Carrot Cake

This is among my favorite recipes from the Wheat Belly book. I reproduce it here for those of you who read the Kindle or audio version and therefore didn’t get the recipes.

I made this most recently this past weekend. It was gone very quickly, as even the 13-year old gobbled it up.

(I reduced the sour cream in this version from 8 to 6 oz to reduce cooking time. Also, note that anyone trying to avoid dairy can substitute more coconut milk, i.e., the thicker variety, in equivalent quantities.)

Makes 8-10 servings







2 cups carrots, finely grated
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup coconut flour
1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons freshly grated orange peel
Sweetener equivalent to ½ cup sugar (e.g., 4 tablespoons Truvia)
½ teaspoon sea salt
4 eggs
1/2 cup butter or coconut oil, melted
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
½ cup coconut milk
6 ounces sour cream

8 ounces cream cheese or Neufchâtel cheese, softened
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon Truvía or 1/8 teaspoon stevia extract powder or ¼ cup Splenda

Preheat oven to 325° degrees F. Grate carrots and set aside.

Combine coconut flour, flaxseed, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder, orange peel, sweetener, and salt in large bowl and mix by hand.

Put eggs, butter or coconut oil, vanilla coconut milk, and sour cream in mixing bowl; mix by hand. Pour liquid mixture into dry pecan/coconut flour mixture and blend with power mixer until thoroughly mixed. Stir carrots and pecans in by hand with spoon. Pour mixture into greased 9- or 10-inch square cake pan.

Bake for 60 minutes or until toothpick withdraws dry. Allow to cool 30 minutes.

Place Neufchâtel cheese in bowl. Add lemon juice and sweetener and mix thoroughly. Spread on cake.

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117 Responses to Carrot Cake

  1. Laurel says:

    Hi Dr. Davis,

    My husband and I heard your interview on NPR and have been wheat free for about 2 weeks with some fairly dramatic results in my husband’s waistline. We are going full speed ahead on this program so THANKS! for your work….

    A post above touched on something I have been wondering about. You are saying NO to Ezekiel bread, does that include any sprouted wheat, rye, barley seed anything? And finally, what about green foods with wheat grass? Any feedback appreciated!


    • Dr. Davis says:

      That’s great, Laurel!

      I would avoid all things wheat, sprouted, grass only, roots, seeds, organic, yellow, purple, or pink polka dot.

      There is no way to completely disable the adverse effects of this thing.

  2. JANET says:

    Dr. Davis,
    I have just started on the wheatbelly diet 5 days ago. I have lost 4 pounds. I waslooking for a cake that would be okay to have and this is one I would probably like. I am a little confused though – is it okay to use Splenda? I have had no problems that I know of with Splenda but I want to make sure it is okay to use in moderation. It is more affordable for me so please let me know. Iplan to send you a blog on my history later.

    Thank You,

    • Dr. Davis says:

      Granulated Splenda is not the best choice, Janet, as it is mostly maltodextrin, which is essentially sugar (technically a glucose polymer).

      Stevia (liquid or made with inulin), Truvia, xylitol, erythritol, and Swerve are other choices that are benign.

  3. shirley stickney says:

    Mr. Davis I’ve been trying for over 2 mths to contact you thru the Rodel Books. Why I contacted them was because the Carrot Cake I made was not at all great. I thought there was an ingredient missing. There was no way on God’s green earth that my mixture after all ingredients were brought together my batter was stiff as a board.. There was no consitency to it for me to pour it into the dish to be cooked..Before I attempt to try again, I must inform you it’s not cheap and it was upsetting to through out my recipe. Please I plea with you, is there an ingredient that was omitted without meaning too. My recipe as I said was like a rock. Please let me know the recipe is truly correct in your book and no ingredients are missing. But if there is please let me kinow what was omitted so that I can bake it and enjoy the full flavor I’m looking for. Blessings to all of you.Shirley

    • Dr. Davis says:

      Sorry, Shirley, but I have no idea why your results are so different than everyone else’s. It’s been tried and tested many times without the results you experienced. So I suspect that one or more of your ingredients are somehow different.

