February has finally past and the first little hint of spring is in the air. The hope of warmer weather, flowers, and Easter got me thinking about some of my favorite spring recipes, not the least of which is carrot cake. I actually always loved carrot cake, even as a child, because I preferred the cream cheese icing to the disgustingly sweet buttercream found on every other find of cake. So, I decided to try to figure out a way to make an AIP friendly carrot cake.
You know that my goal on this blog is to make recipes that are easy to make and comprised of nourishing but easy to source ingredients. There are some delicious looking cake recipes out there, but up until this point I hadn’t been able to come up with one that was simple enough for my taste. I went back over my past recipes and decided to try something similar to the cranberry orange muffins I made around Christmas. They are made with avocado instead of egg and worked quite well.
I was honestly shocked at how well these turned out, icing included. They came out perfectly on the first go round and then to really put them to the test I served them to a group of 7 non paleo, non AIP eaters to see what they thought and they all enjoyed them! Taking the first bite was like biting into a little piece of heaven for me, I don’t remember the last time I got to enjoy a fully frosted, beautiful cupcake. I absolutely love cupcakes they are my favorite thing to bake, so being able to make this recipe come to life really filled me with a lot of joy and I hope that it will bring joy to you too.
So, if you want a special treat this spring ask the Easter bunny to leave the eggs and hide some avocados instead.
Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Creamy Maple Frosting (AIP/Paleo)
1/3 cup of mashed ripe avocado
½ cup of maple syrup
½ cup of coconut oil
1 cup of pineapple juice
1 cup of coconut flour
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp cream of tartar
½ tsp sea salt
1 tsp ginger
1 TBS cinnamon
1 ½ cups of finely shredded carrots
¼ cup of raisins
1 cup palm shortening, softened
¼ cup of coconut butter
¼ cup of coconut cream
¼ cup of maple syrup
1 tsp of grass fed gelatin
shredded unsweetened coconut to decorate
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a blender or food processor combine your avocado, maple syrup, coconut oil and pineapple juice and blend until combines. In a large bowl mix together your coconut flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, spices, salt, carrots and raisins. Mix your wet ingredients into your dry ingredients and stir until a thick dough forms. Line your muffin tin with paper or silicone liners and fill each cup about ¾ of the way full, pressing the dough firmly into the cup. (NOTE* You really really have to pack the dough in there firmly or else they will be crumbly) Bake 25-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow them to cool completely before frosting. To make your frosting, combine all of your ingredients with a standing mixer or hand mixer until a stiff frosting has formed. Then pipe your frosting onto your cupcakes and decorate with shredded coconut. If you want the frosting to be slightly stiffer just put it in the refrigerator for a few minutes. Store cupcakes in the refrigerator.
What is the difference between coconut butter and coconut cream? Is the cream just the layer of thicker coconut milk in cans? These look delicious and I’m just going to have to make them very very very soon!!
Coconut butter is coconut manna’ or the flesh. Coconut cream can be bought on its own or yes you can scrape the layer off of the top of full fat coconut milk!
Is there any substitute for palm shortening? I can’t find it anywhere and I don’t want to buy online 🙁
unfortunately no, it has to be palm shortening because of the texture. I’m not sure where you live but where I am both Kroger and Harris Teeter Grocery stores sell it.
Is there something I can use in place of pineapple juice? My son is allergic. Maybe orange juice? It’s so hard to find egg/dairy/nut free recipes (he’s allergic to all those too) with other ingredients he can also eat, but I would love to make these for him. Thanks!
you can definitely use orange juice, it will probably change the taste slightly, but not in a bad way.
Interesting, looking forward to trying these. I have never seen a recipe that includes coconut flour but has no eggs. Very exciting.
Wow, these looks great. And I love that you tested on them on all kinds of eaters 🙂 I’m about two weeks into AIP and have been following along and reading through your posts for inspiration on my journey. Look forward to connecting more, off to pin these cupcakes :)!
Thank you. Congrats on starting your AIP journey!
Looks great; thank you. How many cupcakes does this recipe yield?
The flavor is delicious! But mine were quite crumbly. I’m wondering if I didn’t press the dough in firmly enough, or if that is just the nature of cooking without eggs. Also, I wonder if adding a gelatin egg would make them less crumbly?
I’ve read that coconut butter (manna) is the same as coconut cream concentrate… so now I’m confused… help! 🙂
No, coconut butter and coconut cream are not the same thing. In Mickey Trescott’s Book she called the coconut butter she makes coconut concentrate so that might be part of the confusion, but the store bought kind is called coconut butter or coconut manna and coconut cream is the fat that rises to the top of a can of coconut milk.
wow. mine were crumbly too BUT YUMMY!!!
Question – what is the binder ingredient in this recipe? I made this, just as the recipe was posted, but these fell apart when trying to serve them…these need a binder agent – chia seeds, flax, something if not using eggs. Just a thought. Taste was great, but not a serving type of muffin/cupcake. Would love your thought on this. Thanks.
I’m sorry they were dry for you. The binder is the avocado. chia and flax are not allowed on AIP. They are a little crumblier than traditional cupcakes, but if you use the paper cupcake liners I thought they stayed together pretty well. It is also important to pack the dough into the tin tightly as they do not spread out much while baking.
These were amazing! Mine were crumbly, but I think I didn’t pack the dough down enough. I have been on the AIP for 17 days and Easter always reminds me of carrot cake. Thank you!
I’m glad I don’t have to avoid carrot cake by using this recipe!
Do You think these would work if I sub the avocado for something like sweet potato? Not sure it would bind. Maybe add a gelatin egg?
I really can’t say. The gelatin egg would probably work better than sweet potato. I think sweet potato would be too dense and starchy.
I made these unfrosted, as I don’t have palm shortening on hand, and they are lovely little muffins! Mine stayed together, but i was careful not to overbake them. They didn’t rise quite as much as the photo, probably due to leaving out the cream of tartar (also not on hand). Maybe if I substituted a bit more bicarbonate of soda they would rise? I packed them really firmly, and also used the very fine grater for my carrots. I miss the larger size carrot pieces, but thought that the larger carrot might also be cause for crumbliness if they tend to be crumbly. Will definitely make this again!
I am paleo/AIP, but allergic to avacado, can you suggest an acceptable substitution?
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