of round cakes, especially if you are just getting used to grain-free and processed sugar-free baking.

Thanks for stopping by!


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