Guilt-less Desserts & Treats for your Family

Carrot Cake with Lemon Cream Icing

  Carrot Cake

Girls, you’ll know what I’m taking about. You’re out with friends for lunch or coffee and there’s a display cabinet full of delicious cakes, slices and tarts. The waiter asks you all if you’d like dessert and of course you all do the obligatory “oh no, I’m watching my weight”, “I couldn’t possibly fit anything else in” (because the carrot sticks were so filling) and so on… all lies! What you really want to say is “bring me a slice of everything”, but social politeness dictates you couldn’t possibly eat a piece of double chocolate Tim Tam cheese cake.
So instead you opt for the ‘healthier’ carrot cake. It has a vegetable so it’s really more a main course than dessert so it’s not cheating on your diet. 
Or is it? Most traditional vegetable cake recipes are high in calories due to the high amount of oil, processed sugar and flours used. Most carrot cakes also have a delicious cream cheese frosting, which unfortunately contains almost twice as many calories as coconut cream. So while the choice of carrot cake might seem the better option maybe the double chocolate Tim Tam cheesecake wasn’t so bad after all!

This carrot cake is not only delicious but is also healthy! It contains vegetables and fruits, no oils and is sweetened only by dates. But the best part… the icing! Lemon Cream Icing; coconut cream is there nothing you can’t do?! It easily matches the tastes in the carrot cake complimenting the spices and date flavour. This is a great cake, without the burden of guilt or excuses!

Psst…..Did you know you can now cook along with me with the ‘Healthy Baking with Mummy Made.It’ podcast. This Carrot Cake is just one of the many recipes that we can make together. Check it out here

  Carrot Cake

Carrot Cake with Lemon Cream Icing

CARROT CAKE WITH LEMON CREAM ICING This recipe makes 2 18cm (7 inch) cakes to form a layer cake
Prep Time40 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time1 hr 10 mins
Servings: 16


Carrot Cake

  • 4 Eggs seperated
  • 120 grams unsweetened Applesauce see recipe below
  • 2/3 cup Dates
  • 1/3 cup boiling Water
  • dash of Bicarbonate of Soda
  • 2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 Cup Milk of choice
  • 1 3/4 cup grated Carrot
  • 1/2 cup of Coconut Flour
  • 2/3 cup of Almond Meal
  • 4 teaspoons Baking Powder
  • Extra dash of bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground Cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground Ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground Nutmeg
  • Dash of salt
  • Optional; 2/3 cup Nuts walnuts, pistachios

Apple Sauce

  • 4 apples peeled and cut into small pieces
  • 3/4 cup water

Lemon Cream Icing

  • 1 can Coconut Cream opened and refrigerated overnight (or at least 5 hours)
  • 2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
  • 1 teaspoon Maple Syrup
  • 2 teaspoons Lemon Juice
  • Zest of 1 Lemon


Carrot Cake

  • Preheat the oven to 175C/350F
  • Grease and line 2 18cm (7inch) round cake tins (20cm/8inch could also be used)
  • Place the dates in a bowl. Add the boiling water and bicarbonate of soda.
  • Allow to sit for at least 20 minutes.
  • Add the date mixture and the applesauce to a blender and pulse until pureed.
  • Place the egg whites into the mixing bowl of stand mixer with a whisk attachment fitted.
  • Whisk on medium/ high until medium peaks form.
  • Add the puree mix and whisk on medium/high until combined and fluffy.
  • Add the egg yolks one at a time; ensuring that it has been fully incorporated before adding the next.
  • Add the vanilla extract. Wisk on medium/high until combined.
  • Slowly add the milk.
  • In a bowl, sift together the coconut flour, almond meal, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, spices and salt.
  • Gently fold the flour mix in 3 lots to the egg mixture.
  • Add the carrots and nuts (if using) and stir to combine (do not over stir).
  • Evenly divide the cake mixture into the 2 prepared tins.
  • Bake for 30 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before removing from the tin.

Apple Sauce

  • Place the apples and water in a small saucepan and cover with lid.
  • Bring to the boil, then simmer for 7-10 minutes, or until apple is soft.
  • Blend/mash until a smooth puree is formed.
  • Store in the fridge.

Lemon Cream Icing

  • Remove the thickened cream from the can, discard the watery component.
  • Place the cream into a mixing bowl and whisk on high until thickened.
  • Add the vanilla, maple syrup, lemon juice and zest and whisk until combined and thick.
  • Spread 1/3 cup of lemon cream over the 1st cake.
  • Place the 2nd cake on top and spread the cream over the cake.
  • You will have cream left over to serve with the cake (or to just eat!)
  • Refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving.


The cream on my cake went a slight brown colour after being in the fridge overnight. It was still tasty. The left over cream didn't, so it must have been the combination of the cake and acidic cream.

42 Comments to Carrot Cake with Lemon Cream Icing

  1. Hello! I know this is an older post I hope you see this. Anyways I drove all over the country looking for coconut flour today, everywhere was sold out! So I purchased the almond flour. I’ve never baked with almond flour soooo can I or do you think I can substitute almond flour for the coconut? Thanks!

