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
Would your foodie friends love this gluten free carrot cake? Share the recipe using one of our links!
Barbara Whitney says
I would like to say thank you for the amazing details and concepts you are sharing in this. These cakes are gorgeous! Thanks again for another delicious gluten free recipe. Can I use more organic honey in this recipe?
Hope all is well with you and your loved ones.
The GAPS Diet list I have does not allow cream cheese. Do you use a special kind of cream cheese?
Linda Logan says
Check to how to make cashew cream cheese on the web.
Natalie Hiemstra says
This is so yummy!! hard to believe it is almost Paleo and almost GAPS (w/o cream cheese). So good and also aesthetically pleasing.
Did you make any type of frosting?
Thanks for this amazing recipe. these cakes look awesome! I will make this soon and let you know.
Can I just use regular honey for the cake and the frosting? Will it turn out similarly ?
Just wanted to let you know your recipe doesn’t actually say when to add in the carrots
I just started the GAPS diet and started browsing for some week treats to make. I came across this delicious recipe. I thought you couldn’t have cream cheese on the GAPS diet. Did you made this once the gut was healed? Is there an alternative to cream cheese? I doubt there is. Just wondering.
Linda Logan says
Check out how to make cashew cream cheese on the web. I made a cheese cake with cashew cream cheese. It was a hit.
Wow, This recipe is not only can diet but also recover your health My father must love this! He’s old and usually sick. If ho read this content, he will become grain-free exactly. You bet!
Rita C. Donnell says
I simply began the GAPS weight-reduction plan and began shopping for some week treats to make. I got here throughout this scrumptious recipe. I assumed you couldn’t have cream cheese on the GAPS weight-reduction plan. Did you make this as soon as the intestine was healed? Is there a substitute for cream cheese? I doubt there may be. Simply questioning. Thanks for your nice post.
Lady Grasha says
I was super-excited when I was led here by the Kitchen Witch Maven. starting GAPS diet has not been very easy, especially sourcing for the best meals to make. This recipe sounded like a great one to me and I decided to try it out. Not only is it healthy, but it was also very delicious. However, as many people will suggest, I wish there could be an alternative to cream cheese. What do you say?
Looks really delicious, can’t wait to try it and serve to my kids when I go on vacation this December
Made it for dinner. I didn’t have shells so I use manicotti. It was delicious. Have left overs for lunch.
[email protected] says
Made this for my family. It was very good.
Best Juicers And Grinders says
My husband loved it so much !!!!! I’m making it again for him.
Pete Sariya says
I made these today. They are delicious! I didn’t ice them, left them plain. I added chopped walnuts and I didn’t have any muffin liners, so I sprayed my muffin tin with coconut oil. I will definitely make them again.
Eileen Derosa says
Really awesome. I love this cake. thanks for sharing.