Paleo Carrot Cake

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This easy paleo carrot cake is a perfectly moist (but not heavy) spice cake loaded with flavor and fresh carrots. The cake itself is paleo, and I've provided several options for delicious paleo and non-paleo frostings – because carrot cake isn't complete without a creamy, tangy frosting! No eggs, no dairyTry my carrot cake donuts next.

Paleo Carrot Cake

Let's talk carrot cake.

Not in the mood for story time? Feel free to jump straight to the recipe at the bottom!

I've never been a fan of carrot cake, nor have I been a fan of cream cheese frosting. And having nuts in my cake has always made me cringe. So in essence, a serving of carrot cake is my nightmare dessert.

I'm sure you're asking yourself, “So why ON EARTH are you putting a carrot cake on your blog?” Because I love you. That's why.

But here's the thing… I don't hate it so much that I can't possible be around it. I can deal with it enough to taste test it before handing it over to my husband to have him give me his carrot cake-loving opinion.  His verdict?

Big fan. Real big fan.

You know who else was a fan of this? The cats. They wanted a bite so badly they were purring while circling the plate from which Bill was eating.

It started out as a casual sniffing of the air, as if to say, “My, what a pleasant aroma! I wonder what is emitting such a lovely scent.”

Which quickly turned to, “Heeeeeeeeey, girlfriend!” (we've determined that this cat is a fabulous gay man trapped inside a feline's body, FYI)

And it ends in a culmination of not-so-subtle sniffing right up against the plate and trying to flip the plate on the ground to make it look like an accident.

We're making this a two layer cake

So anyway, the cake.

I had originally planned to turn this into a three layer cake, but quite honestly I never make those because I feel like it's just too much. It's too tall for your fork, you have to lay the slice of cake down on it's side to eat it, and it's just generally a ton of food.

I don't want my slices of cake the sizes of small planets, thankyouverymuch. It's easier to slice, easier to serve, easier to eat, and just… easier. And I'm all about easier options these days.

Ingredients for carrot cake

  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • ⅓ cup coconut oil, melted
  • ¼ cup maple syrup or honey
  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • ⅓ cup coconut sugar or light brown sugar
  • ½ cup unsweetened almond milk, or other milk of choice
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 cups carrots, freshly grated
  • 2 cups paleo baking flour blend
  • 1 ¾ cup pecans or walnuts, chopped and toasted, divided (optional, but encouraged)

I might not like carrot cake, but you know what? I have to admit – this one is pretty damn good. Not to toot my own horn here, but I think I may have a found a carrot cake recipe even I'd be willing to eat.

I'm not going to go crazy and eat an entire slice or anything, but I wouldn't turn my nose up at sneaking a bite or two.

Grating the carrots

Don't stress out about grating the carrots. If you have a food processor with a shredding disc, then it's going to be a breeze that'll take you all of a minute or two.

If you don't have one, you can certainly use a box grater – but it's gonna take you a while. It'll be worth it though, I swear.

But whatever you do, DO NOT USE PRE-SHREDDED CARROTS. I’m serious. Those bagged shredded carrots at the store are dry and terrible.

Spend the little bit of time to clean your carrots, peel them, and grate them. Just be careful with your hands because I love you and I don’t want you to get hurt. If you don’t have a grater, you just want to get one like this (affiliate link) and use the largest holes.

Paleo Carrot Cake

Why this carrot cake is so good

Let's zoom in on this cake a bit.

Hopefully you can tell, but this isn't a super dense cake. It's moist, but not heavy. The nuts in the batter give it a nice soft crunch in each bite, but if you're not down with nuts then just leave them out.

No harm, no foul. You may just end up with a little less height in your final product, but by no means will it be flat.

Paleo Carrot Cake

Frosting the cake

You'll also miss out on decorating the frosting, which might be my favorite thing about this cake. It's the simplest decoration I think I've ever done. Just a layer of frosting spread across the top and chopped pecans around the outer edge. That's it.

No piping tips (aff link), no fondant, nothing crazy or difficult. I don't even go out of my way to ensure the entire sides are covered, so I almost treat it like a mix between a naked cake and adding a crumb coat.

You can add as little or as much frosting as you'd like – just note that what you see in these pictures is the amount I list in my recipe below. Two layers of cake, a center layer of frosting, with a light coat around the edges and a decent layer on top.

Paleo Carrot Cake

Side note: If you're in the market for one, I love my Wilton offset icing spatula (aff link) for coating cakes. It's lightweight, comfortable to hold, and works like a dream. Much like this frosting. Isn't is dreamy looking?

That's the only word I can come up with to describe it. For these pictures, you're seeing a whipped cream cheese frosting, but I've provided options for two paleo frostings that I love as well if you're truly trying to keep it paleo.

