Gluten Free Quinoa Carrot Cake

With kids back in school and LOTS of snacking happening, I’ve resurrected this gluten free carrot cake I made a few years ago… and, updated it just a bit with the addition of hemp hearts and a real cream cheese frosting. You can, of course, forgo the frosting and just serve it as a breakfast bread, too. (Actually, that’s been my favorite way to enjoy it: unfrosted and cup of coffee in hand.)

What I love about this cake is that it tastes as decadent as a regular carrot cake and is so, so moist… but, it’s completely free of all purpose flour. Plus, it takes about 10 minutes to mix up, 25 minutes to bake, and no time to devour 🙂

Here’s all you need:

KITCHEN TIP: Why are my eggs sitting in a bowl of water, you ask? Because room temp eggs are ideal for baking… so, when you pull them out of the fridge for a recipe, a quick soak in warm water does just the trick.

DRY INGREDIENTS:
1 1/2 cups Bob’s Red Mill Almond Flour
1/2 cup Bob’s Red Mill Coconut Sugar
1/2 cup Bob’s Red Mill Hemp Seed Hearts
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder

WET INGREDIENTS:
3 eggs
1/4 cup apple sauce
2 TBS grated ginger
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup pre-cooked Bob’s Red Mill Tricolor Quinoa
1 1/2 cups grated carrots

ICING:
1 package of cream cheese
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla

TO MAKE:

Preheat oven to 375.
Add all dry ingredients into a bowl and whisk to incorporate.
In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs; then, add the apple sauce, grated ginger and vanilla and whisk again.
Fold the wet ingredients into dry ingredients, and then fold in the grated carrots and the pre-cooked quinoa.
Line a 8×8 baking dish with parchment paper, pour in the batter, and bake for 25 minutes.

Allow cake to cool before icing.

Ta-da!

SIDE NOTE: Follow Bob’s Red Mill on Facebook and Instagram and watch for the release of the full length video – coming soon! And, yes, while my company, Relish Division, produced the recipe video for Bob’s Red Mill, the recipe and the opinions are all my own 🙂

YOU CAN DO IT: Gluten-Free Quinoa Honey Carrot Cake Bars

The other afternoon my 11-year old bakerella made some amazing carrot cake muffins. They were “traditional” carrot cake – the kind that’s moist, sweet, and covered in a rich and creamy cream cheese frosting. But, as with most delicious cakes, all the sugars meant they were definitely a ‘treat’ and not something we’d be eating on a daily basis.

But see, I want to eat carrot cake every day – it’s just the processed flours and sugars that keep me from it. So, with that in mind, I challenged myself to come up with a carrot cake that would still taste like carrot cake, but have NO refined sugars or flours. The result?

This:

Quinoa Honey Carrot Cake Bars with A Honey Yogurt 'Frosting'

Quinoa Honey Carrot Cake Bars with A Honey Yogurt ‘Frosting’

I made a couple batches before I had real success. While the first couple weren’t ‘cakey’ enough, when this batch came out I knew it was spot on. And, what did my expert bakerella say?

   

She said, “YUM.”

Before I tell you all that you need and how to do it, let me fill you in on a couple things:

1) You’ll need ground almonds. This means just take some almonds and grind them in a grinder (or food processor) until you have this:

2) You’ll also need ground oats, which means just take your gluten-free oats and grind them in the same grinder (or food processor) until you have this:

(I rarely have specialty flours on hand, but always have nuts and oats on hand. So, this is a great do it yourself – and you only need to grind what you’ll need for the recipe.)

With that said, here’s the recipe:

Ingredients for cake:
1 1/2 cups ground almonds
1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa
1 1/4 cup grated carrots
1 cup ground gluten-free oats
1/2 cup raw organic honey
1/4 cup coconut oil
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp cinnamon
3 eggs
1/2 cup greek yogurt

To make ‘frosting’:
1/2 cup greek yogurt + 1 TBSP of raw honey whisked together until smooth.

FOR CAKE:

Place your ground almonds, ground oats, baking powder, baking soda, and salt to a bowl, and mix by hand with a fork until incorporated.

Add precooked quinoa, carrots, honey, melted coconut oil, cinnamon, and vanilla to the mixture, and mix again. It will look like this when it’s all mixed:

Next, in a separate bowl, whisk three eggs until loose. Add greek yogurt, and whisk again until mixture is creamy.

Add cream mixture to dry mixture and still well until incoporated.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, then spread mixture into an even sheet. Do not push into corners of the pan, though.

Bake at 375 for about 18 minutes, or until golden brown and cake springs back in center when you touch it.

Allow to cool on pan, then slide the parchment and cake out of the pan and onto a cooling rack. Slice into small squares for easy storage and snacking.

They’re sweet (but not over-sweet), moist, and have a wonderful texture. Eat the bars plain, or for a little extra sweetness add a little schmear of honey yogurt ‘frosting’, or with a drizzle of maple syrup or warmed honey. (They are a perfect compliment to a cup of coffee or tea.) No matter how you eat them, I know you’ll be saying ‘yum’ just like us.

Let me know if you make them… I’d love to hear your thoughts!