Since adopting the Paleo lifestyle (80/20) and paying more attention to my food intolerances I have found it pretty easy to adapt most aspects of my everyday diet, but it has been far from simple when it comes to desserts. I have an extremely sweet tooth and find that most 'healthier' dessert options simply lack flavour so have let many decadent treats slip back into my meals. Often, I feel that after a healthy day of nutritious meals I undo much of my good work with a dairy and sugar laden dessert in the evening. So, last week I decided that I was going to make one of my favourite cakes in a paleo(ish) way – no grains, gluten, sugar (but I couldn’t resist a little dairy). I surprised myself (and especially my hubby) with how well it turned out. He is incredibly suspicious of any healthy versions of traditional recipes, but he loved this one as it simply tasted like a delicious carrot cake! Success!!
I am not terribly competent in the kitchen so I have made this recipe super easy to follow. You can easily substitute various things and I have put in links for more tricky ingredients that I wasn’t able to purchase in my local supermarket.
- 3 raw carrots (peeled and grated)
- 12 tablespoons Dark Agave Syrup (you can also use Maple Syrup or Coconut Nectar)
- 6 tablespoons (sifted) Coconut Flour
- ½ tablespoon of ground Cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon of Baking Soda
- ½ teaspoon of Sea Salt (or ground pink Himalayan salt)
- 5 Eggs
- 6 Dates (I love Medjool dates and these are my absolute favourite)
- 1 tablespoon Vanilla Extract
- 100ml (melted) Organic Coconut Oil
- 150g Cream Cheese
- 50g Creamed Coconut
- 1 tablespoon (grated) Ginger Root
- Handful of Walnuts
1. Peel and grate 3 carrots.
2. Place carrots into a ziplock bag and add 8 tablespoons of agave syrup
3. Leave this to marinate in the fridge for an hour
4. In a small mixing bowl mix sifted coconut flour, cinnamon, salt and baking soda.
5. Put pitted dates into microwaveable bowl and add 3 tablespoons of water.
6. Heat in microwave for 30 seconds, mash mixture with a fork.
7. Add another tablespoon of water to the mixture, microwave, mash and stir until mixture is an even consistency.
8. Turn on your oven (I have a fan oven and set it at 150C).
9. In a mixing bowl combine eggs, 1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract, melted coconut oil and date mixture.
10. Add the dry ingredients in small sections to the mixing bowl with wet ingredients.
11. Be careful at this stage as the coconut oil may start to solidify forming lumps (especially if the room is cool). Mix vigorously, but if it’s still lumpy you can pop the mixture in the microwave for 10 seconds to help the oil melt.
12. Take the carrots from the ziplock bag in the fridge and drain excess liquid.
13. Stir carrots into cake batter.
14. Grease a baking tray with coconut oil (I also use paper for easy removal).
15. Pour the batter into the baking tray and place into your preheated oven.
16. Leave to bake for 40 mins (but this is very much subject to your oven so I would recommend checking it at 30 mins and then every 5mins thereafter).
17. Once baked remove cake from oven and let it cool.
18. For the cream cheese frosting it is best to use soft cheese at room temperature.
19. Combine the cheese and creamed coconut through a metal sieve into a bowl (this is the best way to get both ingredients to fuse and ensure there are no lumps while giving it a smooth, slightly whipped texture). If you are intolerant to dairy use the creamed coconut with a little Stevia or alter the cream cheese to creamed coconut ratio.
20. Add the remainder of the agave syrup, vanilla and grated ginger to the bowl and mix well.
21. Once your cake is cool ice cake with cream cheese frosting and sprinkle with walnuts!
22. Enjoy with a cup of tea and relax!
I hope that you find this recipe useful and please do let me know if you try it out!!