      One suggestion: Try replacing coconut flour with almond flour. Perhaps your coconut flour, more so than other brands, is more hygroscopic, i.e., water-absorbent.

      • Susan says:

        Mine turned out the same way. Awful!! Dry, mealy. My ingredients are fresh. Spices from Penzeys. Why so bad?

  4. cynthia says:

    Hi Dr. Davis – another hit! I love this carrot cake. The first time I made it, it was a bit on the dry side, so I just made it again to take to Thanksgiving dinner this week and I added a bit more coconut milk. It is soooo moist and delicious! I also adjusted the amount of orange zest (1tbs – 2 was a bit too bitter for my taste last go round…I added a tsp of orange extract, which gave it some nice flavor without the bitterness). This time I also baked them in a muffin tin, so I got 18 carrot muffins – perfect for sharing. With a smear of the yummy icing, it’s good to go. I ate one for breakfast this morning! YUM! Can’t wait to hear what the family says tomorrow night!

  5. Jennifer says:

    We tried this recipe, and it was horrendous. It tasted bad, with a chemical after taste, and a bad texture. Even the dog did not like it. I have been baking for years and never had a recipe turn out so badly. It was a waste of time, effort and ingredients. Did not expect it to taste like “original” carrot cake, but this was truly horrible.

    • Dr. Davis says:

      I suspect that one of your ingredients was tainted or spoiled, Jennifer.

      The recipe itself works just fine, judging by the many positive experiences, but it cannot account for tainted ingredients.

      • Tom Harpur says:

        I’d have to agree with the comment on the outcome re the carrot cake recipe provided in the book Wheatbelly. It is not a good product and I’d like to follwup with a question. Are all the recipes in the original book and the Wheat Belly cookbook, field tested? No where in the written material per the books is it mentioned that each recipe has been cooked or made and sampled by various parties. I received the cookbook for Christmas but after the carrot cake sampling I’m wondering what the rest of the recipes will taste like. I’m open to different tastes but ‘mealy paste stickum to the roof of your mouth and choke up the wind pipe’ isn’t a good product. Could recipes be starred or high lighted that have been through a panel sample testing and taste good?
        The book Wheat Belly is a wonder as to the benefits it can provide as I dealt with chronic acid stomach for 25 years and sinus issues for 20. Being 58 now and knowing this improvement of health is beyond remarkable.

      • Jennifer says:

        All the ingredients were fresh from the store, and have since been used in different items with no negative impact. Therefor, I have to go with the recipe being defective with a bad resulting item.

  6. James says:

    Hey Dr,
    I just tried this recipe. Not as dry and fluffy as what I was used to but definitely excellent, everybody loved here, especially my wife :) Here in Denmark, these flavours are really appreciated (cinnamon, nutmeg, etc).

    I used only xylitol for the sweetening and this can explain the more dense and moist texture I obtained. I might increase the baking time when I do it again and try a combination of sweeteners (stevia / xylitol) and flours (I may use ground almonds). For this first attempt, I also added chopped cashew nuts to the pecan nuts and grated carrots.

    I also tried the WB cheese cake by the way, and that was also a big hit!

    Cheers for the recipes!

    PS: It is the first time ever that I had not gained weight throughout the entire Xmas and new year’s break. As I have mentioned earlier, I wanted to go out of ketosis for a while and just maintain my weight. Well, I can see that without the wheat, grains, starches and sugar, it is really easy, regardless of all the baking and goodies I have indulged in during the holidays.

  7. Colleen Esser says:

    I have the 2011 Wheat Belly book (not cook book) and for this carrot cake recipe it says use sweetner equivalent to 1 cup sucrose NOT half cup which is what the online versions state. ???? Which one is correct? Imade this cake last night and it came out pretty well and I used 1 cup stevia in the raw and “beverage” coconut milk from a carton not from a can. Does it make a difference?

