This Almond Flour Carrot Cake is moist and fluffy while naturally grain free and gluten free carrot cake recipe. Loaded with carrots, nuts, raisins and topped with healthier cream cheese frosting.
For whole wheat flour version we have this healthy carrot cake recipe.
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I’ve really been enjoying cooking various recipes with almond flour. Though almond flour is naturally heavier and denser than traditional flour, this almond flour carrot cake is still wonderfully moist, light and fluffy.
Almond flour adds flavor without tasting like almonds. When topped with thick and tangy healthy cream cheese frosting, this carrot cake with almond flour is to die for!
Ingredients and Notes
Almond flour carrot cake ingredients list might seem long but I assure you they all are simple ingredients.
For the Almond Flour Carrot Cake:
- Eggs: You’ll need 5 large eggs separated into egg yolks and egg whites.
- Sweetener: You can use maple syrup or honey. Other liquid sweeteners will also work but the flavor will vary.
- Oil: Use a mild tasting oil like melted coconut oil, light olive oil, avocado oil, or melted butter.
- Milk: Use any milk including dairy free options.
- Leavening agents: This recipe for almond flour carrot cake relies on baking soda and baking powder to provide lift and texture.
- Almond flour: Use super fine blanched almond flour. Store-bought almond flour or homemade almond flour works. I don’t recommend to use almond meal because carrot cake will be very dense!
- Carrots: Use finely grated carrots without squeezing out any excess moisture. Pre-shredded carrots will likely be too dry.
- Butter: For greasing the cake tin. Cooking spray is not enough to prevent sticking.
- Salt: Just a pinch for flavor.
- Flavorings: I used vanilla extract and ground cinnamon. You can enhance the flavor with a dash of ginger, clove, cardamom, and nutmeg.
- Nuts: Use pecans or walnuts, finely chopped. Feel free to omit them if preferred, but I prefer my almond flour carrot cake with them!
- Coconut flakes: I used unsweetened long coconut flakes. If you want the cake to be sweeter, then feel free to use sweetened.
- Raisins: Omit these if preferred, but I love the sweet flavor and slight chew texture regular raisins or golden raisins add to the cake.
For the Healthy Cream Cheese Frosting:
- Cream cheese: Use plain cream cheese that has been softened to room temperature. Lower fat options will be tangier in flavor and less creamy.
- Greek yogurt: Use a minimum of 2% fat. Don’t sub plain yogurt as it won’t be thick enough unless manually strained (please refer to FAQs).
- Powdered sugar: Or a powdered sugar alternative like erythritol.
- Vanilla extract: An excellent addition to any frosting.
- Almond extract: This is optional, but I love the additional flavor it adds to the cream cheese frosting.
Optionally top this gluten free carrot cake with healthy buttercream frosting!
How To Make Almond Flour Carrot Cake
Here is how to make almond flour carrot cake recipe in 3 simple steps – bake the cakes, make frosting and assemble the cake.
To bake the carrot cake with almond flour, I am using two 9 inch cake pans.
- Beat the egg whites: In a large bowl, beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until soft peaks form.
- Combine wet ingredients: In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks. Then add the maple syrup, oil, milk, vanilla, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- Mix the almond flour carrot cake batter: Then add the almond flour and gently fold it into the batter. Finally, add the egg whites and carefully fold them into the batter, trying not to knock out too much air from the egg whites.
- Add the remaining ingredients: Chop the nuts and add 1 cup to the cake batter. Then add carrots, 1/2 cup of toasted coconut flakes and 1/2 cup raisins and fold in gently.
- Divide the batter: Add the almond flour carrot cake batter to the two 9 inch cake pans evenly.
- Bake the cakes: Bake carrot cake for 30 minutes on the lower rack, moving to the top shelf for the last 5 minutes or so.
