Nut Free Paleo Carrot Cake with Dairy Free Vanilla Ginger Frosting

You guys. I feel like a superhero. Not to toot my own horn, but a while back I promised I would post a respectable nut-free carrot cake recipe before Easter. Well, this is it, and it is way better than I was expecting. The low expectations may be due to my first few pathetic failures, and I was starting to feel sad about my lack of cake bossness and my prolific wasting of perfectly good carrots.

I am redeemed. This cake kicked ass, and it is nut-free, gluten-free, and processed-sugar-free. Boom. Get ready for some Easter fantasticness. Or really just any time you are in need of carrot cake. Like a Tuesday. Any of them.

If you want to make the frosting, be sure to pop the can of coconut milk in the fridge at least 6 hours before you whip it up. This cake is actually a little better after a night in the fridge, so consider making it a day in advance.

paleo carrot cake with frosting

Nut Free Paleo Carrot Cake with Dairy Free Vanilla Ginger Frosting

Cake Ingredients

¼ cup coconut flour

¼ cup tapioca flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 teaspoon cloves

½ teaspoon salt

5 tablespoons of butter or coconut oil, melted and still warm

¼ cup honey

5 eggs

¼ cup applesauce

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 ¼ cups shredded carrot (I used four medium carrots)


Frosting Ingredients

1 can of full fat coconut milk, refrigerated overnight

1 tablespoon maple syrup

2 teaspoons fresh ginger, grated (optional)

½ teaspoon vanilla

Raisins for decoration (optional)



Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and line an 8-inch springform pan with parchment paper. If you don’t have a springform pan, that’s cool. Use a round pan and be sure to grease the sides well and still line the bottom with paper if you want to be able to turn it out rather than eat it directly out of the pan (no judgment).

In a small bowl, use a fork to combine the coconut flour, tapioca flour, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves and salt. Set it aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the butter or coconut oil and honey until well combined. Add the eggs and whisk in one at a time. Then add the applesauce and vanilla and whisk thoroughly until it’s a uniform consistency. Add the shredded carrot and whisk. (You could shred your carrots in a food processor, but I find that to be a pain in the arse, so I do it manually for a finer shred and to avoid chunks of carrot getting stuck above the spinning grater.)

paleo carrot cake without nuts

Dump in the dry ingredients and whisk even more.

Pour the batter into the pan and place in a center rack of the oven. Check on it after 45 minutes. Mine took closer to an hour, but I think my oven runs a little cool. You want the cake to not jiggle when you lightly shake the pan, and a knife inserted in the center will come out clean when it’s done.

nut free gluten free carrot cake

Let it sit for about five minutes before you attempt to take the ring off the springform pan or remove it before the regular pan. Then allow the cake to cool completely.

carrot cake without gluten or nuts

While your cake is baking, take your coconut milk out of the fridge. Open the can and scoop out the solid stuff that’s on top into a smallish bowl with tall sides. Once you get through all the white chunky part, you’ll see a clearish liquidy part that’s separated and sitting in the bottom half of the can. You don’t want that. I haven’t found a use for it yet, so I tossed mine.

nut free paleo carrot cake

Add the syrup, ginger and vanilla to the coconut solids and beat with an electric mixer until it’s smooth and resembles frosting. You can do this with a manual whisk, but it’s going to take some elbow grease and some time. You may need to heat it up a little if you don’t have an electric mixer so you can actually combine it all sufficiently.

Make sure your cake is no longer warm before you frost it. You should have plenty of frosting to do the top and sides of the cake if you want.

paleo carrot cake

I made a little ring of raisins on mine, but you should do what you want. Obviously none of this nuts-on-the-frosting bit that people do all the time. We all know that just ruins a perfectly good cake.

carrot cake with dairy free frosting

nut free paleo carrot cake with frosting

12 Responses to Nut Free Paleo Carrot Cake with Dairy Free Vanilla Ginger Frosting

  1. Ashley May 26, 2015 at 1:07 pm #

    This looks delish!!
    I’m making this right meow. It better not suck. 😉

    • Amelia E May 30, 2015 at 1:41 pm #

      Ha – I sincerely hope it did not suck! 🙂

  2. Yael June 12, 2015 at 11:00 pm #

    Any way to make this into cupcakes? I have a 3 year old with tree nut allergies who would love that….

    • Amelia E June 13, 2015 at 6:27 pm #

      Sure thing! I haven’t done it, but I don’t know why it wouldn’t work out. I’d just bake them for a shorter amount of time. Good luck!

  3. Lisa July 2, 2015 at 4:31 am #

    I’m so glad I found this site. My daughter is allergic to all nuts (and soy and dustmites) and I feel so relieved finding some treat recipes for her that don’t include almond-flour. Managing her food-anxiety is my priority at the moment, so this is a real blessing for me. Thanks 🙂

    • Amelia E July 10, 2015 at 5:22 pm #

      Happy you’re here! Thanks, Lisa.

  4. Evelyn August 1, 2015 at 4:15 pm #

    Great recipe, even without the cloves (didn’t have any). Will make it again for sure and add the cloves as well.

    • Amelia E August 4, 2015 at 3:28 pm #

      Yay! So glad to hear you liked it. 🙂

  5. Caroline August 11, 2015 at 12:56 am #

    Yikes! Where have you been all my nut free gluten free life? This looks moist and rich in flavor! Thank you for the post. I’m always on the prowl for a good carrot cake.

  6. Sarai June 5, 2016 at 5:16 pm #

    I thought coconuts were a nut from a tree? Any recommendations on omitting the coconut ingredients?

    • Amelia E June 10, 2016 at 10:52 pm #

      Hi Sarai. Coconut is often designated a nut, but it’s a different allergy. Many people allergic to nuts tolerate coconut, though not all. I haven’t tried other options for this recipe. Maybe potato or rice flour? Hard to say without an experiment. If you try something report back.


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