How would you describe your perfect birthday cake?
For me (Jo), carrot cake is the ultimate birthday feast centerpiece. It’s always been my favorite cake since I was a kid. And every year I try to re-create a new favorite version!
When we were creating the Conscious Cleanse Cookbook, I made sure that my Carrot Cake Bites made the final cut because they’re one of my all-time favorites and super easy to make. If you haven’t tried them, it’s a must!
My birthday was just last week, so I’ve been daydreaming about a new carrot cake recipe for weeks now. My friend and nanny Kerry is an amazing baker, so I asked her to make my daydream into a reality. I wanted this cake to be a spin on the typical carrot cake flavors while incorporating elements of my favorite grain-free pumpkin rolls with a citrus cream for some extra decadence and an extra veggie punch.
The end result is this super flavorful and delicious Carrot Cake with Citrus Cream!
And now for the highlights: this Carrot Cake is gluten-free, dairy-free, grain-free, low-sugar, coconut-free, AND soy-free — making this an extra easy cake to share. Plus, if you want to make it vegan, you can simply swap the honey for maple syrup. It’s super easy to adapt!
What makes this cake really special is the addition of canned pumpkin in the cake which keeps it extra moist and prevents it from drying out. The added Citrus Cream frosting perfectly brightens the earthiness of the pumpkin and gets its rich creaminess from organic palm shortening.
The clementine juice in the frosting also enhances the sweetness of this cake without having to add lots of sugar. This way we could reduce the added sweeteners to a little bit of honey mixed with a few tablespoons of monkfruit, which combine perfectly with the raisins in the batter for a balanced but minimal sweetness.
If you love carrot cake, you have to give this version a try. It’s sure to be a hit wherever you serve it — even my kiddos love it!
With love and cake crumb kisses,
Carrot Cake with Citrus Cream Frosting
For the Cake:
- 1 15oz can pumpkin purée
- 3 tbsp lakanto
- 1 tbsp honey
- 2 tbsp palm shortening, melted
- 1 cup Himalayan buckwheat flour
- 1 cup cashew flour
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- ½ tsp ground cloves
- ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
- ¼ tsp ground cardamom
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1½ cup shredded carrots (about 2-3 medium carrots)
- ½ cup raisins
- ⅓ cup walnuts, roughly chopped
- 1 15oz can of chickpea liquid (aquafaba) whipped
For the Citrus Cream:
- 2 cups palm shortening
- 2 cups clementine segments
- Zest of one lemon
- 3 tbsp lakanto
- 1 tbsp honey
- ½ tsp salt
Preheat oven to 350ºF and line two 9” cake pans with parchment paper. In a large bowl, combine the pumpkin purée, lakanto, honey, and palm shortening. Mix in the flours, spices, baking powder, and baking soda. Add in shredded carrots, raisins, and walnuts.
In a separate bowl, whip the aquafaba until it has stiff peaks and fold it into the cake batter in three parts. Divide the cake batter into the two pans. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool completely before frosting.
To make the Citrus Cream Frosting, combine all the ingredients in a high-speed blender and blend until smooth. Once the cake has cooled, frost it and refrigerate until serving.
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I find the flavor of monk fruit sweetener quite repulsive. Do you have any suggestions for what to use instead?
Hi Becky, Thank you for your comment. We do have a few suggestions for alternatives you can try out! Do you typically have monkfruit by itself? If so, you can give Lakanto’s sweetener a try — it’s a blend of monkfruit and erythritol, which we find people often like more as it has little to no flavor. You can also give a 100% erythritol sweetener a try and see if you prefer that. Some great natural alternatives are yacon and lucuma powder, which are naturally sweet and low glycemic. Feel free to reach out to us if you have more questions or want to discuss this further at firstname.lastname@example.org. XO, J&J
erythritol is quite triggering for those with gut problems. any other options? sugar?
Hi Jane, erythritol can definitely be triggering for people with gut problems! If you find that you tolerate sugar better than other sweeteners, feel free to swap it. Some other sweeteners we recommend giving a try are lucuma powder, which is a great low glycemic natural sweetener, and Lakanto’s pure 100% monkfruit sweetener. Feel free to reach out to us if you have more questions or want to discuss this further at email@example.com. XO, J&J