Coconut Flour Carrot Cake (Dairy-free)

Carrot cake is a family favorite in my house. It’s the flavor I request practically every year for my birthday, so I wanted to come up with a grain-free alternative that’s as flavorful as the original.

gluten-free coconut flour carrot cake

Made with coconut flour, this cake does the trick! It’s bursting with carrots, raisins, pineapple, and spices, and is naturally sweetened with pure maple syrup. If you’ve never worked with coconut flour before, don’t be alarmed by the ratio of flour to eggs. The eggs provide structure to this cake, along with plenty of protein and moisture.

The most difficult thing about making healthier cakes is finding a good frosting. Luckily, this cake is so delicious on its own it doesn’t need much of a topping. I actually intended this recipe to make a classic two-layer cake (which it does) with frosting on the top and in the middle, but the healthy icing I was making just didn’t look as pretty with that format. (You can see what that looks like in the photo below.) Instead, I baked this cake in a beautiful bundt pan and topped it off with a sweet and silky glaze for an impressive cake that tastes as good as it looks!

I’ve included other frosting and baking options in the notes below, so feel free to get creative and make this cake your own.

Coconut Flour Carrot Cake (Paleo)
Makes 1 bundt cake, or two 9-inch round cakes

Adapted from these Applesauce Cupcakes

Ingredients:

For the cake:

1 cup coconut flour
1 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup melted coconut oil
8 eggs, at room temperature
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tsp baking soda
2 cups shredded carrots (about 4 carrots)
1/3 cup diced pineapple (optional)
1/4 cup raisins (optional)

1 batch Maple Pecan Glaze
Shredded coconut, for garnish (optional)

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350F and generously grease your pan with coconut oil. (If you’re using 9-inch cake pans, use parchment paper instead for easier removal.)

To prepare the cake, combine the coconut flour, maple syrup, coconut oil, eggs, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, salt, lemon juice and baking soda, and mix well to create a uniform batter. If any of your ingredients are cold the mixture will be thicker than traditional cake batter, but don’t worry, it will still bake just fine! Once the batter is uniform, stir in the shredded carrots, pineapple, and raisins (if using).

coconut flour carrot cake in a bundt pan

Pour the batter into your prepared pan(s) and bake at 350 until the center is firm, about 35-40 minutes for 9-inch pans, or about 45-50 minutes for the bundt pan.

coconut flour carrot cake being glazed

Allow to cool in the pan for 20 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before topping with Maple Pecan Glaze, or other topping of choice.coconut flour carrot cake with maple pecan glaze on top

For my two-layer cake pictured below, I made a double batch of this Lemon Coconut Glaze— though, as you can see, it doesn’t look quite like a traditional cream cheese frosted cake.

coconut flour carrot cake with lemon coconut glaze on top

Hence, why I prefer the bundt pan for a prettier presentation. But, either way is delicious!

For best shelf-life, store the cake covered in the fridge for up to one week.

4.24 from 13 votes
coconut flour carrot cake dairy free icing
Coconut Flour Carrot Cake (Dairy-free)
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
40 mins
Total Time
50 mins
 

Carrot cake is a favorite at our house! Try this dairy-free version that uses coconut flour.

Course: Dessert
Servings: 12
Calories: 311 kcal
Author: Detoxinista.com
Ingredients
  • 1 cup coconut flour
  • 1 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil
  • 8 eggs , at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 cups shredded carrots (about 4 carrots)
  • 1/3 cup diced pineapple (optional)
  • 1/4 cup raisins (optional)
  • 1 batch Maple Pecan Glaze
  • Shredded coconut , for garnish (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F and generously grease your pan with coconut oil. (If you're using 9-inch cake pans, use parchment paper instead for easier removal.)
  2. To prepare the cake, combine the coconut flour, maple syrup, coconut oil, eggs, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, salt, lemon juice and baking soda, and mix well to create a uniform batter. If any of your ingredients are cold the mixture will be thicker than traditional cake batter, but don't worry, it will still bake just fine! Once the batter is uniform, stir in the shredded carrots, pineapple, and raisins (if using).
  3. Pour the batter into your prepared pan(s) and bake at 350 until the center is firm, about 35-40 minutes for 9-inch pans, or about 45-50 minutes for the bundt pan. Allow to cool in the pan for 20 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting with the Maple Pecan Glaze, or other topping of choice.
  4. For best shelf-life, store the cake covered in the fridge for up to one week.

