Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Carrot Cake with Coconut Butter Frosting (Refined Sugar-Free)

My birthday is this week, and my son told me that I can only make chocolate cake...which promptly made me crave carrot cake.  Funny how that works.  I decided to make a tiered cake, with one layer chocolate and one carrot cake, so everyone is happy. But, I needed to figure out a good carrot cake recipe first.  So...here it is. 

I'm trying to use less refined sugars in my cooking...it's going to be a slow process, but I feel better when I'm not eating white sugar, so we are going to definitely transition away from the white sugar. This recipe is free of refined sugars.  It was easy to convert the cake to being refined sugar-free, but when the time came to make frosting, I had no idea where to start.  So, originally, I said to heck with it I'll make my usual buttercream frosting, with a little pumpkin spice added, which are the pictures of cupcakes with the white frosting. 

But, it was still bugging me that I didn't know how to make a frosting without powdered white sugar...I finally came up with this one, and it's good!

By the way, isn't this cutting board the cupcake are on fantastic?  I got it at our farmer's market on Saturday as an early birthday present to myself. :)

Carrot Cake
4 eggs
1/2 cup applesauce
3/4 cup canola oil
1 cup coconut sugar*
1/2 cup agave nectar*
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
3 large carrots, grated (about 3 cups)
1 cup chopped pecans, optional

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease two 9 inch round cake pans or line muffin tins with liners and set aside.

In a large bowl, beat together eggs, oil, coconut sugar, agave, and vanilla.  In a separate bowl combine the flour blend, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet ones and mix well. Stir in carrots, then fold in the pecans. Pour into prepared pan or scoop into muffin cups.

Bake at 350F for ~30 minutes for 9" cakes or ~20 minutes for cupcakes, or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

Let the cakes cool for a few minutes in the pan then turn them out onto a wire rack and cool completely.

*You could use 2 cups of white sugar in the place of the coconut sugar and agave nectar.

Coconut Butter Frosting
1/2 cup non-dairy milk (like So Delicious Coconut Milk)
1/4 cup coconut butter**
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Whisk together flour blend and milk in a small saucepan, and heat over medium heat, stirring continously, until it starts to thicken.  Cook the mixture until it have the consistency of a thick pudding or paste.

Put the mixture in the fridge and let it cool completely...it can be cold for the next step.

Using a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, mix together the coconut butter, coconut oil, and sugar until combined well, about 1-2 minutes.  Then while beating, add in the thickened milk mixture and the vanilla.  Beat for 7-8 minutes, until the sugar dissolves and the mixture resembling frosting.

**To make coconut butter, place unsweetened shredded coconut in a blender and blend until it turns into a butter.


  1. Wow...these look and sound amazing! I love how you came up with your own frosting...yum! I have to pin this for later!
    ~Lisa @ Organized Chaos

  2. I love a carrot cake. My husband always wants something chocolate, and if I make anything with fruit, he'll eat it once! Then I end up throwing it out. I like chocolate, but I prefer something made with fruit.

    Donna Spencer

  3. These are sooo amazing. I'll be featuring these cupcakes tonight on Allergy-Free Wednesdays. :-)

    Be Well,

  4. Hi There,

    I featured your awesome recipe this week on Allergy-Free Wednesdays. Your recipe and other highlights can be seen here:

    Please join us again this week for more allergy-free fun and inspiration.

    Be Well,

  5. Could you use brown rice syrup in place of the agave?

    1. Yes, I'm sure that brown rice syrup would work just fine in place of agave.

  6. I made the cake with my son and it turned out fantastic. we tried to make the frosting and while it tasted sweet it was brown and runny. our coconut sugar was brown but I put whipped it in my bosch mixer for 8 minutes and it was still runny. not sure what I did wrong. was the coconut oil supposed to be liquid or solid?

    1. The milk/flour mixture needs to be thickened quite a bit and then cooled completely before going to the next step. The coconut oil should be in solid form when everything is whipped together. I'm not sure what would cause it to be runny other then those two things, good luck!