This carrot cake is studded with bites of carrots, nuts, and raisins. Soft, moist, and warmly spiced, this decadent cake is simply divine.
Even better, we’re swapping the traditional cream cheese frosting for a healthier and easy to make Greek Yogurt frosting for the same complementary tartness and richness.
Here is why you’re going to love this loaf!
- It’s clean eating, gluten free and vegetarian friendly!
- If you’re not on a gluten-free diet, you can also use wheat flour (see below for more info!)
- It’s a great way to get a serving of veggies (and fruit and nuts) in.
- The frosting is optional, but we’re making a healthy swap for Greek yogurt in place of the more traditional cream cheese frosting.
- You can bake it as a cake, a loaf or even as muffins. The batter is very versatile!
- This loaf is wonderfully moist, comforting, and flavored with warming spices.
- It is so easy to make! You only need 2 bowls (3 if you’re making the frosting!) a spatula, and the pan to bake it in.
- It’s good enough that you can enjoy it as a dessert, as a snack, or as breakfast!
- This version is honestly far healthier calorie-wise in that one frosted slice contains around 260 calories compared to other comparable cakes that come in at around 400 calories per slice or store bought ones that can be as much as 650 calories per slice!
Now, without further ado, here’s how insanely easy it is so make this delicious loaf…
Let’s Start with our Ingredients. We’ll need:
- Gluten Free Flour Blend: To keep this recipe gluten-free I’m using a gluten free blend of flours. My personal favorite is Bob’s 1-1. If you’d like to use a wheat flour see below for a recommendation swap and some tips and tricks.
- Blanched Almond Flour: This adds great fat, moisture and texture to our cake.
- Raw Cane Sugar: Our first sugar this helps to sweeten our cake as well as adds moisture and softness to it.
- Coconut Sugar: Our second sugar, this low GI sugar adds a wonderful almost caramel like undertone to our cake.
- Carrots: Finely blitzed in a food processor or finely shredded. The carrots are the star of our dish but they are the silent star in the you don’t get potent carrot flavor however your cake will be incredibly moist!
- Oil: I’m using extra light olive oil. You can use any neutral flavored clean eating oil of your choice.
- Chopped Nuts: this is optional but adds great texture to the loaf. I’m using pecans but walnuts are also a great option.
- Raisins: Ensure you’re using a sugar free variety.
- Eggs: I’m using US standard large eggs.
- Extract: You can opt to use vanilla or even a maple extract if you like.
- Baking Powder: This is our main rising agent in our cake.
- Baking Soda: Playing a secondary role for a little extra rise, we’re using a bit of baking soda that will be activated by the… 👇
- Molasses: Opt to use the unsulphured variety for a full bodied flavor. I don’t recommend using black-strap.
- Salt: I’m using a pink Himalayan but you can also use sea salt if preferred.
- Spices: I’m using a blend of cinnamon, nutmeg and clove, the spice trifecta in a traditional carrot cake, plus some ground ginger for a bit extra zing and warmth!
Not Gluten-Free? 🌾✔️
If you’re not gluten-free, you can replace the 1 cup of gluten free flour with 3/4 cup of white whole wheat or whole wheat pastry flour, and 2 tbsp of blanched almond flour (in addition to the 1/2 cup the recipe calls for).
Also, for the most optimal and soft and moist bake, I recommend first adding the whole wheat flour only to the wet ingredients and letting it rest for 10-15 minutes before combining and adding in the rest of the dry ingredients.
This gives your whole wheat flour sufficient time to absorb moisture which leads to a soft crumb in the final bake without activating the other ingredients like the baking powder and baking soda. If your batter looks too dry once everything is mixed in, you can add in an extra tbsp or extra light olive oil and adjust as needed.
Ready, Set, Bake!
We’ll start by grabbing 2 bowls. Into one bowl goes our dry ingredients (Gluten-free 1-1 flour, almond flour, spices, salt, baking powder and baking soda) that we’ll then mix together.
In another bowl we’ll add our wet ingredients (eggs, oil, sugars, molasses and extract) and we’ll whisk it together until fully combined.
Our dry ingredients will then be added to our wet mix and we’ll fully combine the two together. Then, we’ll add in our extras – the carrots (the star of the dish!), our chopped nuts and our raisins. Fold it into the batter and the batter is done! See how simple?
We’ll pour the batter into a greased and parchment-lined loaf or cake pan and then pop it into the oven at 350F for 40-50 minutes (check and test for doneness using the skewer method at the 40 min mark, once the skewer comes out clean, your cake is done!)
If making muffins: divide the batter between 12 paper-lined or greased molds and bake for 20-30 minutes, checking with a skewer at the 20 minute mark.
Remove it from the oven and set it to cool in the pan for at least 15 minutes before unmolding. Then let it cool completely if you’re planning to frost it. Speaking of which…
Let’s Make Our Frosting!
To make this frosting we’ll need 5 ingredients:
- Plain Greek Yogurt – Ensure you’re using a Greek yogurt, plain or regular yogurt is too thin and will not thicken enough to hold shape. Triple strained is a great option for thickness.
