Carrot Cake (Paleo, AIP)

Carrot Cake (Paleo, AIP)

With another holiday around the corner, I thought a sweet-treat of a recipe might be nice.

I also figured since bunnies are ubiquitous this time of year and because bunnies are commonly paired with carrots…well, carrot cake, peeps!

Carrot Cake A

As you likely know from your pre paleo/AIP days, carrot cake is a fave for so many. The mixing of shredded carrot into the batter renders a lovely, moist texture, and this grain-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, and, yes, egg-free version, is no different and equally as delicious as those SAD versions you likely fondly remember.

You can certainly leave this treat undressed and enjoy it as a snacking cake, or you can give it a little extra TLC by icing it with whipped coconut cream and sprinkled orange zest — a refreshing and delightful addition.

Carrot Cake C

Happy Easter! And, of course, happy nomming!

5.0 from 2 reviews
Carrot Cake (Paleo, AIP)
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Dessert / Treat / Snack
Serves: 12
  • ½ c coconut flour
  • ¼ c arrowroot flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • ½ c coconut or palm oil, melted
  • ⅓ c liquid honey
  • ⅓ c applesauce
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • ½ c finely grated carrot
  • 2 tbsp. gelatin plus ½ c water (for the gelatin egg_
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease and line (with parchment paper) the bottom of a 7-inch round spring form pan.
  2. In a mixing bowl, sift together the coconut flour, arrowroot flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.
  3. In a larger mixing bowl, using an electric mixer, combine the oil, honey, applesauce, vanilla, and apple cider vinegar.
  4. Prepare the gelatin egg: In a small saucepan, sprinkle the gelatin over the ½ c water and allow to bloom (soften) for five minutes.
  5. While gelatin is blooming, add your dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Fold in the grated carrot.
  6. After five minutes, turn heat to low and gently melt the gelatin. This should take no longer than 1 minute. Once melted, whisk vigorously until frothy and add to the cake mixture using the electric mixer.
  7. Pour batter into the prepared spring form pan and with the back of a wet spoon, gently spread and even the top of the batter.
  8. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until the centre is firm. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 30 minutes before removing from the spring form pan. Place on wire rack and allow to cool completely.
  9. Enjoy plain or serve with whipped coconut topping.



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This article was written by

Martine Partridge, founder of Eat Heal Thrive, is an eater of whole, nourishing, real food. She is also a combatter of Crohn's Disease. Martine wholeheartedly believes that food is the fulcrum for good health and has had wonderful results in managing autoimmunity by eating to heal, and healing to thrive.

There are 46 comments for this article
  1. Jo Romero at 4:57 am

    Hi Martine! I’m totally making this – looks gorgeous! Just a couple of questions – what’s the measurement for the coconut oil – is it half a cup? And if we’ve reintroduced eggs can we use one egg in place of the gelatin egg? Thanks! Carrot cake is my favourite 🙂

    • Martine Partridge Author at 4:08 pm

      Hi, Jo! Thanks for your kind words about the recipe/photo. 🙂 Thank you also for catching, like the others, about the coconut oil measurement. I’ve corrected it, and it now reads 1/2 c coconut or palm oil. About the eggs, yes! I haven’t tried it myself, but I bet you’ll get amazing results. And I would use two eggs because this recipe calls for two gelatin eggs. Let me know how it goes! Happy Easter. xx

    • Martine Partridge Author at 4:09 pm

      Hello, Manon! 🙂 Great to hear you are thinking about making this for Easter — carrot cake is always a nice addition to a special dinner. I know in the past you’ve had some issues with texture because of not being able to find fine-ground coconut flour — hopefully you’ve managed to get your hands on some. 🙂

      • primalmanon at 10:46 am

        I am making it tonight, it’s decided 🙂
        I haven’t found an affordable coconut flour yet, but I’ve gotten better at baking! So I will work the batter 🙂 And do you think cassava flour will work for the arrowroot flour?I’m thinking it will, isn’t it the same thing? 😀

  2. Lisa at 7:52 am

    To make this low-FODMAP do you think I could use pumpkin purée or mashed banana instead of applesauce? And maple syrup instead of honey?

    • Martine Partridge Author at 1:31 am

      Hi, Lisa. Thanks for stopping by the blog. 🙂 You can certainly use maple syrup instead of honey. And instead of applesauce, I would be inclined to go with mashed banana, as I’ve found that pumpkin puree can sometimes render a slight bitter taste. But that’s just me. 😉 Let me know how it goes if you decide to experiment!

  3. Nanna at 11:38 pm

    I’m in love with this! I made these into muffins because I don’t have a springform pan and they turned out so wonderful! Thank you for a delicious recipe. Oh, and I have a question about the gelatin egg. Do you do all your gelatin eggs like the one in the recipe or is there a certain reason why you did it the way you did? Thanks so much! 🙂

  4. Martine Partridge Author at 1:39 am

    Hi, Nanna. Thanks so much for the awesome feedback! I’m glad you enjoyed the carrot cake as muffins. 🙂 I’m thinking that you’re wondering why I first “bloom” the gelatin? If so, then that’s because I find I get better end results for an egg-free baked goods texture. Let me know if you mean something else — happy to answer any questions. 🙂 And thanks for visiting the blog!

  5. Suzy at 4:29 am

    I made this cake today. It was amazing! My non-Paleo family and friends asked for seconds! Even my granddaughters who “don’t like coconut” loved it. I didn’t have the spring form pan so I increased the recipe by 1/2 (to make 1 1/2) and used a regular 9 inch cake pan. It worked well even though it filled the pan to the top. I also used eggs instead of the gelatin – my little Easter splurge because I was pressed for time. I also added a little ginger, cloves, and mace. Don’t ask me how much because most of my cooking is by “feel” or intuition. I put a little maple syrup and cinnamon in the coconut topping (again by “feel”) But, yeah, it got rave reviews from some finicky eaters! 🙂 Thanks for sharing this recipe!

