I have gone through quite a few carrot cake recipes over the years to come up with the perfect birthday cake for my lovely mother!
She has always been quite particular about her carrot cake, enthusiastically expressing that she doesn't want a "spice cake"...meaning, she wants actual carrots in the carrot cake AND a lot of walnuts!
In my process of cleaning up recipes, I usually use Google to find a "traditional" recipe with good reviews and then, I make the necessary swaps. In this particular recipe's case, I used all organic ingredients, changed the oil, exchanged some oil for apple sauce, swapped the wheat flour for brown rice flour + tapioca flour, replaced the sugar with lower GI sweeteners, improved the quality of salt and butter, and for the sake of my beautiful mother-- amped up the amount of nuts and carrots!
I hope you enjoy!
FOR THE CAKE
2 1/2 - 3 cups lightly packed, grated carrots (approx 4-6 carrots)
3/4 - 1 cup chopped walnuts, toasted (more for topping the cake if desired)
1 3/4 cups brown rice flour
1/4 cup tapioca flour
1 3/4 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp pink or sea salt
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
3/4 tsp. ground ginger
3/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce
1/4 cup coconut oil
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 1/2 cups brown coconut sugar
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract or Frontier vanilla flavoring
FOR THE FROSTING
(I don't prefer a thick layer of frosting so, if you are someone who does, I would suggest doubling this recipe or doing an additional half.)
1 lb. organic cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup grass-fed, unsalted butter (1/2 stick), softened
3/4 cup xylitol, powdered (if you prefer, you can also use non-gmo erythritol or stevia. If using stevia, measure to taste...start at 1/2 tsp and you may want to double the recipe because it won't leave you with much frosting)
1 TBSP pure vanilla extract or Frontier vanilla flavoring
1/2 tsp pink or sea salt
For Cake and Frosting