Grain-free Carrot Cake with pineapple makes a healthy choice for a snack or a dessert cake. Made with almond flour and coconut flour, sweetened with maple syrup and honey, this cake has lots of flavour, texture, and moisture from pineapple and carrots! Top this gluten-free pineapple carrot cake with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting for a special dessert!
It's no secret that carrot cake is one of the most popular cake flavours in North America. And why shouldn't it be? It has it all: a moist crumb, lots of cinnamon flavour and oodles of texture from crushed pineapple, nuts, raisins, and of course, carrots!
Top this carrot cake with pineapple with a sweet cream cheese frosting and you have the cake of your dreams. Carrot cake is so well-loved it is often ordered by brides for their wedding cake!
And of course, when you're searching for gluten-free Easter cake recipes, carrot cake tops the list!
Those of us following a gluten-free or grain-free diet need our carrot cake fix from time to time, too! Luckily, carrot cake is an easy recipe to convert to grain-free and it's every bit as tasty and tender as its counterpart made with wheat flour.
This grain-free carrot cake with pineapple is made with a combination of finely ground, blanched almond flour and coconut flour. Almond flour, along with eggs, provides the structure and texture, while coconut flour absorbs moisture and adds fiber.
And with 2 full cups of carrots in this cake, you're getting lots of vitamins and fiber, too!
This gluten-free carrot cake recipe is part of my collection of Gluten-Free Desserts for Easter and Spring.
Why you'll like this recipe
- this cake is delicious with or without the frosting
- it's both gluten-free and grain-free
- it's made without refined sugar
- it has lots of flavour and texture from pineapple, carrots and optional nuts and raisins
- it has two full cups of carrots!
🛒 Ingredients for pineapple carrot cake and maple cream cheese frosting
- butter, melted (or coconut oil for a paleo diet.) See note below*
- maple syrup: adds natural sweetness and moisture
- eggs: you'll need 4 large eggs
- carrots, finely grated
- crushed pineapple, well-drained. Canned pineapple works well.
- almond flour: blanched, finely ground
- coconut flour
- baking soda
- cinnamon: for that authentic flavour!
- nutmeg: just a hint
- pecans, finely chopped (optional) or raisins
Maple Cream Cheese Frosting ingredients
- cream cheese at room temperature
- salted butter at room temperature
- maple syrup
- pure vanilla extract
You'll find detailed instructions in the recipe card below. Here's a short summary of what you'll do to make this fabulous carrot cake!
- Drain a can of crushed pineapple thoroughly, pressing out most of the juice. Grate the carrots.
- Whisk the oil, sweeteners and eggs together.
- Next, add the pineapple and carrots.
- Combine the dry ingredients in a separate bowl, then add to the wet ingredients.
- Stir in the nuts or raisins, spread in a prepared pan and bake.
- Frost with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting once the cake has cooled.
How to make maple cream cheese frosting
- Make sure the cream cheese and butter are softened to room temperature to avoid having lumpy icing! Using an electric mixer, blend the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add the maple syrup and vanilla and beat until well combined.
- Frost the cake when completely cool.
- Garnish with a few finely chopped pecans, if desired, or make designs in the frosting with a decorating comb.
👍🏼 Helpful Tips
Drain the pineapple very well, pressing out the juice. If there is too much liquid, the cake will be soggy.
Avoid lumpy frosting by allowing the cream cheese and butter to come to room temperature before blending.
🔁 Possible Variations
If you don't like nuts in your carrot cake, you can either leave them out or replace them with raisins. You do you!
This cake is delicious without the frosting, too. It's a super moist cake that really doesn't need frosting, but topping it with lightly sweetened cream cheese makes it extra special.
If you have frosted the cake, it needs to be stored in the fridge. It will stay fresh for 3 to 4 days.
Can I freeze carrot cake with the cream cheese frosting?
Yes! Refrigerate the frosted cake for 6 hours or so to allow the frosting to firm up. Wrap it in plastic wrap, then store it in an airtight container for 3 - 4 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight when you're ready to serve it.
You can also freeze this cake without the frosting. Just wrap and store in the same way.
🍽 Serving suggestions
Cut the cake into twelve pieces and serve as a snack cake, or slice it into nine pieces and serve with a fork as a dessert cake. The calorie count in the recipe card below is based on nine pieces (but it does not include the optional nuts or the frosting).
🗒More gluten-free cake and cupcake recipes
When you make this gluten-free carrot cake with pineapple, please leave a comment and a rating below. I love hearing when you've made one of my recipes. Thanks in advance! Subscribe to my weekly newsletter and have new recipes delivered straight to your inbox.
📖 Recipe Card
Grain-Free Carrot Cake with Pineapple
- ½ cup butter, melted, or coconut oil. See note below*
- ½ cup maple syrup
- ½ cup honey
- 4 eggs
- 2 cups carrots, finely grated
- 1 cup crushed pineapple, well drained
- 1 cup almond flour
- ½ cup coconut flour (don't substitute another type of flour)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup pecans, finely chopped (optional)
Maple Cream Cheese Frosting
- 8 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
- ¼ cup salted butter, at room temperature
- ¼ cup maple syrup, or up to ⅓ cup depending on taste
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Grain-Free Carrot Cake
- Preheat oven to 350°F and line an 8 inch square pan with parchment paper, or grease very well with butter or coconut oil.
- Open a can of crushed pineapple (14 oz, 398 gm) and set aside to drain very thoroughly.
- In a large bowl, whisk together oil, sweeteners and eggs.
- Stir in finely grated carrots and very well-drained crushed pineapple.
- In a small bowl, combine dry ingredients--almond flour, coconut flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until well combined.
- Gently stir in finely chopped pecans or raisins, if using.
- Spread in prepared pan, smoothing to fill the corners.
- Bake for 35 - 38 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean or almost clean.
- Let the cake cool in the pan for 30 minutes, then using the parchment paper as a sling, carefully remove to a rack to cool completely. Gently slide the parchment paper out from underneath the cake. Serve as is or frost with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting.
Maple Cream Cheese Frosting
- Blend cream cheese and butter with an electric mixer until smooth. Add maple syrup and vanilla and beat until well combined. Frost the cake when completely cool.