Best-Ever Gluten-Free Carrot Cake with Cashew Cream Icing

coconut butter carrot cake w cashew cream

Moist. Succulent. Tender. Moreish. These are the words I’d use to describe this carrot cake. It is paleo-friendly, gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free and sweetened with honey.

After discovering that coconut butter isn’t only tasty, but can be used as the base of cakes (see paleo chocolate brownie), I was dying to create a carrot cake with it. The ingredients are simple. The flavor and texture are unbelievable. However, I wasn’t sold on the cashew cream icing. I am sorry, but no amount of cashews or anything else will ever come close to real cream cheese frosting. I do miss that stuff…

This cake keeps moist for a few days, and although it firms up in the fridge, let it sit at room temperature and it will all be good. It is made with simple yummy ingredients: coconut butter (also coconut concentrate or creamed coconut), coconut flour, honey, eggs, carrots, raisins, spices, vanilla, baking soda and sea salt… that’s it.

I have included the icing recipe, but feel free to try the recipe with or without the icing.

coconut butter carrot cake w coconut cream

This photo shows the cake with sweetened whipped coconut cream spread on top (after it has been refrigerated). It slices a lot better when chilled, but tastes just as moist once it sits at room temperature. This photo does not do the moistness any justice.


makes one 20 cm (8 inch) square cake

cake adapted from honey and spice: paleo chocolate brownie with blueberries

cashew cream icing adapted from detoxinista: creamy cashew icing


for the carrot cake

  • 240 g (1 cup) creamed coconut block, or coconut butter, softened
  • 3 large eggs
  • 100 g (5 tablespoons) softened raw honey
  • 1 tablespoon coconut flour
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla bean powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 200 g (7 oz, about 3 medium) carrots, grated
  • 30 g (3 tablespoons) raisins

for the cashew cream icing

  • 100 g (3/4 cup) raw cashews, soaked 2-3 hours, rinsed and drained
  • 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons raw honey
  • 1 pinch vanilla bean powder
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 small pinch sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon water


1. Preheat oven to 160 C / 325 F. Line one 20 cm (8 inch) square baking pan.

2. To make the cake, mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl with a spoon/spatula. Transfer batter into the prepared pan, smooth out the top, and bake for 40-45 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool.

3. Meanwhile, make the cashew cream icing, by blending everything together in a food processor until smooth. Adjust flavor, if necessary. Chill.

4. When the cake is cool, spread cashew cream icing over the top. Slice and enjoy!


6 thoughts on “Best-Ever Gluten-Free Carrot Cake with Cashew Cream Icing

  1. Hello, this sounds great! However, do you know if coconut oil would work instead of the coconut butter? If not (because I am not vegan, just love healthier recipes) could I replace same quantity of butter? Thank you!

    • Hi Louisa, I don’t think the coconut oil or partial butter substitution will work very well. The coconut butter is what gives the carrot cake the cakey-ness. With oil/butter, the cake will most likely not set and turn into a goopy greasy mess. If you find coconut butter too expensive or hard to find, try the blocks of creamed coconut (I use the let’s go organic brand, found near the tinned coconut milk section). Sorry I can’t be of more help.

      • Oh thank you for replying & your advice! I live in the UK & never seen it before so will have a harder search for either the coconut butter or creamed coconut. Thank you again!

      • Hi Louisa, Did you manage to find the creamed coconut in the supermarket? In the UK, it’s usually in the Indian aisle, where the Patak’s curry pastes are.

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