This weekend is Easter weekend, one of my favorite holidays. I have many great memories as a kid when it was Easter. We as a family, would travel over to my grandparents houses and visit both families. Both of my grandparents live in the same city so that made it easy for us as a family to see both sides of the family and too be honest it still does. My grandmothers are both still alive, therefore I am very blessed to be in my mid 30’s and have both of them in life and being able to visit them.
Easter for me as a kid was filled with family, tons of food, sweet treats (sometimes homemade), and baskets galore from aunts and uncles. Easter is as big holiday for our family. I would leave back home after our Easter visit from the grandparents houses with chocolates bunnies, baskets full of candy and a full belly!
During the Easter egg hunt my uncle would secretly tell me where all the eggs were hidden so that I can get the upper hand on all my older cousins. I am the youngest grand daughter on my dads side of the family so this came with perks; especially during the Easter egg hunt!
Now that I am full grown women and have a family of my own I still enjoy Easter. Easter is the same for me since I was a child. That same tradition of Easter is passed on to my kids, they even get the exact same atmosphere as I did (this makes me smile as I write this). As a mother there is no greater joy then to make the holidays special and meaningful for your kids. I have to credit my parents and family for creating the feelings joy on Easter I felt as a child. I have many great Easter memories. The love of passing down the holiday tradition/spirit to my kids, which is a big deal to me.
Carrot Cake time!
In the spirit of Easter I thought I would attempt to make a somewhat traditional Easter cake. I say some what traditional because its a grain free/gluten free cake. My daughter is gluten free and has been for 2 years so I am forced (in a good way) to make things homemade and try to replicate good old fashioned cakes, like carrot cake.
I venture into gluten free baking with the help of a wonderful grain free/Paleo cookbook author named, Danielle Walker. I have bought all of her cookbooks, as well as tried a ton of her recipes and she never disappoints. Danielle Walker has a wonderful new cookbook called “Celebrations” . I find this cookbook helpful because it is full of recipes that are themed for each holiday. All you have to do is flip the book to specific holiday and you will find different recipes.
All of the recipes in her cookbooks are dairy free, grain free, and soy free making it easy to have on hand if you have food allergies, such as my daughter. If your just venturing into the gluten free/Paleo/Clean eating world then I suggest getting this books called “Meals Made Simple”
My daughter was so excited
when I told I would test this recipe out so she definitely wanted to help make it. I got to cooking and baking so I can test this recipe for this blog post. I added a little twist to the recipe by adding cool whip to the center of the cake and then frosting the cake on the outside with a homemade cream cheese frosting. That same the day I baked it and we ate it!!! The recipe is a HIT! All of my kids loved it and said it is the BEST CAKE they ever had, the husband also concurred.
Grain Free Carrot Cake Recipe
- 1/2 cup palm shortening
- 1/4 cup full-fat coconut milk
- 1/2 cup cooked and mashed sweet potato
- 5 tablespoons coconut flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 3/4 ground nutmeg
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 3 eggs at room temperature
- 1 1/4 cups peeled and shredded (about 2 carrots)
- 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded dried coconut
- 1/4 cup raisins
- 2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/cup cream cheese or whipped cream ( see directions below)
Preheat the oven to 325 F . Lightly grease the pan ( I used a 9 inch round pan or you can use two 3 by 3 inch round cake pan) with palm shortening and place a round piece of parchment paper at the bottom of each pan
Melt the shortening in the coconut milk in a small sauce pan over medium heat.
Next, In the stand mixer fitted with the beater attachment, or using a electric hand mix, combine the sweet potato, arrowroot powder, coconut flour, baking powder, baking soda and all the spice mixes, and salt and beat for 30 seconds. Pour the hot coconut milk mixture into the bowl and add the maple syrup, and vanilla. Beat on high for 30 seconds or until smooth.
Lets get to mixing
Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition, stir in the carrots, shredded coconut, raisins, and lemon juice.
Divide the batter between the two prepared pan (or pour into one pan if you are using the larger pan). Bake for 35 min, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
Cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes. Loosen the sides with a knife, then invert the pans to remove the cakes. Cool the cakes completely right side up.
I decided to bake my cake in 9″X 3″ round cake pan because that is the only pan I have. So after I let it cool I set it down on the counter and use a cake cutter to slice the cake in half, now making it into 2 separate cake rounds
Here is a demo of how I cut the cake
Place one cake round on a plate or pretty pedestal and spread the whipped cream on top (I used cool whip because I didn’t feel like making that from scratch too, plus kids just love them some cool whip). Place the other cake round on top. Store in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve.
Top one side with a ton of yummy cool whip, then place the other half on top of the it.
Honestly you can probably just call it a day at the point if you didn’t feel like adding the cream cheese frosting or simply just don’t like frosting. The carrot cake would still be very tasty, in fact this is how the cookbook author displays it in her cookbook. I decided to take a step further and combine her two recommendations. I made homemade cream cheese frosting so I can top the cake with it.
Homemade Cream Cheese Frosting
- 3 cups Powdered sugar
- 2 tsp Vanilla extract, pure
- 1/2 cup Butter, salted
- 8 oz Cream cheese
- Using an electric mixer, beat together the butter and the cream cheese and slowly I blend in all the powdered sugar and vanilla, then beat until smooth and well-combined.
Blend all together
Notes: The longer you whip this frosting, the lighter and fluffier it will become.
Frosting the Cake
Once I was done making the cream cheese I placed the bowl in the fridge for 30 min because the cream cheese frosting needed harden (perfect timing too because I had to get my son from track…mom duties) up a bit before I started frosting the cake. This tip will make it easier to frost the cake.
Once I frosted the cake I added cinnamon, nutmeg, and chocolate, therefore using a micro grater for the chocolate flakes. I thought these spices would help complement the flavors that are in the cake.
Lastly, I then topped the carrot cake with chopped Pecans.
We ate Dinner and now it was time to test out this festive carrot cake!
Lets Dig In!
My family was wow’ed by this delicious cake the flavor of carrots defiantly is present, a friendly reminder of pumpkin pie. The pumpkin pie flavor took us all by surprise, it is truly a pleasant surprise.
I am happy to report my gluten free princess child now can enjoy Carrot cake! My son requested I make this tasty carrot cake for his birthday next month!
Make it ahead:
The un-frosted cake can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, or even in the freezer for up to 6 months.
use a range fleshed sweet potato or yam to help with the color and give the cake a beautiful orange hue.
For a fully frosted cake use a additional 1/2 cup whipped cream or cream cheese frosting to frost the sides of the cake. Top with 2 tablespoons of unsweetened dried coconut flakes.
Enjoy your family
I wish you a enjoy able Easter. and I hope I have inspired you to make this decadent, delicious, festive grain free carrot cake! I am going to be enjoying Easter with my family and my extended family.
May God bless you this Easter and I must say, give thanks to Lord for giving us the gift of salvation through his Resurrection. Now, lets celebrate his grace for giving us all this special gift forever.