- Raw Cane Sugar – finely blended into a powder. You can adjust the sweetness to suit your personal taste.
- Salt – pink Himalayan or sea salt works great.
- Extract – Vanilla or Maple are great choices.
- Powdered Gelatin – this is what we’re going to use to stabilize our yogurt and help it to set into a frosting texture. If you’re not a fan of powdered gelatin / would like the recipe to remain vegetarian friendly, you can use a touch of xanthan gum.
To start, we’ll bloom our gelatin in water for 5 minutes. Then once we’re ready for it we’ll heat it slightly (5-6 seconds in the microwave does the trick!) so that it’s a warm liquid and can be easily incorporated into the frosting.
As for the frosting, simply add the yogurt, sugar, salt and extract to a bowl and whip or mix together. Then, slowly stream in the warm, liquid gelatin while continuing to whisk. (Or, if using xanthan gum, sprinkle it over the yogurt and working quickly mix it into the frosting.) Once it’s fully incorporated, place your frosting in the fridge to set for 15-20 minutes.
You can check it after this rest time and if it’s not thick enough, you can add more of the bloomed liquid gelatin or xanthan gum if preferred.
With your frosting chilled and your cake cool to the touch, go ahead and slather your frosting on. MMMMM 🤤
Then the best part, slicing into your carrot cake. Look at how wonderfully dispersed our add ins are. Each bite will be a warmly spiced, carrot-moistened mouthful with sweet, soft raisins and great texture from our chopped pecans. Talk about heaven!
And that’s all there is to it! So what are you waiting for? Go whip yourself up a batch of this carrot cake and enjoy! As for me, this slice is calling my name so if you’ll excuse me, until next post, I will be off in the corner having my cake (and eating it too!)
Carrot Cake Loaf with Greek Yogurt Frosting (Clean Eat, Gluten Free!)
For the Carrot Cake:
- 1 cup Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour
- ½ cup blanched almond flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp Himalayan salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon powder
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- ⅛ tsp Ground Nutmeg
- ⅛ tsp ground cloves
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tbsp molasses (unsulphured)
- ½ cup extra light olive oil
- ½ cup organic coconut sugar
- ¼ cup raw cane sugar finely ground
- 1 tsp vanilla extract or maple extract
- 1½ cups carrots about 2-3 med carrots, finely shredded or minced
- ⅓ cup pecans or walnuts, chopped
- ½ cup raisins sugar-free
For the Carrot Cake:
- Preheat your oven to 350°F and grease a 9x5 loaf pan or an 8" cake pan with coconut oil and line it with parchment to make unmolding easier.
- In one bowl combine the dry ingredients - gluten free flour, almond flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, clove, and nutmeg.
- In another bowl combine the wet ingredients - eggs, molasses, extra light olive oil, coconut sugar, raw cane sugar, and vanilla or maple extract.
- Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix until incorporated. Then, fold in the shredded or finely blitzed carrots, chopped pecans or walnuts, and the raisins.
- Pour the batter into your prepared pan and bake for 40-50 min at 350°F. Check it at the 40 minute mark using a skewer through the middle and if it comes out clean, your loaf is done.
- Remove from the oven and allow your loaf to cool for 15-20 minutes in the tin before unmolding. Let cool another 15 minutes before cutting. If frosting, let it cool completely before frosting.
For the Greek Yogurt Frosting:
- Bloom the powdered gelatin in 1 tbsp water and set aside for 5 minutes.
- While the gelatin blooms, add Greek yogurt, sugar, extracts, salt to a bowl and whip/beat together until the sugar is fully dissolved.Note: If replacing the gelatin with a ⅔ tsp of xanthan gum, simple sprinkle it over the yogurt and whip it into the frosting.
- Microwave/warm the gelatin for 5-6 seconds until it's warm and liquidous (not hot) and slowly stream it into the yogurt while still beating/whipping.
- Let set in the fridge for 10-15 minutes. Frost when your cake/loaf is completely cooled.
- Frosted Cakes: Keep your frosted cake stored in the fridge to maintain the Greek yogurt frosting's shape and consistency. Leaving it out too long can cause it to soften and melt.Unfrosted Cakes: Unfrosted, this cake can be stored in the fridge for 1 week, in the freezer for 2-3 months, or at room temperature in an airtight container for 3-4 days.
- Do not use regular yogurt for the frosting, it's too thin and will not set, opt for a thicker Greek Yogurt (triple strained is the best).
- If your frosting isn't as thick as you'd like after it's chilled in the fridge, double the gelatin or add a touch more xanthan gum.
- If you're not on a gluten free diet, you can replace the 1 cup of gluten free flour with 3/4 cup of whole wheat pastry or white whole wheat flour and 2 tbsp blanched almond flour (in addition to the 1/2 cup of blanched almond flour the recipe calls for).
- If using whole wheat flour, add it first to your wet ingredients and let it rest for 10-15 minutes to allow the whole wheat to soften before adding in the rest of the dry ingredients and following the recipe as directed. If your batter looks too dry, you can add an extra tbsp of extra light olive oil.