Paleo Carrot Cake

I’ve always loved baking; it’s like therapy for me … and the end result isn’t bad either. Anyway, since I started to eat healthier, I haven’t baked as much because it’s difficult to find recipes for cakes and other desserts that are good for you and actually taste good too. So when I came across a recipe for Paleo/gluten-free carrot cake that sounded like it might be tasty, I decided to give it a go (and add some personal touches, of course). As this was baking, the house smelled phenomenal - just like I was making a real carrot cake full of sugar. And the end result was quite surprising to me. The coconut flour, honey and agave nectar gives it the perfect sweetness. Note: for the frosting, it is suggested that you refrigerate the coconut milk overnight (I just put it in the freezer for about 45 minutes and it came out fine).

1/3 cup coconut flour
1 tsp. baking powder
Pinch salt
Pinch baking soda
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup honey
1 Tbsp. agave nectar
4 Tbsp. butter
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. vanilla extract
5 eggs
1-1/2 cups grated carrot
1 ripe banana, mashed

1 can coconut milk (roughly 13 oz. - refrigerated overnight ... the Thai Kitchen brand is the most reliable because it’s most likely to solidify properly)
1 tsp. honey
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Grease a 9-by-9-inch square cake pan with oil. Preheat the oven to 350°. In a medium bowl, combine the coconut flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, cloves and cinnamon and stir together. The will amount will be relatively small, but coconut flour is very absorbent. Meanwhile, melt the honey, agave nectar and butter in a small saucepan; pour the mixture into a bowl and blend in the olive oil and vanilla extract. Add the eggs, grated carrot and banana; blend until mixed. Add the dry ingredients and stir until combined. Pour the whole mixture into the prepared pan and bake for 20-25 minutes until firm (but still soft!) to the touch. Cool completely. To make the frosting, open up the can of coconut milk that has refrigerated overnight. The coconut milk on the top of the can should be firm and white. Spoon off all of the solid stuff (there will be some sort of watery liquid on the bottom that you don’t want). Put the solid coconut milk in a bowl and add the honey, cinnamon, cloves and vanilla extract. Blend it all together with your electric mixer. Spread over the cooled carrot cake. Cut and serve; refrigerate leftovers.


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