Notes:

  • This recipe should make roughly 24 cupcakes, so feel free to reduce the ingredients by half if you don’t need that many. In my experience, coconut flour cupcakes need to bake for about 30 minutes, and I like using silicone baking cups to avoid any sticking.
  • For a fluffier frosting, you might want to try using Coconut Whipped Cream (<- recipe) the way I did on these pretty Applesauce Cupcakes.
  • For a nut-free icing, try this Lemon Coconut Glaze.

Hope you enjoy!

Reader Feedback: What’s your favorite cake flavor?

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Comments

Jenne

Thank You Megan, you have just made my day! My husband’s favorite cake is carrot cake and he just so happens to love maple flavor and pecans. He will be happy to get his favorite cake and I will be happy because I will know the healthy ingredients that are in it. A win-win situation! 🙂 We also both love lemon and coconut and will be happy to try that icing also.

Laura

I was just going to say lemon cakes all the way! Or, really any cake with coconut. But my husband hates coconut as I find most men do so I was surprised to read the above comment that the husband likes coconut. I did an informal survey or just about every man I knew to see if they liked coconut and guess what…….I could only find one man, my Brother-In-law who said he could tolerate coconut. That’s it!! The rest said they hated it…….I would do your own poll though to confirm this.

This cake looks awesome and honestly, doesn’t seem to need any frosting at all. I could see myself bombing the frosting and just forgetting about it altogether =)

    Domi

    Mine loves the coconut too – in all forms! How can someone NOT like it ?? 😀

    I made the cake, i tastes nice and very spicy, but it does not grow at all. It comes out too flat… Any reason for that and any idea how to make it higher? I add about 50% more soda than in the recipe but still :/

    Rese

    It must be just your part of the woods, here men like coconut as much as women

Kezia @ Super Naturally Healthy

Amazing – I have been struggling with a beetroot red velvet cake so this is perfect recipe inspiration – I think i need less beetroot and more flour! But will def be giving this a go – looks delightful!

Sam @ PancakeWarriors

oh I request carrot cake every year for my birthday. Can’t wait to give this a try! I love cooking with coconut flour it makes such a sense filling cake. Thanks for sharing this looks amazing!

Racheal

Can I replace flax eggs, since one of my kid is allergic to eggs.

Terri Schelpe

I have recently been experimenting baking cakes in my round crock pot. I line the bottom with parchment paper by tracing around the bottom of the crock pot insert. Then I grease with coconut oil. I put the setting on low and bake for 2 and 1/2 hours, then turn off and leave it sit for 1/2 hour. Do not open the lid until the end of this process. Every recipe I have tried comes out moist and delicious. I will try it with this recipe too…thank you!

joanna

I could’ve cried when I saw this recipe!! Carrot cake is my favorite cake and I have searched high and low for a coconut version!! I made an almond flour version that did not digest well at all. I was so sick from it even though it was absolutely delicious. I do very well with coconut so you have seriously made my day. I can’t wait to make this for Thanksgiving and be able to enjoy it without pain. The frosting sounds amazing, too!!

Sonya

Hi Megan, do you think this recipe would work with egg whites instead of the full eggs? 8 egg yolks have a lot of cholesterol, which is the only thing that scares me away from trying this recipe :(. I know it’s because of the coconut flour, but is there a work around? For example, would this recipe work with say 6 whites to 2 whole eggs with yolks? Or a ratio of something similar?
Ps: we make your blondies religiously, once or every couple of weeks (with a mushed banana to make them extra creamy), my hubby’s absolute favorite ‘cheat’ 😉

    Debbie

    Sonia – I’ve been doing research on cholesterol as two of my docs disagree on how test results should be viewed. I’ve been finding much that doesn’t jive with conventional thinking. I feel we haven’t been given a total picture. Here is a good starting place if you want to check it out: http://authoritynutrition.com/how-many-eggs-should-you-eat/

    I hope you get to enjoy this carrot cake!

Alwin

I love the recipe but what can i do to replace the eggs any ideas please. Thank you.

