Carrot Cake with Almond Flour

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Carrot Cake with Almond Flour - naturally gluten-free but a perennial favorite with everyone!

Among my stockpile of much-loved recipes, there are a few I “save.”  I wasn’t sure exactly what I was saving this special recipe for–maybe fall when carrots are officially seasonal or Easter when it would be a delightful addition to the holiday table.  But last weekend, the perfect reason to share this delicious cake occurred: my dad’s 80th birthday.

Lightly adapted from this recipe, the use of almond flour creates a naturally gluten-free dessert, making it ideal for family and friends who are officially gluten-free.  Yet this recipe is always devoured by the full-on gluten-eaters, too.  This carrot cake is moist, flavorful and surprisingly healthy, and the wholesome ingredient list always comes as a big surprise to those requesting the recipe.

I remember the first time I baked this cake.  It was an experiment for one of my Dad’s earlier birthdays, and I briefly questioned the wisdom of experimenting when 20 people would be expecting a good dessert!  My sister-in-law graciously made brownies as a last-minute back-up.  The temperature that day was approaching 100 degrees with high humidity.  It occurred to me that the icing might melt right off the cake.  Unbelievably, it held up beautifully and the guests raved about the cake and requested the recipe.  Most importantly, the birthday boy was thrilled.

So, for my dad’s recent 80th birthday, we threw him a surprise party.  I toiled over the dinner menu a bit, but I knew from the start that this would be the cake.  For the occasion, I had a baker with commercial-size cake pans make my recipe.  The round cake, pictured above, was three times larger than what I normally bake.  We also used a traditional buttercream icing instead of the lighter recipe (included below) that I typically employ.  The star of the evening was, without a doubt, my amazing father…but the cake was a pretty big hit, too.

I don’t often include many personal photos, but following the recipes and a couple more cake picture are a few of my favorites from the night.  Truth be told, I could have included a lot more!  🙂

Carrot Cake with Almond Flour - naturally gluten-free but a perennial favorite with everyone!

Carrot Cake with Almond Flour
  • 3 cups blanched almond flour (11.85 ounces/335 grams)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 5 eggs (1 1/4 cups)
  • 1/2 cup honey or pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup canola or melted coconut oil (see notes)
  • 3 cups carrots, grated (9 ounces/255 grams)
  • 2/3 cup raisins (4 ounces/115 grams)
  • 2/3 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (2.5 ounces/70 grams)
  • Frosting (see following recipe or use your favorite buttercream icing recipe)
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, combine almond flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg.
  3. In a separate large bowl, mix together eggs, honey or maple syrup, and oil.
  4. Stir carrots, raisins and nuts into the wet ingredients.
  5. Stir the wet ingredients into dry ingredients.
  6. Evenly divide the batter into two well-greased, round 9-inch cake pans. For easier removal, I like to line the greased pans with a piece of parchment paper. (Trace bottom of pan and cut for perfect size circle.)
  7. Bake for 30 minutes or until just cooked through. Cool in pans for 10 minutes, and then remove to a rack and cool completely before frosting.
  • Bring all ingredients to room temperature before mixing when using coconut oil. This will prevent the oil from re-hardening when it comes into contact with the cold ingredients.
The Fountain Avenue Kitchen
Honey Cream Cheese Frosting
This is a perfect frosting if you are looking for a recipe with an all-natural sweetener. If it seems a bit too soft to spread after folding the whipped cream into the chilled honey mixture, refrigerate until it becomes firm enough to ice the cake.
  • 1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon honey (3 3/4 ounces/105 ml)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste or pure vanilla extract (1/2 ounce/15 ml)
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream (6 1/2 ounces/180 ml)
  1. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Beat in the honey and vanilla. Refrigerate until cold.
  2. In a chilled bowl, beat the heavy cream until stiff peaks form. I use my stand mixer with the whisk attachment and beat for approximately 2 1/2 to 3 minutes, stopping to scrape down the sides a few times.
  3. With a rubber spatula, gently blend whip cream into the cream cheese mixture.
  4. Frost the cake and store in the refrigerator until ready to eat.
  5. Enjoy!
The Fountain Avenue Kitchen


80 never looked so good! (And he graciously brought a bottle of wine to his own surprise party. )


Sometimes, you need a little help from a willing 3-year-old. They got them all–except for the “trick” candle which is a tradition in our family.