  8. Tanya says:

    I made this and found it moist mealy as well, but maybe it’s supposed to be like that? It was not fluffy and spongy like a cake. My husband liked it, so I guess it is a success, but would like a better consistency. I might try a tablespoon of arrowroot powder and or some almond flour to see what happens next time. The coconut flapjacks also flopped on me – I had to remove an egg for them to be edible by my kids (too eggy otherwise).
    Also, my cake turned out very light, not dark at all like the photo. How did this dark color come about?
    And the question remains, what is the texture supposed to be like?
    Thanks for any support,

    • Dr. Davis says:

      The texture should be cake-like, nearly like that of the wheat-based equivalent.

      One possibility that was just brought to my attention: Some people are buying roasted ground flaxseed that seems to be generating a mealy texture. Beyond that, it could be that your ground almond meal/flour is too coarse a grind and a finer grind might help.

  9. Lindsay says:

    I enjoyed this cake. I am currently switching to a wheat free diet however I find I am getting sugar cravings HARD! I end up chowing chips or chocolate which isn’t going to help in anyway I am quite certain. I decided I needed to make something that would help kick those cravings…this did a pretty decent job I think I might do a sugar detox diet I found on the internet see if that helps. I haven’t given into any wheat cravings which I am sure are where the sugar cravings are coming from. It’s a killer, stressful too. Feeling hungry when you just chowed a ton of veggies and you know you aren’t actually hungry. Recipes like his are a definite asset to me! I am not overweight and have not noticed a change in weight…but when I binge hard on junk pretty hard to see any type of result I am thinking! I was good for the first month and am now finding myself craving crap. Its been about 5wks.

    • Dr. Davis says:

      This is usually a sign of insufficient fats and oils, Lindsay.

      Most of us do best by eating the skin/dark meat/fat on our poultry, the fat on beef and pork, boils the bones for soup or stock. Add more coconut and extra-virgin olive oil to anything you can.

      This induces satiety and gets you out of the starvation mode you sound like you are currently experiencing.

  10. PJ says:

    I can’t eat ground flaxseed. What can I use instead?

  11. Kat says:

    Dr. Davis,
    Thank you so much for writing this book, it has changed my life! I “had” IBS, inflammation in my knees, and fingers so bad, “Wheat Belly” that I could get rid of no matter how hard I exercised and my carvings for carbs use to drive me nut – munching every night after eating a healthy “whole grain” supper. In 3 weeks, I have lost 7 lbs, no IBS, sleep great, my hands and knees feel so much better. I’m an ex-gymnast and I do have some cartilage dammage in my knees but they were so bad I was considering knee replacements. Not now! Thank you so much. However, I am a vegetarian and I wish there were a few more options for vegetarians. I just make similar dishes minus the meat.
    Thanks .. you’re a lifesaver and knee saver.

    • Boundless says:

      > However, I am a vegetarian and I wish there were a few more options for vegetarians.

      Are you vegetarian for philosophical or theoretical reasons?

      If it’s due to philosophical issues, know that you are compromising health to follow it.
      If theoretical, you need to re-examine the idea that vegetarian is an optimal human diet.

      The “few options” reality of the vegetarian and vegan situation is what it is. It’s challenging, but not impossible, to go low-carb grain-free that way. Dr. Davis had remarks on it at:

      • Just finishing the most powerful book I’ve ever read on the vegetarian/vegan lifestyle…..”The Vegetarian Myth” by Lierre Keith….a compelling read!

      • Kat says:

        I gave up meat because it seemed to caused me a lot of stomach issues, however, I was also eating wheat then too so perhaps it was just the wheat gluten? Anyway, I continue for ethical reasons as I don’t wish to be part of the slaughter of animals.

        Jan .. May have to check out that book you mentioned “The Vegetarian Myth”

        • Kat,
          I hope you do read it….next to “Wheat Belly”, it may be one of the most life altering books you could ever consume. Lierre spent the vast majority of her life as a vegetarian/vegan so there is empathetic understanding, rather than judgement. It truly is a powerful book on many levels….best of luck to you.

      • Kat says:

        Boundless, I’m curious as to what makes you believe I am compromising my healthy by not eating meat? I think a vegatarian diet providing it is getting lots of fresh organic vegatables, nuts, seeds, avocados etc., can be very healthy.

        • Boundless says:

          What’s the daily net carb intake of your V diet?
          How much vitamin B12, iron, omega-3 fatty acids, taurine, and vitamin K2 are you getting, and how?