    Tami smith

    I cannot consume chicken or hen eggs, but I can have duck eggs. If you can find ducks eggs, only use half the amount of eggs a recipe calls for as they are larger

    as long as you do not eat the entire cake in one sitting, you should be fine on cholesterol 😉

Steph

Megan, you are just the best. I will certainly try this cake! I do very well doing GF, but miss carrot cake so much! Thanks!

Also, the very best recipe I have is the coconut flour chocolate chip cookies from your site – I kid you not, I have shared that recipe with so many people, it’s a hit!! I never enjoyed baking until those cookies, what a gift.

I will also be trying your coconut flour pumpkin bars for an office potluck soon! THANK YOU for your incredible recipes, you have no idea how much they have helped folks like me who are GF, and who also want to eat healthy, nutrient-dense meals (and desserts). 🙂

April

Thanks! I was wondering how I would make a carrot cake this Easter. I usually make the family a gluten one and make myself some other kind of treat. It looks great!

Debbie

I can’t wait to make this for hubby!Thank you!

natalia

Quick question, when baked, does this have the typical “gritty texture” of coconut flour? I can’t seem to get over that. Any tips on how to make it “smoother”?

    Meghan Sheehan

    Mine too, not loving it

Michele

Can I replace the maple syrup with honey?

    Megan

    Yes, I think so. Honey tends to be a little sweeter than maple syrup, so it will change the flavor a bit.

J

No joke….as soon as I read the title of this post I said “Ooookkaaaay, that’s happening”

Robyn Burdett

Hello, I love the look of the carrot cake recipe so will try it out! Hope to see more healthy recipes. Thank you : )

Sara maples

The cake looks gorgeous!!

Cath

I just made this cake this afternoon and it was delicious. I used 1/2 cup coconut nectar and 1/2 cup rice malt syrup instead of maple syrup. Will definitely make this whenever I want carrot cake. Yum!!

Josey

I halved the recipes and made cupcakes. I think it turned out pretty good. The pineapple works really well and never would have thought to add that.

Josey

I made the lemon coconut frosting but did not like it. I do not think it needed a frosting.

Brandy

This looks delish, thank you for sharing! I have been trying to figure out a pumpkin cake… Do you think I could sub pureed pumpkin for the carrots? Thank you!

Katie @ 24 Carrot Life

oh my gosh this look so good. I love that it is gluten, dairy and refined sugar free. Definitely have to make this!

J

Is the ginger called for in the recipe fresh ginger or powder?

natalie

yum! this looks amazing!

Renae

Hi! I love, love, love your site and recipes! I plan to use this recipe for a Thanksgiving dessert. Do you have any suggests as to the spice or spices I could use to take the place of the cinnamon? Cinnamon gives my husband hives; otherwise I’d go ahead and add it in.:)

Thank you,

Renae

Maegen

I made this cake last week. It came out delicious! The maple pecan frosting was even better 🙂 thank you for your recipes! I’ve made SO many great things from your site and have recommended your site many times. I’ll be making the grain free stuffing for Thanksgiving, and peanut butter pie and spaghetti squash casserole for Christmas. I made the casserole last year (very tasty), can’t wait to try the pie!

Jenny

I just made this cake today and it was AWESOME! The recipe is a keeper! I would even maybe use 1/4 cup or more less maple syrup next time than called for and I’m sure it would still be soooooo good! Thank you so much for this recipe!

Claudia

I tried the carrot cake with pineapple it is so delicious!!!! It turned out a little dry any tips to make it a little more moist? Thank you for sharing 🙂

Emily

Hmm…this did not turn out as I’d hoped when I made it. Not very flavorful compared to traditional carrot cake, turned out plenty moist but just very lacking in sweetness, sort of bland tasting. Glaze was good though.

Elle

Can I use butter instead of coconut oil?

Buks

This fell flat (taste-wise_, the texture seemed too spongy, which wasn’t expected. Extremely disappointed given the effort and high hopes I had.

Thirstina

This looks like a really good recipe, however, I can not eat eggs. Is there some way I can replace the eggs with a home made egg substitute?

Thank you

    Sudevi

    Hi, I was wondering about the same thing. Have you experimented with this yet? Thanks.

Joan

We are paleo and I LOVED this recipe. Made it for my mon’s birthday. She loved it as carrot cake is her favorite. I could not get the glaze as smooth as noted in the picture even though I have a blendtec blender. I think next time I will chop my pecans prior to placing in with rest of ingredients.

thanks I have your new cookbook and it is the BEST!! I have recommended to lots of people.