Golden and regular raisins work equally well in this recipe. This time, we opted for currants.


Despite a dreary, drizzly afternoon and a forecast of thunderstorms, this August evening was clear with low humidity. We sure were lucky!


WIth younger brother and older son…


My husband gets credit for the meticulously kept yard and the great table setup.

Sometimes, you gotta away from the party!

Sometimes, you gotta away from the party!

The youngest of the party at almost 8 months

The youngest of the party at almost 8 months

My lovable younger son...the namesake of his 80-year-old grandfather

My lovable younger son…the namesake of his 80-year-old grandfather

IMG_6523 (2)

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  1. Friend

    As someone who had the privilege of eating this cake, I will say that it is the best carrot cake I have ever eaten. We don’t have to eat gluten-free but would pick this cake in a heartbeat. Delicious!

  2. Jessica

    Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe as well as the family story. It sounds and looks like it was truly a fun evening!

  3. Jean Kastanek

    How do you think this cake would turn out without the raisins and nuts? My Dad is turning 90 in two weeks and I want to bake a b-day cake for him, but he doesn’t like raisins and has trouble eating nuts.


    1. Ann

      I always make this cake with the raisins and nuts, but I think it would still be delicious even if you omitted them. One time, I did use currants instead of raisins, so might be an option. Either way, I’d love to hear how you make out and wish your dad a very happy 90th!!

  4. Jean Kastanek

    Thanks, Ann. I’m going to do a “test run” this week and I’ll let you know how it turned out.

  5. Gail Gianelli

    I LOVED seeing your pictures of the celebration. Looks like a good time was had by all. I also want to try the carrot cake recipe for a up coming birthday.

    1. Ann Post author

      Thank you, Gail. It was so much fun and truly a delight to do this for my dad. If you make the cake, I hope you love it as much as we do!

  6. Pingback: Carrot Cake with a light whipped honey+cream cheese Frosting

  7. Kim Endres

    I love the pictures, and my husband and I love this cake. I make it every week at least once. I have adapted it to use my springform pan (I think it is a 10″ but not sure). I bake it for 1 h and 5 min in my oven at 325 degrees F. I don’t use the frosting. It is enough of a treat just with the cake. Sometimes I use agave syrup for the sweetener. I tend to use less cinnamon and nutmeg than called for in the recipe. This is my favorite dessert. Thanks.

    1. Ann Post author

      I’m so happy this is on the regular rotation, Kim. I, too, enjoy it without the icing…but that does make it a special treat! 🙂

    1. Ann Post author

      I am so happy to read this, Sally. Happy 80th to your dad and here’s to a wonderful year ahead!

  8. Gail

    Ann Would this batter work well in a bundt pan? I am planning on making it for a family member who does not like icing.

    1. Ann Post author

      Hi Gail, I haven’t baked this in a Bundt pan, and my main concern would be cooking the cake through the center before the edges become too brown. I’d be more comfortable recommending a 9×13 pan. The cut squares might not be as elegant, but the cake would be easier to cook through that way.

  9. Borislava

    I tried a smaller dose (two thin layers) with a different frosting (250 grams ricotta, 5 tb spoons of honey, 300 ml milk and 2 egg yolks. You mix the milk, honey and egg yolks, bring them to simmer until it gets thicker, then let cool down and mix with the ricotta). It’s totally finger-licking good. The only thing I will probably add the next time for a slightly warmer autumn-y flavor is a little bit of grated ginger.

  10. Laurie Wagner

    You show a three layer cake, but the directions only indicate using two cake pan. I assume you increase the recipe by 1/3 to get a third layer.

    1. Ann Post author

      Laurie, I mention in the write-up before the recipe that the pictured cake is three times bigger than the regular cake. It was for my dad’s 80th birthday party and I had a commercial baker prepare it with my recipe – and his very big pans! You could, however, create three standard layers by doing as you mention. You could also divide the stated amount evenly among three pans and bake the thinner layers for a shorter time. If you try, I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

  11. Karen Samartan

    I just found this recipe and am excited to try it out! When first married we lived with my in-laws on Fountain Ave in Rockville Center NY, and as a young married couple, they lived on Fountain Ave in Brooklyn! I love it when I find connections like this!! Beautiful family photos, by the way!

    1. Ann Post author

      Karen, Your comment is wonderful and I love the Fountain Avenue connections! Thank you for taking the time to mention, and I hope your family enjoys this cake as much as my family does!