Spiced Coconut Carrot Cake with Dairy-Free Cashew Icing

March 25, 2018

Easter is just around the corner and a carrot cake without dairy and gluten is a must! I love carrot cake but it's hard to find a recipe that is not loaded with cream cheese and tons of sugar. This spiced coconut carrot cake recipe combines desiccated coconut, grated carrots and almond flour for a healthier, better-for-you version.

Coconut Carrot Cake Loaf Recipe
Coconut Carrot Cake Loaf Recipe

This Paleo-friendly spiced carrot cake will surely satisfy any cravings. It’s moist and filled with warming spices such as cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves. It's packed with carrots and bursting with orange zest for a citrusy punch—everything you want from a carrot cake right?

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I've swapped traditional cream cheese frosting for a lighter, dairy-free cashew cream frosting infused with freshly grated orange zest. Trust me, it's hard to not eat the frosting by itself! Not an orange fan? You could flavour your frosting with lemon or lime in place of orange. Anything goes. On a different note, a chai-infused cashew frosting could be a nice winter twist (if you make this recipe during the holidays).

Coconut Carrot Cake Loaf Recipe
Coconut Carrot Cake Loaf Recipe

This loaf pairs well with a big cup of tea or coffee and tastes best chilled. I always let the cashew frosting set in the fridge before I serve it. You could add some raisins or even pineapple chunks to the batter but be sure the cake doesn't get too moist or it will crumble. No matter how you spice it, this cake is everything you love about carrot cake and more—it's:

  • Paleo
  • refined sugar-free
  • dairy-free
  • grain-free
  • gluten-free
  • healthy
  • moist
  • citrusy

Coconut Carrot Cake Loaf Recipe
Coconut Carrot Cake Loaf Recipe

If you love spiced carrot cake, you might also like my my No-Bake Carrot Cake Protein Slice.


Spiced Coconut Carrot Cake with Dairy-Free Cashew Icing

Coconut Carrot Cake Loaf Recipe
Coconut Carrot Cake Loaf Recipe

Enjoy the warming flavours of this spiced coconut carrot cake with orange infused cashew frosting—sans gluten, grains and dairy!

  • Author: Zoe
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 40
  • Total Time: 55
  • Yield: 10 slices 1x


Scale 1x2x3x

For the carrot cake:

  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups almond meal
  • 2 T organic coconut oil
  • 3 T maple syrup
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 1.5 cups desiccated coconut
  • 2 cups grated carrot (drained!)
  • ½ cup coconut milk
  • ½ t vanilla
  • 1 t cinnamon
  • ½ t ground ginger
  • pinch ground nutmeg
  • pinch ground cloves

For the cashew icing:

  • 2 cups soaked cashews
  • 2–3 T pure maple
  • 3 T organic coconut oil
  • 1 t vanilla essence
  • ½ t cinnamon
  • 2 T coconut butter (can be replaced with macadamia, or cashew butter)
  • ½ cup crushed nuts (walnuts or almonds)


For the carrot cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 175°C and line a rectangular baking pan.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine all dry ingredients.
  3. Add eggs, coconut milk, vanilla, coconut oil and maple syrup to a blender and blend until well combined.
  4. Add egg mixture and grated carrots to dry ingredients and mix until well combined.
  5. Pour batter into lined baking dish and use a spatula to smooth the batter.
  6. Bake in preheated oven for 40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  7. While the cake is cooling, prepare the icing.

For the cashew icing:

  1. Soak cashews overnight (or at least 4 hours) in water and then drain.
  2. Process all icing ingredients in a high-speed blender and spread over cooled loaf.
  3. For a final touch, top with crushed nuts (optional).


Note: Be sure to remove all excess moisture from the carrots before adding them to the mix. Put the grated carrot in a cheesecloth and squeeze it until all water is gone.

Tip: You can turn this into a chai-spiced carrot cake by adding chai spice to the cashew glaze. Another alternative is adding lemon or lime zest to the cashew fristing for a citrusy finish.

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