Primal Carrot Cake with Coconut and Walnuts Recipe



I ran across a rustic sort of carrot cake recipe online not too long ago and thought it looked like a good candidate for a primal cake. I am beginning to realize how many flour-based dessert recipes can be successfully altered using almond flour and an alternative sweetener, such as honey or maple syrup. The result, as in this case, is frequently something healthy enough to eat for breakfast. I made this cake in a loaf pan but you could shorten the cooking time and pour the batter in muffin tins, too. Skip the pastry display at Starbucks and have a carrot cake muffin with some blueberries and a hard-boiled egg for an on-the-go breakfast. I’ve also seen photos of soft carrot cake cookies sandwiched together with the cream cheese in the center. This batter is thick enough that you might be able to pull something like that off. Just dont forget to shorten the cooking time considerably!

Feel free to add dates, raisins, additional nuts, or just whatever you have around that captures your imagination. I added coconut because I love coconut and thought the flavor would work well with the carrots. My mom says this carrot cake tastes like ‘real’ food: filling, satisfying, and not too sweet.

Primal Carrot Cake with Coconut and Walnuts

I couldn’t resist the maple syrup. After all, a quarter cup divided among an entire cake isn’t very much. If you really want to get primal, though, feel free to leave it out and throw in some raisins instead.

2 cups almond flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
cup chopped walnuts
1 cup flaked coconut
3 med-large carrots, grated
3 ripe bananas, mashed
cup coconut milk
3 eggs
cup maple syrup

8 oz cream cheese
3 tbsp maple syrup

In a large bowl, mix the almond flour with the baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Mix in the walnuts, coconut, and carrots. Set a side. In another bowl, mix the bananas, coconut milk, eggs, and maple syrup. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir. Transfer batter to a greased, parchment-lined loaf pan (9x5x3 and bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool somewhat before frosting.

To make the frosting, just whip the cream cheese and maple syrup together with an electric hand mixer until it reaches a fluffy consistency.

23 Responses to “Primal Carrot Cake with Coconut and Walnuts Recipe”

  1. Grok says:

    Wow, that looks and sounds fantastic!

  2. Adam D. says:

    I just wanted to leave a comment and let you know what a wonderful website you have. I just found out about it a week or so ago and I am very impressed. Please keep up the great work!!

  3. Alta says:

    Wow this looks great. Will definitely have to try.

  4. Sally says:

    I’m trying this one on the kids for sure! Do you think I can sub applesauce for the bananas (I try to only buy local produce)…if so would you guess on a measurement- maybe 1/2 cup?

  5. Sarah says:

    Sally – 1 cup of mashed banana takes about 2-3 bananas, so prob about 1.25 cups applesauce.

    Shelley – Looks like a great recipe! I’ve been thinking about tinkering up one of my own like this, but now it seems I won’t have to 😉

  6. shelley says:

    Grok & Adam – Thanks!

    Thanks for the conversion, Sarah.

    Sally, let us know how it turns out. I’m thinking the apples may not be as sweet but might create a softer cake. One thing I love about primal baking is how much leeway there is to mess with ingredients. As long as there is adequate moisture, it seems that almond flour can handle quite a lot.

    You could also probably sub out some of the almond flour here for coconut flour, which might be interesting. A reader successfully combined the two in creating a variation of my primal blueberry muffins – take a look at the comments. I’ve been meaning to try it ever since.

  7. So pretty! This looks like a great cake!

  8. zedkay says:

    I stumbled across your site a while ago and have been eargly trying your receipes. While I try to eat mostly paleo – i’ve kind of been switching to a more primal, due to my insaitiable need for baked goods.

    I tried making this cake tonight (sans icing – my paleo fear of dairy kicked in). I made a couple modifications (I used a bit of coconut flour in place of some of the almond flour and added a few more spices).

    It still hot – and wow, is it ever good.

    Are you allowed to use pumpkin on primal diets? Because that would also substitute in fantastically instead of some of the banana.

  9. Anuja says:

    Just made it this weekend. YUM! Having piece now:)

    Thanks for these awesome recipes!

  10. shelley says:

    Zedkay – I agree, pumpkin would be awesome. You can totally have pumpkin while eating primal. It all just depends where you want to be carb-wise. Some people go low while others are more around 150g/day. Glad you tried subbing in some coconut flour – good to know it works well here.

    Glad you like it, Anuja!

  11. IreScotsWelsh says:

    I baked this today and it is outstanding. It doesn’t need the cream cheese frosting, as it is moist and flavorful on its own.

    Your non-primal family & friends will not only love it, they won’t believe it is made without flour.

  12. man that frosting looks great!

  13. Koko says:

    Wow, this sounds wonderful. It is so nice to see a ‘cake’ with such little sweetener- something I can actually eat!!

  14. MM says:

    This recipe was really tasty–no frosting needed!

    Only sub I made was to use some raisins instead of coconut as I didn’t have coconut on-hand.

    I will probably bake the loaf a little longer next time as the loaf was still a little wet, even after passing the toothpick test.

    Will try with pumpkin and perhaps grated zuchinni too!!


  15. Brian says:

    This looks delicious. I may try doing a 50/50 half carrot cake / half carrot/zuchinni mix.

    FYI for folks who don’t like or can’t tolerate the cream cheese topping. You can substitute butter (I use an olive oil based butter) to give it that little extra flavor contrast.

  16. Taryn says:

    I’m excited to try this tonight as we have company over. I won’t even tell them they are eating “primal”. LOL. Thanks for all the great recipes.

  17. Carla says:

    This is such a great hit with whomever I give this to :))
    Great recipe

  18. Carla says:

    I have made this cake a few times now.
    today I added chocolate powder and added 1 apple to the mixture. totally yummy!

  19. CNYmicaa says:

    Wow. The very first paleo/primal recipe I actually got my husband to say “This is REALLY good”
    THANK YOU, I have thus far been unable to peel him away from white flour and white sugar. He said he would be happy to eat this all the time!!!

  20. shelley says:

    That’s great! 🙂

  21. Golden says:

    Has anyone made this with coconut flour? I have an almond allergic kid here who I know would love to eat this.

  22. Christina says:

    Hi Golden,

    I am attempting to make this cake with coconut flour. Here are my substitutions:

    1 cup coconut flour
    2 ½ tsp baking powder
    2 tsp cinnamon
    1 tsp salt
    ¾ cup chopped walnuts
    1 cup flaked coconut
    3 med-large carrots, grated
    3 ripe bananas, mashed ( or ½ cup melted butter)
    ½ cup coconut milk
    8-12 eggs
    ¼ cup maple syrup

  23. Laurel says:

    Made this tonight according to your instructions. It was our first primal-friendly baked good and we loved it! Had two slices each… Added bonus was how easily the cake came out of the pan using the greased parchment paper…I had no idea! Thanks!!


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