Coconut cream-topped carrot cake loaf (gluten-free)
This. recipe. WOW. It has been my ongoing pursuit for YEARS. Seriously – I remember testing this one back when I lived at my parents’ house, which was nearly two years ago. Over the years I have continuously tested it, and when it wouldn’t turn out quite right, I’d put it on the back burner for another few months until I could face the dreaded attempt again (lol). I adore carrot cake (it’s probably my favourite dessert, which is surprising considering it doesn’t include chocolate or peanut butter…) and have dreamt of making the perfect carrot cake bread/loaf that’s healthy, naturally sweetened, gluten- and dairy-free and most importantly, delicious.
For some reason, I just could NOT get the texture right. I tried versions with various gluten-free flours, and ended up with many (MANY) delicious-tasting but soggy-middled loaves, which I would reluctantly still eat while wondering what on earth I was doing wrong.
Well friends, I finally figured it out. I settled on a mix of almond + oat flours, and I added a banana and an extra egg for binding. Baking is quite a “test and learn” operation and it can be frustrating at times, but it’s all worth it when you end up with a perfectly spicy + sweet carrot cake loaf that you proudly smother in coconut cream to celebrate your success. Needless to say, I’m pretty happy with finally nailing this one – and it makes the ideal Easter dessert for this weekend! It also makes a delicious breakfast topped with coconut yogurt – just have to throw that out there.
Note: Considering the struggle I had with this recipe, I can’t recommend any substitutions, so substitute ingredients at your own risk! :/
- 1 c. oat flour (you can grind rolled or quick oats in a blender until fine)
- 1 1/4 c. almond flour
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1 ½ tsp. cinnamon
- ½ tsp. nutmeg
- ½ tsp. salt
- ¼ tsp. cloves
- 1 heaping c. shredded carrot
- 1 ripe banana, mashed
- 1/3 c. maple syrup
- ¼ c. applesauce
- ¼ c. coconut oil, melted + cooled
- 2 eggs (room temp)
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1/3 c. raisins
- 1 can of full-fat coconut milk, refrigerated for at least 24 hours
- 2 tsp. maple syrup
- Pinch of vanilla powder or extract
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line/grease a loaf tin.
- Mix your dry ingredients (oat flour through cloves) in a large bowl and set aside. Mash your banana thoroughly in a small bowl and add in the eggs, maple syrup + applesauce, whisking until smooth. Make sure these ingredients are all room temperature - this is very important! You don't want them to solidify your coconut oil. Add your fully cooled coconut oil (this is also important - you don't want it to cook the egg!) as well as the vanilla and shredded carrot to the wet ingredients and whisk to combine.
- Add your wet ingredients to your large bowl of dry and mix just until combined. Fold in your raisins if using them.
- Bake the loaf for 45 mins or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.
- While it's baking, make your coconut cream by opening up your can of coconut milk and scooping off the solidified top layer of cream (save the liquid underneath for smoothies!) and placing it in a small bowl. Add your maple and vanilla and, using an electric hand mixer, whip the cream until soft and smooth (can also be done by hand with a whisk).
- Once your loaf is completely cooled (at least one hour), top with the coconut cream as well as coconut flakes, walnuts + cinnamon, if desired. ENJOY!