          Dr. Davis used to be a vegetarian, and developed diabetes while doing so (he is no longer). He had some remarks at:

          It is possible to do very-low-carb grain-free and be a vegetarian, but it’s very challenging, and I doubt most people know how. I tried it myself once (in the 1970s) and promptly developed health problems.

          And yes, finding meat that didn’t come from a horrific factory system, isn’t loaded with antibiotics and hormones, and is free of plain old contamination, is also a challenge.

          • Kat says:

            I do eat a very low carb, grain free diet. I eat more veggies in one day then most people eat in 3-4 days because I juice a lot of veggies and then eat a lot as well. Cauliflower, broccoili, kale (love kale in everything), asparagus etc., plus nuts, seeds, almond milk (homemade) and I make tons of raw crackers in my dehydrator with vegatables, vegatable pulp (left over from juicing) and almond pulp left over from almond milk.
            I live in Canada, so it is very easy to get hormone free, organic meat, but sadly, someone still has to kill the animal and truth be known, they are not killed very humanely. They all go to the same slaughter houses to get killed. Not to mention, I never really liked the taste of meat. I think most people don’t really like the taste of meat, that’s why they marinate it or smother it in sauces. That’s just my personal thoughts. I know my diet is getting lots of K2, iron, calcium, omega etc.

    • Dr. Davis says:

      Terrific, Kat!

      A “knee saver.” Loved that!

  12. Leslie Powell says:

    I am on day 2 wheat free. I finally organized and made up a few recipes from the Wheat belly cook book,
    to help me through any early onset food crisis. I am also having problems with a lot of the recipes made with almond flour/ground flax seed combinations. My products are all fresh, so this is not an issue. The flaxseed wraps I find I would rather not eat at all than eat them. The cinnamon cranberry scones I thought would be better considering the fact that there is real heavy cream and butter in them. Same thing. I’d rather not eat if that is my choice. I am wondering if anyone else has come across this. It sees to me that any recipe that is replacing wheat, ie scones, focaccia etc. is coming up very low on a scale of 1 to 10. I am certainly not expecting that everything will taste the same as it used to. I am all on board with the wheat free lifestyle, I would simply like some input as to why things are tasting so horrible.
    I have also made the granola which I love. And the chicken soup was delicious.
    Not throwing in the towel,
    Just looking for some input
    Red Deer, Alberta

    • Dr. Davis says:

      There’s probably something wrong with one or more of your ingredients, Leslie, as these dishes should be quite tasty.

    • unterderlaterne says:

      Leslie, I find the recipes quite tasty and I love the flaxseed wrap . Make sure that you use the golden ground flaxseed in the recipes, it makes a big difference. You must ( I insist) the” better than mashed Potatoes” dish, absolutely fabulous. I prepare it in big quantities and freeze it in portion sizes. However I only cook it for 6 minutes on High in the Microwave oven and dump it into the food processor with the remaining ingredients. I hope that you will find ore recipes to you liking. I love to visit Beautiful site, great recipes. Good luck!

      • Barbara in New Jersey says:

        Store your seeds/flours in your refrigerator because they oxidize and get rancid quickly. Always taste the batter when you use these sugar substitutes because they can alter the taste significantly and everyone’s sensitivity is different. You may need to adjust liquids because all flours/meals seem to absorb the liquids differently. I also found it tastier to me to add a bit more salt to the recipes (1/3 tsp) instead of 1/4 tsp.

        Golden flaxseeds are different than brown flaxseeds. To confuse matters more, there is golden ROASTED flaxseeds. Both are packaged as whole seeds or ground. You can easily grind the seeds in a coffee grinder.

        i have also found that the longer you stay grain and sugar free, the more flavorful these recipes are and you get better at tweaking them to your liking and baking conditions. Another helpful hint is to use the unwanted baked item as bread crumbs, adding some additional spices for your dish. Store these in the freezer.

        You say you are on your second day of wheat free living. Your tastebuds have not even had a chance to recover. Food will taste much better to you as your tongue and tastebuds normalize with time.