- Allow the cakes to cool: Remove carrot cakes from the oven and allow them to cool for 10 minutes. Then run a knife around the pans’ edges and flip upside down to release the cakes onto a wire rack. Carefully peel the parchment paper off the bottom of each and allow them to cool completely before frosting.
- Make and chil the healthy cream cheese frosting: In a large bowl, add the cream cheese, Greek yogurt, powdered sugar, vanilla, and almond extracts. Beat with an electric mixer until creamy and well combined, pausing and scraping the sides occasionally. Place it in the fridge until the cake cools off.
- Prepare the decorative toppings: In a small bowl, add remaining toasted pecans, coconut flakes, and raisins and mix. Then set aside. Prepare the assembly station for frosting the cake.
- Frost the cake: Place one cake top side down on a cake platter and add 1/2 cup of frosting, spreading evenly. Place the second tier top-side up topping with almost all the remaining frosting, reserving around 1/3 cup for the cake sides, which you can frost last.
- Garnish the cake: Add the decorative mix around the entire circumference of the top and bottom of the gluten free carrot cake.
Cut the almond flour carrot cake into twelve slices before serving. You can either serve the cake immediately or chill it for later.
Tips for Best Results
Baking with almond flour can be a bit tricky. Here are my top tips for the best almond flour carrot cake recipe on the web!
- Various cake pan sizes: I used two 9 inch cake pans. You can use 8 inch cake pans for thick, tall cake slices and increase baking time by 5-10 minutes. If you would like to bake this carrot cake in 9×13 baking dish, use the recipe as is and bake for 15-20 minutes longer.
- Separate egg whites tip: Do so while they still cold, will be easier.
- Bake cakes on bottom then top shelf: This method prevents the almond flour from burning and helps the almond flour carrot cake to cook through.
- Your cake is ready when: Inserted toothpick into the center of each cake comes out clean or with a few crumbs but not wet. And the cake is light and springy.
- Frosting tip: Make sure to fill the gap between the two cakes and when the cake touches the plate.
- Feel free to omit coconut flakes, raisins or nuts: You can also use short grain coconut flakes and chopped dates.
- For paleo carrot cake: Stick to paleo sweeteners like coconut sugar, raw honey, maple syrup, etc. Whether or not you add the vanilla extract is also up to you.
Can I Make Almond Flour Carrot Cake Ahead?
Yes. Bake, cool, and tightly wrap the unfrosted gluten free carrot cake layers in plastic wrap and store in a cool, dry place for up to a day in advance.
The cream cheese frosting can also be made and refrigerated a day in advance. Assemble the cake a few hours before serving.
How to Store and Make Ahead
Store: Refrigerate almond flour carrot cake leftovers covered for up to 5 days. For best results, allow cake to come to room temperature before serving.
Freeze: You can freeze leftover carrot cake whole or as individual slices in an airtight container for up to 2 months.
Remove and thaw slices on the kitchen counter for a few hours or in the fridge overnight.
You can also freeze the unfrosted cake layers for between 2-3 months. Defrost them in the refrigerator overnight, then frost a few hours before serving.
I used 9 inch cake pans. You can use 8 inch cake pans and bake almond flour carrot cake 5-10 minutes longer. For a sheet cake, I suggest using a 9×13 pan, check the cake with a toothpick inserted in the center at 40 minutes and every 5 minutes thereafter.
Yes. Bake almond flour carrot cake muffins or cupcakes for 15-25 minutes. This will vary based on your oven, so check at 15 minutes. Or make these almond flour cupcakes instead.
Yes, you can add crushed pineapple. Use 1/2 cup, squeezed well, and omit the milk from the cake.
Yes. If you have plain yogurt in your fridge, you can strain it through a cheesecloth, nut milk bag, or even within a colander lined with coffee filters to thicken it into Greek yogurt consistency.
Though this process may take several hours so plan ahead. You can do the same process with lower-fat Greek yogurt if needed.
