Paleo kitchen experiments: carrot and orange cake

There are times when we all crave something sweet.  I’ve been eyeing up some of the many paleo baking recipes that can be found on the internet and finally decided that it was time to try one as a holiday and post-cutting period celebration (for not having given up during the cutting phase).

A site I am particularly keen on for paleo ideas is and this recipe comes from their baking page.

Carrot and orange cake - a small slice of heaven

Carrot and orange cake - a small slice of heaven

This was a fairly expensive cake to make, since I used ground almonds (the supermarket didn’t do big bags of nut flour) and almost half a jar of honey.  But it tasted so moist, light and flavoursome (unlike the dryness you sometimes get with a standard sponge cake) that it was a real treat and worth every penny.

6 eggs, separated
8 tbsp honey (or a bit less)
1.5 cups (340g, or 2 medium-large) carrots, cooked and pureed
Zest of 1 orange
Juice of half an orange (or 1tbsp frozen orange)
3 cups (260g) almond flour or ground almonds


  1. Preheat oven to 170C.
  2. Beat the egg yolks and honey together in a bowl.
  3. Add the pureed carrots, orange zest, orange juice and ground almonds and mix thoroughly.
  4. Beat the egg whites in a clean bowl until stiff.
  5. Fold egg whites into the egg and carrot mix.
  6. Grease and line  a 9 inch diameter spring-sided cake tin and spoon the mix into the tin.
  7. Bake for about 50 minutes until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.  Warning:  the cake may look a bit burnt on the top but don’t worry about this.
  8. Leave the cake to stand in the tin for 15 minutes to cool before turning out onto a cake rack to continue cooling.

If you wanted you could add some sort of coconut frosting but it really doesn’t need it.  It is so moist that it’s delicious just as it comes.  It may look a bit burnt but it doesn’t taste it so it’s not a problem.

It’s also more than sweet enough, so if you don’t have so much of a sweet tooth you may want to cut back on the honey slightly, though my personal tastes would be to leave it as it is.


We tried a few storage techniques with this (in the interests of scientific experimentation). 

  • The cake remained moist while being left out on a plate for two days, despite having been cut. 
  • It continued to keep well in a tin for about six days. 
  • On the seventh day the flecks of carrot on the cut surface of the cake started to grow blue mould.
  • On day eight the cake tasted mouldy all the way through.

15 thoughts on “Paleo kitchen experiments: carrot and orange cake

  1. Pingback: Paleo recipes: banana bread

  2. Josh

    I made this cake last night and these are my observations:
    I used a little less honey, and IMO it wasn’t sweet enough.

    The egg white causes the surface of the cake to be shiny and nice looking, rather than like baked nut-butter. After dumping in the pan I used a spatula to scrape out the remaining batter and smooth the top, which left most of the top without eggwhite. I would suggest retaining a couple tablespoons of eggwhite and panting that on the top of the cake before it goes in the oven to get a uniform nice looking crust.

    If you wanted this to taste like traditional carrot cake, you could replace the orange zest with 1tsp cinnamon and 1tsp vanilla, and replace the orange juice with pineapple.

  3. Ammi Post author

    Thanks for those points. Really helpful. I like the idea of replacing the zest with cinnamon and vanilla to make it taste more like traditional carrot cake – I’ll definitely try that next time.

  4. Elaine

    Last Christmas I made the carrot cake and it was enjoyed by everyone. To give it an extra-fruity taste I added a cup raisins to the carrot mix I cooked and pureed.
    I am planning to make it for Christmas day this year and am going to experiment with a whipped coconut cream frosting. The final touch will be to decorate with dried fruit.

  5. Schyler

    I’m newly Paleo and made this cake Sunday to take to my grandmother’s birthday dinner. As I’m the only venturing on this journey to eat primal, I also bought and made a boxed Betty Crocker carrot cake and cream cheese frosting for my non-paleo family members.

    I must say I love this cake and plan to make the coconut butter-cream frosting for it next time :) I did however use Josh’s Idea about using cinnamon & vanilla instead of orange zest and I completely left out the juice. I will most definitely be making this cake again :)

  6. Ammi Post author

    Glad you liked it. I’ve actually turned up a tea parties with this, not told anyone it is wheat and sugar free, and found it’s gone down a treat with non-paleo people (in fact, it’s often one of the first cakes to get eaten because it’s so moist). Although I do try to remember to flag up that it has nuts for any nut allergists.

    I wouldn’t worry about making non-paleo alternatives for people. I’ve found that most non-paleo people are indiscriminate about what they eat as long as it tastes good and is filling. Nobody seems to think it odd to be served up with a meal that is actually paleo if you are serving meat or fish and veg dinners with things like mashed swede and carrot on the side instead of potato and if you don’t tell them it is a particular “diet” it I’ve found that nobody seems to notice.

    That said, if you tell people after the first slice of a paleo cake that it’s not got any wheat or sugar in it then they often dive in for more in the mistaken belief that being wheat and sugar free means that it is somehow better for their weight loss diets!

  7. Alyssa

    Just made this cake and it turned out great! I added raisins, cinnamon and vanilla, leaving out that orange zest. I did add 1 tbsp orange juice though still. Would make again for sure…it was moist unlike other cakes made without wheat that are dry. No one would ever know this was a paleo reciepe. Thanks for posting this!

  8. Jenni

    Hi, I’m new to Paleo and have been looking for new recipes like this one! So excited!

    Just a little tip about the almond flour. We have a family of 8 so we can’t afford to pay $10/lb for flour :) so we make our own and it is awesome! Just blanche the almonds for about a minute and a half (pour boiling water over almonds in a bowl), and then drain, rinse, soak in cool water for a bit and drain again. Then you pop those suckers out of their loosened skins and let them dry for awhile. (I put them in my dehydrator for a couple hours). then blend and in your food processor and you have almond flour, just like in the store but only for the price of raw almonds :)

    Anyway, hope this helps someone. We actually make this a weekly family activity and the kids LOVE peeling the almonds, makes them feel needed. And I love their help!

  9. Ammi Post author

    Ooooh, thanks for that. I find ground almonds prohibitively expensive too so this is a special treat cake in our house. I had wondered if I could make almond flour myself, having previously made almond milk, but hadn’t got as far as working out how. Thanks for the tip (and instructions)!

  10. elaine

    I just put unblanched almonds into the blender and give them a spin untill they’re finely ground, and the last time I made the cake I substituted a cup of ground sesame seeds (they are less expensive than almonds here). The cake was delicious and the sesame seeds made it extra tasty (a hint of halva).

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  12. Pam

    Making almond flour is as easy as putting raw almonds in your coffee grinder and whirring away. You’ll have flour in seconds.

  13. Pingback: Paleo Rice Asia

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