  6. Real Food with Dana at 8:12 pm

    After seeing so many people make this on instagram this weekend I decided I MUST check it out!! Love the ingredients list here, and I looooove carrot cake. My birthday is coming up in 2 weeks so maybe I’ll make it for myself 🙂 Can’t wait to try it out!!

  7. Julia at 11:47 am

    This looks delicious!!! Looking for a cake I can have at my wedding and this is all over Instagram!! Just a question… I can’t eat starch yet. Is there a replacement u can recommend for arrowroot?

    • Martine Partridge Author at 5:06 pm

      Hi, Julia. First of all, congrats on your upcoming wedding! 🙂 Hmmmm…I cant think of a starch-free replacement for arrowroot. I suppose you could try adjusting the amount and only using coconut flour, but I can’t vouch for how that would turn out in terms of taste or texture. If you are looking for a starch-free cake, you may want to check out a couple recipes from Kate of Healing Family Eats. She follows GAPS and so does not use starch in her recipes. All the best to you!

    • Martine Partridge Author at 10:04 pm

      Hi, Laurel. Thanks for stopping by the blog. I’ve never tried this recipe without arrowroot flour, so I can’t say how it would turn out with just the coconut flour. You could give it a try; my only concern is that it may end up very dry as the coconut flour absorbs so much moisture. Let me know if you decide to experiment! 🙂

  8. Lulu at 8:05 pm

    This came out so well!! I’ve been having mediocre luck with cakes and muffins on AIP – usually winding up sort of soggy, pudding-y, or otherwise funny in the middle. These came out like a cake made with wheat flour, dense and well baked. Mine were a touch dry but I think I overbaked out of paranoia from all the gooey things I’ve made lately!

    If I make again, I will sliiiightly up the sweet and the cinnamon, but I like things really cinnamony.

    Thanks for the great recipe!

  9. Susannah at 5:03 am

    Hi Martine,
    Long-time Instagram follower and now I’m on AIP and love your blog!

    Have bookmarked this cake to make myself as a treat (and even bought myself the ingredients!) but I’m wondering: is this OK during the first 6-8 week elimination phase, or is it off-limits due to certain ingredients (e.g. arrowroot powder)? I’m only 3 weeks into this and still figuring it out!

    • Martine Partridge Author at 7:36 pm

      Hi, Susannah. Everything in this recipe is compliant with elimination-phase AIP. However, some people find in the early days of AIP that they need to be careful with even AIP-approved flours like coconut, arrowroot, tapioca, cassava, etc. Sarah Ballantyne recommends eating these in moderation anyway. I find now as well as when I was following strict AIP, I do well with a small serving or two but never with copious amounts of even AIP-friendly treats. I’m always sure to have company when treats are around in order to share the goods and avoid being tempted to eat one too many servings. 😉 Enjoy!

    • Martine Partridge Author at 5:00 pm

      Hi, Molly. Here are my suggestions for substitutions: 1) use an equal amount of maple syrup in place of the honey and 2) use 1 tsp of lemon juice instead of the apple cider vinegar. That should do it! Enjoy. 🙂

    • Martine Partridge Author at 6:27 pm

      Hi, Tanya. Sorry for the late reply — I took a few months off from blogging. I’m afraid I can’t be much help, as I don’t cook/bake with stevia. I’m assuming, however, that the consistency would be affected as stevia requires so much less in amount than honey or maple.

  10. Fiona at 6:14 pm

    Thank you, Martine, for this wonderful recipe! I made it for Mother’s Day yesterday with whipped coconut cream topping. Everyone enjoyed it, and I was happy to discover a new AIP treat for special occasions!

    • Martine Partridge Author at 9:03 pm

      I don’t use a thermometer, but you definitely don’t want the water boiling. I usually start whisking in the gelatin just when I start to see a bit of steam coming off the water. And I remove it from the burner’s heat at that point.

  11. Danielle at 7:36 am

    So I made this with no arrowroot and applesauce ( I can’t have arrowroot and didn’t have applesauce)
    It was amazing! It was a bit crumbly, the consistency reminded me of steamed pudding.
    I added an orange zest and some juice for flavour.
    Thank you so much for this recipe. It’s the first AIP sweet I have been able to make.
    I’m sure if I had been able to make the recipe exact it would have been more amazing, I just thought I would post as I saw a few other people asking about subbing the arrowroot.
    You have given me a recipe that I can work with 😀😀

  12. Matu at 9:06 am

    I also made the recipe into muffins, but sadly they turned out very gooey, gummy-ish in the center 🙁 Not crumbly like others have said, but you kind of have to tear them apart…
    Something must have gone wrong, since so many people have had good results. But I followed the exact recipe, only substituting tapioca for arrowroot. Which shouldn’t make a huge difference I assumed….

    • Martine Partridge Author at 2:14 am

      Actually replacing tapioca in that amount (1/4 c) will make a huge difference in end results. Tapioca starch is an extreme binder, and I’m not fond of using it in recipes, especially in amounts greater than a tablespoon or two. The texture you describe, “gooey, gummy-ish” is what tapioca often renders. I find it works too much like an actual glue in gluten-free baking. 🙁

  13. dalia at 11:57 am

    I live in another country and can only find coconut flour. Can I still make the cake using ALL coconut flour without using the arrowroot flour.

    • Martine Partridge Author at 11:39 pm

      Hi, Dalia. To be honest, I wouldn’t recommend just using straight-up coconut flour, as it will likely render a very dense, heavy texture. The arrowroot helps temper the texture and flavour of the coconut flour.

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