Chocolate, Carrot Cake – gluten, dairy and sugar-free

Chocolate, Carrot Cake - gluten, dairy and sugar-free

It’s time to participate in the Chocolate party which Roxana organises for us and this month I thought I would tackle a gluten, dairy and sugar-free cake. I knew this would be a challenge but I was excited to try and construct something that was edible and had an Chocolate party adequate amount of sweetness. If I don’t want to use any added sugars at all, it means I have to use the sweetness in fruits and this is completely doable. Gluten-free cakes have been successfully baked for some time now and the different flours are readily available. Dairy alternatives are also widespread. It is only the sweetness level which requires considerable thought. I have used a combination of applesauce, banana, dates and raisins. The carrots are also sweet.

I had the mixture completely blended when I decided to add more date puree. This means that I over-blended it and so it came out a little denser than I would have liked but the flavours were all there and for me the level of sweetness was just right. However, you could add some honey if you thought it was needed.

The frosting is really delicious and tastes like the sugared version of chocolate frosting – you have to try it.

On the whole, I am please with this first attempt at a gluten, dairy and sugar-free cake but next time I will try to make it lighter by blending less.


Chocolate, Carrot Cake

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 55 minutes

Yield: 20cm/8 inch cake


  • 2.5 cups of brown rice flour
  • 1/2 cup of tapioca flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 5 eggs
  • 1/2 cup date puree
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 3 cups grated carrot
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1 cup coconut cream
  • 1/4 cup applesauce
  • 1-2 tbsp honey (optional)
  • For the frosting:
  • 1/2 cup coconut cream
  • 4 tbsp date puree
  • 3 tbsp cocoa powder
  • pinch salt
  • 1 large, ripe banana
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 drops of peppermint essence
  • 2tbsp coconut oil, melted


  1. Heat oven to 325°F/170°C.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients.
  3. In a food processor, whiz the eggs, oil, honey (if you are using it), applesauce, vanilla essence and date puree together until blended.
  4. Add the wet to the dry and blend lightly until just mixed.
  5. Add the carrots, raisins and walnuts. Stir as little as possible to distribute.
  6. Butter and line two 20cm/8 inch cake tins.
  7. Spoon the batter into the tins and place in the oven for 35-40 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.
  8. Cool to room temperature.
  9. To prepare the frosting:
  10. Throw everything into the food processor, and process until smooth and creamy.
  11. Place half in between the layers and the other half on top.
  12. Decorate with a few extra walnuts.
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Chocolate Carrot Cake




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  1. The ingredient list looks delicious. I am pretty confidant in all of the substitutes for baking these days. I haven’t tried using dates yet but I know that will be a good sweetening option. I think your cake looks terrific. I love dense hearty cakes!

  2. I am looking forward to getting a piece right now with a cup of peppermint tea. It keeps calling me back.

  3. I’ve never thought to pair carrot cake with chocolate frosting, but what a delicious idea!

  4. Oooh, I think you’ve made a WHOLE BUNCH of people happy! I adore carrot cake and I don’t think anyone should be denied! I love a dense cake, so this looks perfect :)

  5. It is surprisingly moreish – I keep going back for another piece. It’s hard to believe it has no added sugar.

  6. Am truly having a Sunday noon laugh! By now it would be quite clear to you I do not bake and do not and never really have wanted a piece of cake, a biscuit or anything in the least sweet! BUT, this has such a fascianting list of ingredients I truly love, I’ll have the ingredients at the next shop and let’s see how butterfingers [oops ;) !] goes :) ! Thanks!! [It DOES look moreish!]

    • Yes, I did realise you don’t have a sweet tooth so this should be right up your alley – it has only the fruit sweetness. That way you can say you have made a cake!

  7. You’ve gotten so creative in your baking! I really admire the thought and effort you’re putting into making things healthier while retaining good flavor. This looks terrific – thanks.

  8. I love this! And I know someone who is gluten, dairy and sugar free so I’m passing it along!

  9. This is certainly a different cake. I think it sounds like something I would try. Very interesting recipe! The addition of dates and coconut cream sounds so good!

  10. I’ve never had chocolate frosting with a carrot cake. It sounds great! Wish I could sample a piece of this.

  11. I know – it is nearly always cream cheese frosting. That wouldn’t work for the dairy free part but I could probably make it work for sugar-free.

  12. Oh my word, my mouth is watering looking at these photos and reading your ingredients list… minimal sugar for sure and so much goodness! Looks so moist too – would love to try a bite right now! :).

  13. I’ve always wanted to try dates in baking as a substitute sweetener. I have several GF friends, but one of my friends has recently decided to cut out sugar, so this would be a great way for her to still satisfy her sweet tooth. I’m so glad you posted it; I look forward to reading more of your recipes :]

    • Dates are the best sugar substitute I have found and they firm up whatever you put them in. Bananas are another good addition to create some sweetness too but act as a wet ingredient so that has to be balanced. I am experimenting with prunes at the moment as well.

  14. Wow – that is quite the adaption to make a healthy cake – very impressive! The flavor sounds wonderul, love peppermint and chocolate!

  15. Thank you for this recipe! I was wondering what you would recommend to substitute the tapioca flour? Something that is still gluten free…? Any help would be greatly appreciated :)

    • I think you would be pretty safe to use 1/2 cup of white rice flour, sorghum flour or even buckwheat flour. They are all gluten-free. But probably the best would be to use potato starch, if you are able to eat that. Good luck.

  16. what else could I use instead of coconut cream? I never heard of this ingredient before. It’s the only one missing ;)

    • You could use ordinary cream if you are not dairy-free. Coconut cream is just the thick part at the top of a can of coconut milk when it has been in the fridge overnight. You could also process cashews in a food proccesor until they form a cream. It takes a while but does work well.


  1. [...] top frosting is the same that I used on my chocolate carrot cake and is totally [...]

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