Gluten free carrot cake with cashew icing

Photographer: Sara
Serves 10

I’ve jumped on the bandwagon of gluten free and wheat free which has been a relatively easy change. I don’t necessarily feel that everyone should avoid gluten and wheat and I’ll spare you the details of my dietary-related issues other than to say it’s been a positive change and one which has contributed to my overall goal of feeling good every day.

I’m still a sucker for chips on Friday afternoons in our new office ‘Social Kitchen’, French fries at the pub in the weekend, frozen yoghurt wherever, whenever and the obligatory block of chocolate that one of my team members (or myself) pulls out at 2pm to make the afternoon that little bit happier.

I used to tell people “everything in moderation” but I’m reneging that. It’s an old phrase we should refrain from saying as there are some foods and ingredients in foods that should never be eaten…ever.

This cake was, to my surprise a bit of a hit, so much so that I’ve whipped it up since for a number of special cake-eating occasions. You can literally turn any occasion into a cake-eating occasion. Trust me and my team, we are experts at it.


For the carrot cake:
¼ cup coconut flour
¼ cup desiccated coconut
1 teaspoon baking powder
A pinch salt
A pinch baking soda
½ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ cup natural honey, raw maple or agave syrup
1/3 cup rice bran oil
4 tablespoons coconut oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 eggs
1 cup finely grated carrot
½ cup currants (optional)
½ cup walnuts (optional)

For the whipped cashew icing:
140g (4.9oz) cashew nuts
1tbsp lemon juice
1tsp vanilla extract

For the macerated orange:
1 orange
2tbsp honey
2tbsp whisky (optional)


For the carrot cake:
1. Preheat the oven to 160ºC (285°F) Fan Bake and line an 8 inch round spring form cake tin with baking paper.
2. Combine the coconut flour, coconut, baking powder, salt, baking soda, cloves, and cinnamon in a bowl.
3. In a sauce pan melt the honey and coconut oil over low heat. When melted add the oil and vanilla. Cool slightly before whisking in the eggs.
4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry mix. Add the carrot, currants and nuts and mix until only just combined.
5. Spoon the mixture into the lined cake tin and cook for 30 minutes or until cooked.

For the whipped cashew icing:
1. Soak the cashew nuts in water for 4 hours.
2. Drain and process until light and creamy. I use my mini-mill attachment for my food processor which works better than the standard bowl attachment. A vita-mix would also work well if you are lucky enough to have one!
3. Add the lemon and vanilla and refrigerate until use.

For the macerated orange:
1. With a sharp knife take the skin off the orange.
2. Cut orange into approximately 5mm (0.2 inch) slices.
3. In a sauce pan over low heat melt the honey and whisky.
4. Pour over the orange slices and set aside until use.

To assemble the cake:
1. Slice the cake in half and spread one half of the cashew icing over the bottom half.
2. Lay the sliced orange over the icing then carefully place on the top cake layer.
3. Spread the remaining icing on top and garnish with whatever you desire.