Carob Cake with Date Caramel Spread (AIP, Paleo)

Last updated: February 7, 2023
4.84 from 12 votes
A fudgy and delicious AIP Paleo Carob Cake that tastes like chocolate. The cake is very moist and full of great flavor. Topped with an incredible date caramel frosting!
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"Chocolate" Carob Bread with Date Caramel Frosting {AIP/Paleo}

There’s no doubt about it. I miss chocolate. I’ve never been one who fights over the last piece of rich, caramel praline cheesecake, but rather craves the sweet treats that go well with coffee. Those that can stand in for breakfast or dessert, like this Carob Cake with Date Caramel Spread.

This AIP Carrot Cake also satisfies my sweet tooth!

Chocolate Carob Bread with Date Caramel Frosting ~ via heartbeet kitchen {paleo, egg-free}

This soft and moist “Chocolate” Carob Bread comes with 3 new to me ingredients – carob, cassava flour (which is grain-free, nut-free), and collagen/gelatin as an egg replacement.

What does carob taste like?

When I opened the bag of carob powder, the lush cocoa smell that escaped was incredible. It’s made from the long bean-like pods of the carob tree, a flowering evergreen shrub.

As I tasted it, flavors of an americano blended with dark chocolate bar came to the surface. I found it naturally sweet, and I was confident it was going to replace cocoa in the best of ways.

Chocolate Carob Bread with Date Caramel Spread {paleo}

Baking with Cassava Flour

The smooth and moist texture of this cake is thanks to Otto’s Cassava Flour (a root vegetable also known as yuca), the hottest grain-free flour hitting the streets. The entire root is dried and ground, minus the peel.

There’s no grittiness to it compared to tigernut flour, which I find to be sandy on its own. It’s equal to butternut squash and sweet potato flour in silkiness, but has little flavor, making it very versatile for both sweet & savory recipes.

Using Collagen as an Egg Replacement

In terms of mimicking the binding power of eggs, collagen/gelatin has worked wonders for me. It helps hold the bread together, the result being thick and fudgy slices, no crumbles to speak of.

Collagen has gotten a lot of press lately in health magazines because of its natural presence in bone broth, but if you’re like me prior to a few months ago, you’re probably thinking what is collagen? And why should I be using it?

"Chocolate" Carob Bread with Date Caramel Frosting {AIP, paleo} via heartbeet kitchen

What is collagen and what are its benefits?

Collagen is the connective tissue in animals, and when we use it as a food source, it is referred to as gelatin. I use Vital Proteins because it comes only from grassfed, pasture raised bovine and I find it dissolves better than this brand. Collagen is an especially important part of keeping our bodies healthy for the following reasons:

  1. It assists the liver in handling toxins such as chemicals and other pollutants.
  2. Collagen makes up 70% of our skin’s protein. It ensures the cohesion, elasticity and regeneration of our biggest organ.
  3. Can result in improved concentration and balanced mood, because you are able to easily absorb the energy and nutrients it provides.
  4. Bones with sufficient collagen are like steel, strong and elastic. Bones lacking in collagen are like dry, brittle wood – easily breakable. As women, utilizing collagen and doing weight bearing exercise is great prevention.
How to use Collagen (grassfed gelatin) as an Egg Replacement (tips + recipe)

Collagen comes in two forms:

  • Protein: this is what I used for this recipe – the green canister. It acts like the gelatin you’ve probably been using for years when you make panna cotta or marshmallows. The important difference is that this comes from pasture-raised cattle to ensure a natural, high quality, and sustainable source of this nutritional powerhouse. It also works great for thickening sauces, acting like cornstarch or tapioca starch.

This type does not dissolve in cold liquids, and will immediately turn to gel once it becomes wet.