Jeni

Would the carrot cake fit into any of the food combining areas?

Laura Hillis

This carrot cake recipe is outstanding! I made it for a birthday celebration and I have to say it was the best carrot cake I’ve ever tasted, GF or not! I did add the pineapple and raisins and topped it off with homemade cream cheese frosting. So delicious and extremely moist!!! Every recipe I try of Megan’s has been delicious! Wish I could rate it 10 stars!

Amanda

I just made this cake for my husband for his birthday! It’s amazing!!! It doesn’t even need icing.

This was my first experience baking with coconut flour. I’verify recently found out I need to be gluten free and I’m so glad to have a cake recipe that’s good! I have one question. I’d like to reduce the Maple syrup to a half cup. Do you think applesauce would work to replace half of it? I know coconut flour needs moisture.

Abbi*tarian

This sounds incredibly yummy! Megan, do you have any ideas for a sweet & moist substitute for the pineapple & raisins? I know they’re optional, anyway, but I like the idea, just not the particular, though very popular, combo. My favorite cakes are a triple tie with Chocolate, Lemon, & Carrot :0).

Serena Oliver

I just tried the recipe. I’m really disappointed. I followed it to the letter. It stuck in the pan, it was more of a pudding consistency than a cake. It tasted flat. I ended up throwing it out.

Catherine

Delicious!! I made this for pre-Thanksgiving dinner last Saturday and it was a HUGE hit. My grandfather who eats a standard American diet even loved it, as well as the other non paleo, gluten eating folks!
I ended up not using the whole cup of maple syrup and went 1/2 cup maple syrup and 1/2 cup full fat coconut milk. It was still very sweet and very tasty. The pecan glaze is really the “icing on the cake” so good.
I will definitely make this again….actually I’ll be making it for Thanksgiving this weekend.

Diana

Hi. If I was to use spelt flour, what would be the amount of eggs etc?
Many thanks

    Megan Gilmore

    I would just look up a traditional carrot cake using white flour if you want to sub spelt– coconut flour cakes are way too different!

Kathleen

Has anyone tried substituting eggs? I was thinking applesauce. Wondering if anyone had any success

    Carin

    Not with coconut flour – you need something to bind the flour, which the eggs supply, but applesauce doesn’t. Learned this lesson the hard way. You’ll get (delicious) mush, instead of a cake.

Amelie Moore

Yum, yum, yum. Have to take dessert to a backyard get together. Gonna make this!

Miss Kim @ behgopa

I used this recipe yesterday. I was searching for carrot cakes using coconut flour. The first time I used coconut flour, I substituted way too many things (as I experimented with low calorie/vegan/gluten-free alternatives) and things resulted in a distasteful mess. And I think this was probably the first recipe I tried using coconut flour that actually resulted with me not wanting to pull out my hair. For myself, I prefer *regular* baking….if I am going to indulge, I want the real stuff, -butter, fat, sugar, etc. But I am slowly getting used to experimenting with alternatives to use when baking for others. It’s often made me want to cry….but I actually liked this one! It was also the first one I tried that was not Vegan. Yay for eggs.

Debra

I made your cake last night and followed instructions except raisins..not everyone likes them. I did add chopped pecans for texture. Looking back I wish I had put some coconut in it. I made in a 8nor 9 inch square glass pan. It rose very quickly well. I cooled and iced with an icing made from cream cheese vanilla maple syrup and fresh grated ginger. I couldn’t wait till the party to dig in, so I did. The icing put this over the top making it reminisce of breads I had as a child with cream cheese slathered on top. I am so impressed by this cake I would serve anywhere and not even breath a word it is “healthy. I may add some dates next time as well and fresh ginger in the cake. Thank you so much!

Yasmine

Have made this cake a few times with great success and amazing feedback. If I wanted to make this a pumpkin cake instead of a carrot cake, would the amount for the puree be the same as the amount of shredded carrots? I’m osrted spice wise, but the carrot to pumpkin conversion, completely iffy on. Thank you and sorry if this is a silly question! 🙂

    Megan Gilmore

    It’s a good question! But I have no idea without trying it myself– which I might just have to do, because it sounds yummy. 🙂

Jen

This looks amazing. Do you think it could be adapted to become a pumpkin cake (replacing carrots with pumpkin puree)?

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