I’m weird about carrots. When it comes to fresh carrots, call me Bugs, but once the orange tubers are cooked I want nothing to do with them. Something about the texture and its similarity to baby food perhaps.
Carrot cake, however, is one of my favorite desserts. In fact, I would venture to say, a good carrot cake with cream cheese frosting is one of my favorite foods.
I’ve recently kicked a whopper of a chocolate habit, which has led me to become more aware of my sugar intake in general. While browsing Heidi’s impressive archives, I came across this recipe. I’ve adapted it into my own gluten-free version, though it is so deliciously moist you’d never guess.
If you prefer a more traditional cake with distinct crumb, this might not be your cup of tea. However, given half a chance this cake will surprise you. It’s like your favorite banana bread made sweet bready love to your favorite carrot cake. The result is a dense, rustic cake flecked with darkly sweet dates, tangy carrots, and fatty coconut flakes.
Gluten-Free Carrot Cake
Ingredients for Cake:
- 1 cup oat flour (note: oat gluten is tolerated by some, substitute for the below mix if you have an oat sensitivity)
- 1 cup gluten-free flour mix (I used a combination of brown rice flour, quinoa flour, and teff flour)
- 2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- 3/4 tsp. salt
- 1/2 cup crushed walnuts
- 1/4 cup coconut flakes
- 4 oz (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup dried dates, seeded and finely chopped into a paste
- 3 ripe bananas (about 1 1/4 cups), mashed well
- 1 1/2 cups grated carrots (about 3)
- 1/2 cup plain, whole-milk yogurt
- 2 eggs, whisked
Ingredients for Frosting:
6 oz cream cheese, room temperature
3 Tbsp. honey, agave, or maple syrup
Method for Cake:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 9″x5″x3″ loaf pan with butter and flour or with parchment paper.
In a small pan, heat the butter until it is just melted, then set aside and allow to cool.
In a medium sized mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Stir in the coconuts and the walnuts, and set aside.
Stir the dates into the melted butter, breaking up the dates with a fork until most clumps are gone.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the mashed bananas and grated carrots. Pour in the butter and dates, then whisk in the yogurt and the eggs. Whisk until the mixture is fairly uniform but do not overwork. A bit at a time, add in the flour mixture and stir until the batter has just come together.
Transfer to your prepared pan and bake for about 50 – 60 minutes or until a toothpick poked into the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
Method for Frosting:
While the cake is cooling, use a hand mixer to whip together the cream cheese and your chosen sweetener. Taste and adjust sweetness as necessary.
Once the cake has completely cooled, generously frost the top and enjoy!