  2. Sorry, you can’t substitute as they bake very differently. Coconut absorbs more liquid and you tend to only use a quarter as much when compared to meals or other flours. I get my coconut flour at the health food store but it is available on line. Where are you located and I can try and help you find some?

  3. Are you sure about the 4 teaspoons of baking powder? It sure left an after taste that ruined the other wonderful flavours.

    • Thanks for the feedback Nancy. Baking Powder generally doesn’t interfere with the flavour (unlike Baking Soda or Bicarb Soda) but perhaps drop it back to 2 teaspoons just to be sure.

  4. Could you clarify how much coconut cream to add? Should we use a can of actual coconut cream, or a can of coconut milk, refrigerated to separate the cream from the watery part? Either way, how large of a can? Thanks for any information!

    • I use a 400ml can of Coconut Cream which gives me 1 1/2 cups of thickened cream (after it’s been in the fridge- it will still have some water which will need to be thrown out). A 400ml can of milk that’s been in the fridge for 24 hours will seperate to a thick cream and water. Only use the thickened cream. If it’s not 1 1/2 cups then vary the amount of vanilla/maple syrup to suit accordingly. I found that 1 1/2 cups was enough to cover my cake with a light layer of icing however feel free to double it you like it thick!
      If you are unsure how much cream your can will give you pop 2 in the fridge just in case. You can always just eat the remainding cream with a giant spoon!

    • Nikki, the mixture will be wet. The cake will be firm but moist, but not wet. The pieces are firm enough to be sliced and picked up like a normal cake. If yours is too wet after baking maybe pop it back in the oven for a few extra minutes. I can cook at a different rate if not baked in the same sized tins that I used.

      • Thank you. I’m a bit of a novice Baker. Especially wheat free. My bake was better 2nd time around. But could still have done with a bit longer. Should I use the method that my grandma always used? She said if it’s still talking when you take it out put it back in until it’s quiet. I think my bakes were still talking…

        • Haha! I’ve never heard of that before! I always use a knife in the middle of the cake. If it comes out moist I give it another 5 minutes and do it again. Another trick is to look at the edges of the cake. They should pull away from the tin when the cake is ‘done’. If you are looking for some easy baking options try the muffins in the ebook. They only require a bowl and some arm muscles. Please contact me if you have any questions. I’m here to help!

  5. discard the watery component of the canned coconut — what a WASTE! At least save it in the fridge to drink as is, add to a smoothie, or use to replace some of the liquid in another recipe (even if just cooking rice!)…

  6. Thanks for this delicious recipe! I used double the almond instead of coconut flour as I made it spur of the moment and didn’t have any coconut flour in the house. I cooked for an extra ten minutes on a lower heat & it was perfect! I have subbed this before & have found it can work well. Firm and tasty with lots of lovely spice smells and crunchy nuts. I also used lime icing instead of lemon as I adore lime. I did use all of the baking powder recommended and our family thought it tasted great. Definitely making this again! Thanks again.

    • Thanks Beth. I love that you swapped ingredients to make it work. Lime would be great; I love lime icing on zucchini cake.

      • [* Shield plugin marked this comment as “trash”. Reason: Failed GASP Bot Filter Test (checkbox) *]
        Was it ok to freeze? I am wondering as I will be at work before the special birthday but I have time to make the cake now. I know you left this comment many years ago but I would be so grateful if you were able to let me know if it worked

    • With the water. If you leave the dates and water to survive dates will become soft. Blend them up and you get a date paste that works like a liquid sweetner.

  7. I find the thickness of coconut cream variable from brand to brand. Does it need to be the cream that’s firm and retains the shape of the can of that makes sense? I have found that some creams even after refrigerating still flow, like traditional cream.

    • I have the same problem Emily. It’s so frustrating!! For the cream to spread and hold like s frosting it needs to be thick. Many brands will firm up enough when they are put in the fridge overnight (after discarding the watery part) but you are do right when you say some won’t. I often need 2 cans to get enough ‘thick stuff’ or I’ll use gelatine to set the cream a bit firmer.

      • Thank you! I have a few cans in the cupboard I’ll see how I go. They are pure coconut cream so I would expect them to be thicker ones. If not I’ll add some gelatine. Thank you

    • You can Melina, but I find it to be a bit watery. My preference is coconut milk but nut milks do work fine.

    • Joe, eggs are allowed as part of the Paleo diet. If you’d like more information on Paleo I’d be happy to share some links with you.

  8. [* Shield plugin marked this comment as “trash”. Reason: Failed GASP Bot Filter Test (checkbox) *]
    These recipes are fabulous. Thank you !!

  9. […] 1. Carrot Cake with Lemon Cream Icing There’s only so many ways that you can doctor up a carrot cake, and here they’ve tinkered with the icing, giving it a lemon flavor that you don’t typically see. The cake itself is very much reminiscent of a traditional carrot cake, with a big stripe of frosting in the middle, separating a top and bottom layer of cake. They’ve used coconut cream for the frosting, so you don’t have to worry about any dairy if you’re not able to process dairy. In fact the entire recipe is filled with awesome Paleo friendly items to keep you on track. […]

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