And so I set to make a carrot cake last week, a healthy carrot cake version that is gluten, dairy and refined sugar free. The carrot cake I’ve always used to make was with spelt flour and mascarpone frosting and now being on gluten, dairy and refined sugar-free diet makes it a little bit of a challenge. My first version was baked, but somehow I can’t find the right frosting to go with my baked cake. This is my second version, i just went raw. Oh boy, it’s so much simpler and quicker too!
For the carrot cake I’ve used ground almonds, chopped pistachios and desiccated coconut mixed with carrot, medjool dates, lime, cardamom and cinnamon. The creamy layer is a mix of creamed coconut and coconut milk with lime juice, maple syrup and vanilla. It’s a pretty wholesome cake, definitely not sweet or loaded with sugar, just lots of lovely ingredients creating soft flavours. With Spring and Easter almost here I wanted my cake to have a lovely fresh feel and I topped it with lots of greenery. It’s a perfect little treat to satisfy those sweet cravings and hopefully bring some Spring to your plate:)
Raw Carrot Cake with Pistachios and Lime Coconut Frosting (grain-free & vegan)
- 200g carrots, grated (1 1/2 cups)
- 1/2 lime, zest
- 8 medjool dates
- 100g ground almonds (1 cup)
- 75g desiccated coconut (3/4 cup)
- 1/2tsp cinnamon
- 1/2tsp cardamom
- pinch of sea salt
- 40g pistachios, chopped (1/3 cup)
- Lime coconut frosting:
- 200g bar creamed coconut or coconut butter (1 cup)
- 240ml full fat coconut milk (1 cup)
- 2tbsp maple syrup
- 1tbsp lime
- 1tsp vanilla
- chopped pistachios
- lime zest
- fresh flowers
- Prepare 8" round spring form cake tin.
- Make the frosting first as it needs time to set. In a small pot gently melt creamed coconut with coconut milk, maple syrup, lime and vanilla stirring frequently. Pour into a small bowl, leave to cool down for 5 min and transfer to a fridge while you're making the cake.
- To make the carrot cake you can simply add all of the ingredients into a food processor and mix until you have a sticky consistency and mixture comes together adding pistachios at the end.
- You can also mix everything by hand in a large bowl. Mash medjool dates first with a fork and then mix with the rest of the ingredients until you have a sticky texture. If the medjool dates are not soft enough, soak them in some warm water for 10 minutes first.
- Scoop the mix into a tin, even out the surface and press down firmly.
- Pour the frosting onto the cake and smooth out the top.
- Transfer to a fridge or freezer to set until the top feels firm. It will take about 2 hours in the fridge, less time in the freezer.
- Carefully remove from the tin and place onto a cake stand.
- Top with some chopped pistachios, lime zest and fresh flowers if you like.
- This cake will keep solid in the fridge.
Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine says
Well now this sounds like a fun ZING on carrot cake! The lime is so interesting but perfect with the coconut!
Thank you Rebecca! I wanted to do something a bit different than the usual carrot cake combo, hopefully I’ve done it:)
Ooo boy, your frosting to cake ratio is right on the money. This looks so pretty and tasty!
Thank you Emily! That’s so wonderful to hear! The coconut frosting is lovely and rich and balances the carrot layer really nicely:)
You mention that it is not sweet, but I’m assuming you mean relative to traditional carrot cake? This looks beautiful and sounds delicious! I’m hoping to bring it to Easter.
Thank you Yvette! Yes, the sweetness comes from the dates and the carrots and a bit of maple syrup in the frosting which compare to a traditional carrot cake is more subtle. It still tastes like a cake though:)
This is a great recipe Hana! Everyone in the family loves it! I even use the pulp from juiced carrots and have left out the lime if I don’t have it and it’s worked brilliantly! Delicious and wholesome. Thank you!
Thank you so much Resha for your comment! I’m so happy you’re all loving the cake, my job is done! xx
Hello, Hana! The cake looks fabulous, and I’m thinking about preparing it this coming weekend. Still, I’m puzzled by “creamed coconut and coconut milk” – as I make coconut “cream” and “milk” from scratch (I have plenty of coconut around, so I basically take out the flesh and smooth it down with water), I was wondering how to get its firmness. Do you think I need to add agar-agar to it? Thanks in advance!
Hi Marisa, the creamed coconut is coconut butter and you can make your own by blending shredded unsweetened coconut or dried meat of older coconuts. Because the coconut butter is so solid I’ve used the coconut milk to make it creamy. I don’t actually know if that would work making it from scratch trying to get the right consistency. You might have to make the coconut butter and coconut milk separately as in the recipe. Hope this helps. Hana
This is opened my eyes up about how to make raw cakes. And it looks so real delicious. Thanks for sharing
You are so welcome! Raw cakes are so easy to make and the recipes often quite forgiving. You just have to experiment a bit to get the right consistency and flavours:)
Shelby Baker says
This is a great recipe! It was the first raw dessert I had ever made, and it went so well. I ended up using a 9” tart pan instead of an 8” spring form, and there was no issue getting the cake to release itself from the pan. It was also so much easier to assemble than any non-raw cake I had ever made. Will definitely be trying your other recipes!
Hi Shelby, I’m so happy it went so well! I agree, raw cakes are so much easier to make, once you have the hang of it, you don’t even need a recipe :)
Pamela Bundy says
I want to make this lovely cake but have two questions.
1. Are the ground almonds raw
2. Is the desiccated coconut sweetened or unsweetened?
Hi Pamela, I’ve used raw ground almonds and unsweetened desiccated coconut. Hope you like it :)
This looks wonderful. Could this be made ahead and frozen? How long could it be in the freezer?