  • Peptides: this is the blue canister, still collagen/gelatin, but acts like a supplement and is water soluble. It has the same proteins and minerals of the above, but will dissolve in both hot & cold liquids. I like to blend it into smoothies, soups, tea or sauces for a boost of protein.
Chocolate Carob Bread with Date Caramel Spread {paleo, egg-free}

More Paleo/AIP Recipes:

"Chocolate" Carob Bread with Date Caramel Frosting {AIP/Paleo}

Paleo “Chocolate” Carob Cake with Date Caramel Frosting

A deliciously moist carob cake that tastes like chocolate, topped with a date caramel frosting! A fabulous AIP/Paleo dessert.
4.84 from 12 votes
Prep Time :15 minutes
Cook Time :20 minutes
Additional Time :10 minutes
Total Time :45 minutes
Yield: 8 servings
Author: Amanda Paa



  • 140 grams (1 cup) Otto’s cassava flour
  • 60 grams (1/2 cup) tapioca starch
  • 52 grams carob powder 1/2 cup
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup full fat coconut milk (I buy this kind which is BPA & gum/preservative free)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup melted organic coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup + 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup at room temperature
  • 1 gelatin egg instructions below using the green can of Vital Proteins collagen/gelatin

Date Caramel Frosting

  • 1 cup of soft & pitted medjool dates (110 grams), if your yours are hard, soak for 20 minutes in hot water, then drain and use
  • 1 cup of full fat coconut milk
  • pinch of salt


  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease two mini loaf pans or cupcake tins thoroughly with coconut oil. In a large bowl, mix together cassava flour, tapioca starch, carob powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. In another bowl, mix together coconut milk, apple cider vinegar, coconut oil and maple syrup. Using a hand held or stand mixer, add the wet ingredients to the dry until smooth. Batter will be very thick!
  • *Prepare gelatin egg by adding one tablespoon of room temperature water to a small bowl. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of gelatin over water and let sit for a minute. Then stir in two tablespoons of hot water, whisking until frothy. Add to bread mixture, blending immediately until smooth. It will be very thick.
  • Divide into loaf pans, smooth top out with your hands, and bake for 20 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. For cupcakes, bake for 12 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.
  • Set pans on a wire rack to cool, and after 10 minutes remove bread or cupcakes from pan and let cool further..
  • To make date caramel, combine all ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, then let simmer for 35 minutes, using spatula to smoosh dates down. They will break and melt into the coconut milk as they cool.
  • Then puree with an immersion blender or food processor. Let cool, and it will thicken even more. Then frost the bread. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator.

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May 26, 2015


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  1. This looks delicious, I can’t tolerate eggs or beef. Do you think unsweetened apple sauce would work for the cake?

  2. Just wanted to say that this bread turned out perfect- it looked perfect, had the taste and texture of a good quick bread or really a nice, not too sweet cake! I have a different icing I might prefer as this one was too “datey” for me. But still good for a healthy option! I think I could have fooled my family if I hadn’t told them it was lacking all the “good stuff”! Thanks for the recipe!

  3. THIS WAS AMAZING!! My husband’s birthday was this weekend and I (selfishly) wanted to make him a treat that was AIP-compliant for me to have. I made this into cupcakes and my husband and kids thought it was really good. I devoured two because O.M.G. they are tasty. For those looking at this recipe who are not AIP, I will say that my husband did hedge his response with “I can tell it isn’t chocolate and that there is not much sugar, but given they have no diary, eggs, grains, or chocolate, I’m pleasantly surprised with how good they are!”

    • Yay, so glad you enjoyed the recipe and were able to celebrate with your husband! I love his comment too. Certainly not a sugar laden treat, but delicious none the less!

  4. Maybe a stupid question but can I use dried dates for the frosting? I have no idea where to get fresh dates….

  5. Thanks for the recipe! I made these in a donut pan, then froze them and they’ve been bringing intermittent joy for almost two months now!

  6. Excellent! I made as cupcakes. I really don’t care for carob, but I really liked these. They were light and cake-like. The frosting was great, though mine came out a lot darker than pictured. Thank you!

  7. I can’t have or honey. How else could i sweeten the cake? I thought banana but i dont want banana flavor to take over.

  8. I’m so so happy…just Made it and it’s delicious! I’ve been dreaming of chocolate since i Started my Aip life! I did’t have cassava flour and i used banana flour instead…works amazingly!