More Carrot Recipes to Try
- Healthy carrot muffins
- Healthy carrot cake bars
- Carrot cake baked oatmeal bars
- Carrot cake baked oatmeal
- Banana carrot muffins
- Zucchini carrot muffins
More Almond Flour Cake Recipes
- Almond flour cake
- Almond flour chocolate cake
- Healthy birthday cake
- Healthy pumpkin cake
- Blueberry breakfast cake
Almond Flour Carrot Cake
For Carrot Cake:
- 5 large eggs separated
- 1 cup maple syrup or honey
- 1/4 cup mild tasting oil Like avocado, melted coconut oil or butter, light olive oil
- 1/4 cup any milk
- 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3 2/3 cups super fine blanched almond flour
- 2 cups carrots grated
- 2 cups pecans or walnuts divided
- 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp unsweetened coconut flakes divided (I used long ones)
- 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp raisins divided
- Butter for greasing
- Place 2 cake pans bottoms down on parchment paper, circle around with a pen and cut out each circle with scissors. Place cut outs inside each cake pan and grease the bottom and sides with butter really well. Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and position one rack just below the middle of the oven and another rack closer to the top.
- In a large skillet, add pecans and cook on medium heat until toasted and fragrant, stirring often. Transfer to a cutting board.
- Return skillet to low heat and toast coconut flakes, stirring often. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
- In a large bowl, beat egg whites with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Set aside.
- In another large bowl, whisk the egg yolks. Add maple syrup, oil, milk, vanilla, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Whisk very well until no lumps.
- Add almond flour and stir gently until well combined. Add egg whites and stir gently until incorporated.
- Chop toasted pecans and add 1 cup (half) to the cake better. Also add carrots, 1/2 cup toasted coconut flakes and 1/2 cup raisins, stir gently until well mixed.
- Divide batter between 2 cake pans evenly. Bake for 30 minutes on lower rack then move to the top rack for additional 5 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean and cake springs back. This method prevents almond flour from burning and helps cakes to cook through.
- Remove from the oven and let cakes cool off for 10 minutes. Run knife around the edge of pans, flip cakes upside down on a cooling rack, carefully peel off parchment paper and let them cool off completely before frosting.
- In a large mixing bowl, add cream cheese, Greek yogurt, powdered sugar, vanilla and almond extracts. Beat with an electric mixer until creamy and well combined, pausing and scraping the sides. Place in the fridge until cake cools off.
- In a small bowl, add 1 cup reserved toasted pecans, 2 tbsp toasted coconut flakes and 2 tbsp raisins; stir with a spoon. Set aside for decor.
- Place one cake top side down on a cake platter. Add 1/2 cup frosting and spread evenly. Then place second cake top side up on top of frosted first cake, topping with almost all frosting and reserving about 1/3 cup for the sides. Spread frosting evenly on top, then frost sides with remaining frosting just to cover them, filling the middle gap and bottom gap where cake is touching the plate.
- To garnish, place spoon fulls of nut/flake mixture around the edge on top and bottom of the cake.
- You can serve cake immediately or chill for a few hours. Cut into 12 slices and serve.
- Store: Refrigerate covered for up to 5 days.
- Freeze: You can freeze leftovers in one piece or as individual slices in an airtight storage container for up to 2 months. Remove and thaw slices as desired on the counter for a few hours or in the fridge overnight. You can also freeze wrapped in plastic cake layers.
- Can I use almond meal? Probably but cake will be more dense.
- Can I use erythritol? I have not tried. However, you can use any liquid sugar free syrup.
- Can I use shredded carrots? I have not tried so I am not sure if they would make cake moist with pleasant texture like grated carrots do.
- Can I use regular not Greek yogurt? Unfortunately no because it is more runny and less rich.
- Can I add crushed pineapple? Yes 1/2 cup, squeeze it well and omit milk then.
- Can I omit coconut flakes or raisins? Yes. Short grain coconut flakes will work too.