More Paleo Dessert Recipes

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Paleo Carrot Cake

5 from 3 votes
This easy paleo carrot cake is a perfectly moist (but not heavy) spice cake loaded with flavor and fresh carrots. The cake itself is paleo, and I've provided several options for delicious paleo and non-paleo frostings – because carrot cake isn't complete without a creamy, tangy frosting! No eggs, no dairy, no refined sugar.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 8 slices


Carrot cake

Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting (my personal favorite, not paleo)


Carrot cake

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease two 9″ round pans (aff link) with coconut oil — or spray with nonstick spray if not paleo — and dust with gluten-free flour. Shake out the excess and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, combine eggs, coconut oil, and sweetener and whisk to combine.
    3 eggs
    1/3 cup (72 ⅔ g) coconut oil
    1/4 cup (80 ½ g) maple syrup or honey
  • Add applesauce, coconut sugar, almond milk, vanilla, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, ginger, nutmeg and cloves and whisk again to combine.
    1 cup (244 g) unsweetened applesauce
    1/3 cup (73 ⅓ g) coconut sugar
    1/2 cup (125 g) unsweetened almond milk
    1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    2 teaspoon baking powder
    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1/2 teaspoon (½ teaspoon) salt
    1/2 teaspoon (½ teaspoon) ground ginger
    1/4 teaspoon (¼ teaspoon) ground nutmeg
    1/4 teaspoon (¼ teaspoon) ground cloves
  • Add carrots and flour and whisk to combine. Fold in 1 cup of the chopped nuts of choice.
    2 cups (256 g) carrot
    2 cups (250 g) paleo baking flour blend (aff link)
    1 3/4 cup (204 ¾ g) pecans or walnuts
  • Divide batter evenly among the two prepared cake pans.
  • Bake for 40 minutes or until the top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out almost totally clean.
  • Let cool in pans for 10 minutes, then move to wire rack to cool completely.


  • In a medium bowl using a stand or hand mixer, whip heavy cream to stiff peaks. Set aside.
    1 1/2 cups (357 g) heavy cream
  • In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, sugar, vanilla and salt and beat until combined and smooth.
    8 ounces (226 ⅘ g) cream cheese (block, not spread)
    1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
    1 teaspoon pure or clear vanilla extract
    Pinch salt
  • Add the whipped cream mixture to the cream cheese mixture and whip for a few seconds to combine.
  • Place one layer of the cake on cake stand or plate, and add 1/3 of the frosting on top, all the way to the edges. Place the other cake layer on top, then cover with the remaining frosting (on top, and around the edges). Garnish with remaining chopped nuts, slice, and enjoy!



  • Store covered in fridge for up to 5 days.
  • Nutritional information below is for the cake alone – does not include frosting since it would depend on which one you use.

Nutrition Facts

Calories: 781kcal | Carbohydrates: 72g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 54g | Saturated Fat: 25g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 17g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 154mg | Sodium: 577mg | Potassium: 338mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 43g | Vitamin A: 6494IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 205mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition Disclaimer

The provided nutrition information is generated by an automatic API and does not take variations across specific brands into account. This information is provided as a general guideline and should not be treated as official calculations. Learn more here.

Recipe created by Leslie Kiszka

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  1. Has anyone made this cake as whole cake in a spring form cake tin?
    I assume it would work OK… just maybe cook a bit longer?
    I have a 24cm tin.. around 9in… which is quite a lot deeper than those layer cake pans linked in the recipe description.

    Tips and feedback welcome!

  2. Love this cake and that you made it paleo. I definitely love the coconut frosting over a cream cheese frosting. And your fur baby is gorgeous!

  3. It was time in my life when i would just scrape and eat the frosting and not touch the actual cake… Long story short- those times are gone! I am ready for some carrot cake!

  4. I love me some carrot cake and this one looks SO good! I follow SCD which is really similar to a paleo diet…I only have to modify 2 things in this recipe! Wahoo! Thank for sharing!

  5. OMG your pictures are priceless!! They tell such a wonderful story! And thank you for loving me enough to post a recipe I truly love!! Great article – seriously I’m all over this recipe!!!

  6. I love carrot cakes and this version is perfect with the frosting. I like that it’s made healthy and flavorful, great for any day snacking and partying.

  7. Well I happen to LOVE carrot cake…and I am the ONLY person in our house that does. I don’t know what is wrong with everyone else….weirdos?? We also are cat lovers….we have 2.

  8. Hi Leslie, your cat is adorable, Nicoletta and I have a brother sister combination Wonton and Bailey, who are just the cutest spoiled fury creatures you could ever meet. Now for the cake. I love carrot cake and yours looks delectable. I love the Paleo option using cashew butter and coconut whipped cream sounds delicious! Great write up and thanks for introducing us to Padfoot, I hope he is feeling better really soon!

    1. Thank you so much! He seems to be feeling much better, but he’s still having some issues with his leg where he’s limping a lot. Hoping it starts to heal soon!

  9. Oh my gosh, YUM. Carrot cake is one of my favorites and I love that you’ve got a healthier version. Can’t blame the kitties for wanting to try a bite. :)

  10. This carrot cake looks amazing. It looks like it has so many flavors and I can’t wait to try this recipe! Also my wife and I have three cats (surprisingly none are on tinder) and they usually try to eat everything I make. Great recipe Leslie!