When it comes to special occasions, it’s so tempting to just throw healthy food ideals out the window. However with a little creativity (and a great recipe), it’s not that hard to actually eat well and celebrate! This gluten free carrot cake is appropriate for the GAPS diet, as well as Primal and Paleo diets. It’s also full of real, whole food ingredients.
Why I don’t compromise
Our family has been eating primarily grain-free for about four years. Our health has radically changed in that time. My son has recovered from behavioral disorders. I’ve recovered from chronic pain, fatigue, and other symptoms of Lyme disease. Our whole family is happier and healthier now! Though we’ve taken breaks from a strict grain-free diet, we are committed to eating this way because we are so much better off.
Every year for my husband’s birthday, he has the same request: carrot cake. Our whole family loves it! We especially used to love a super junkie version we’d buy at a popular, local Mexican food joint. Of course when we went grain-free, that carrot cake went out the window.
I’ve always been determined to still enjoy my favorite foods. Though my husband has never been committed to being grain-free, he hasn’t complained about eating mostly grain-free at home. In fact, he enjoys my healthy cooking! Although he does occasionally indulge in gluten and sugar-filled treats outside of our home, he still loves my healthier versions like this gluten free carrot cake.
I’ve made lots of carrot cakes over the years of being grain-free. Over the past year we’ve eaten lots more GAPS diet foods, so I’ve done my best to remake all our favorites with GAPS diet-approved ingredients.
If you’re not familiar with the GAPS diet, it’s a gut-healing diet that temporarily removes grains, sugars, and starches while focusing on broths, stocks, meats, vegetables, and probiotic-rich foods like sauerkraut and milk kefir. The purpose of the diet is to heal and seal the gut lining while promoting good bacterial growth in the gut. It’s pretty restrictive. Thankfully, I’ve been able to get pretty creative and make plenty of satisfying foods!
Enter gluten free carrot cake
When we went grain-free, I began experimenting with alternative flours like coconut and almond. I determined pretty early on that coconut flour was my favorite for things like cakes, cupcakes, and muffins while almond flour works well for cookies and brownies. The thing you have to know about making cakes with coconut flour is that it requires a lot of eggs because coconut flour is very dry and dense. However, when you get just the right balance, coconut flour recreates cakes with the perfect spongy texture.
This carrot cake recipe comes from my all-new, grain-free holiday e-cookbook, Nourishing Holiday. It contains over 50 gut-healing, GAPS diet, Paleo, and Primal recipes to help you celebrate without compromising… or feeling deprived! With recipes like this carrot cake, you won’t feel like you’re missing out through the holiday season even if you need to be on a strict diet.
I’ve been there! I know how hard it is to wish you could eat what everyone else was eating but knowing if you did, you would later pay for it. Instead of feeling sorry for myself, I made sure my kids and I never had to feel left out because I made grain-free versions of all our favorite holiday foods. Nourishing Holiday is the culmination of my years recreating all those special recipes.
This week only, through Friday the 28th, you can get Nourishing Holiday for 50% off- just $12.49!
Want to try out a recipe from the book? Check out the GAPS gluten free carrot cake below, then jump over and check out Nourishing Holiday.
GAPS Gluten Free Carrot Cake: The Players
1 cup shredded carrot
¾ cup coconut flour (where to buy coconut flour)
½ cup avocado oil (where to buy avocado oil)
½ cup honey
½ cup raisins
1 cup chopped walnuts, divided
½ tbsp vanilla
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 cup cream cheese
1 cup butter, cool but soft
½ cup raw honey (where to buy raw honey)
1 tsp vanilla
GAPS Gluten Free Carrot Cake: The How-To
Preheat oven to 350º.
Grease an 8 inch cake pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.
Make the cake:
In a large bowl, combine coconut flour, cinnamon, ginger, baking soda, and salt then stir.
In a separate bowl, mix eggs on high with a hand mixer until they become foamy. Add the honey, avocado oil, and vanilla then mix until combined.
Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix on high.
Fold in raisins and ½ cup walnut pieces.
Pour into cake pan and bake for 35-40 minutes, until browned on top and spongy.
When the cake is done baking, remove it from the oven then allow to cool completely before frosting.
Make the frosting:
Combine ingredients in a large mixing bowl and mix on high with a hand mixer until smooth.
Assemble the cake:
Using a long, sharp knife, cut the cake in half horizontally to create two layers.
Use a frosting spatula to spread a generous layer of frosting on the bottom cake layer, then place the second layer on top of it.
Frost the rest of the cake then carefully press walnut pieces onto the side of the cake, all the way around.
Time: 1 ½ hours
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