  9. Hi Amanda,
    I don’t follow the paleo diet but due to health issues I can’t have dairy or chocolate, so your “chocolate” carob bread recipe sounded perfect for me…however I cannot find the gelatin where I live…Would it be Ok if I just add one egg instead ? Thanks.x

  10. This looks so yummy! I prefer to make my own coconut milk with young coconuts. If I made it really thick can I used it as as substitute?

  11. OMG! This is sooo good. One change I make when baking like this, though. I can’t ever get the “egg” to work for me. It always ends up just being pieces in whatever I’m baking. What I have started doing is just adding the dry collagen to the dry ingredients. Works every time, and it’s so much easier. Thank you for sharing this! DE-licious.!

    • Fantastic! So glad you liked the recipe. And I’ll have to try adding the dry collagen to the dry ingredients to see if I get the same successful result. Appreciate the idea.

      • I mixed the collagen peptides with dry ingredients and I have a layer of collagen at the bottom of a bread recipe. Has anyone ever had that issue?

        • Hi Myr!
          Per the recipe instructions, you should make the gelatin egg with the collagen, last, and then add it to the batter. It should not have been added to the dry ingredients.

  12. Hi! This looks fabulous!!! I have a couple questions – do you have a brand preference for cassava flour? I ask because I’ve tried several recipes exactly as written and it’s very gritty & gummy. Has this proven a problem for you?

    Thank you!

  13. I am a *huge* carob fan so I made this recipe as soon as I found it (via foodgawker). I didn’t have any GF flour so just used whole wheat pastry flour, and threw in some spare carob chips I had laying around. This recipe is a winner and it was really hard to not eat about 6 of the cupcakes right away!

  14. This recipe is fantastic! I’ve been struggling to find a bread that tastes great and the texture is accurate. I didn’t have Cassava flour at hand so sub in coconut flour and arrowroot flour which turn out great. I will definitely be making this again! Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  15. Hi – I’m not doing vinegar so I’m wondering if I could make this recipe without the apple cider vinegar? What does it do for the recipe? Could I sub apple juice instead?


    • Hi Tina! You must use vinegar, as it reacts with the other acidic ingredients to create the rise in the bread. Apple juice does not have those same chemical properties.

  16. OK…..I just discovered what may have been the culprit of the runner Ness and why it took so long to bale……..I am embarrassed to say I had 2 cupcake pans together……one inside the other ?

  17. Thanks Amanda. I just finished the two months of Herbal Antibiotics and feel better. I followed the Low Foodmap also. Have you added onion, garlic and starches like Yucca and pumpkin back to your diet? Im dying for some pumpkin pancakes and yucca stuff …

  18. @Amanda_Paa I am on the SIBO Protocol have 2 more weeks of antibiotics and then retest. Did you beat SIBO? how long before you incorporated dates and Ottos Cassava flour to your diet?


    • Hi Karina! Sorry I missed this message. I took two weeks of antibiotics, and followed Low Fodmaps pretty closely for one month. My symptoms have decreased a ton, but I have not been retested yet.

  19. I know the answer is probably no, I’ll ask anyway, lol Any substitute for coconut milk and oil? Allergic to coconut. This looks amazing to me and I would love to try it.

    • Hi! I haven’t tested these suggestions, but avocado oil would work for the oil, and if you can do almond or cashew milk, that could substitute for the coconut milk. Let me know if you try it that way!

  20. These are SO GOOD! After almost 2 years on AIP I am thankful to have been able to successfully reintroduce chocolate so I subbed cocoa powder one for one for the carob, and these cupcakes turned out so well. The texture is dense and cakey, so much like a real cupcake. My fiancé and I could not believe it! Adding a few thinly sliced strawberries to the top takes them to the next level :) Thank you so much for this wonderful recipe, looking forward to seeing what you come up with next!

    • Collagen #ftw! I think you’ll love adding it to your daily routine. I’ve definitely noticed a change in my nails, not nearly as brittle and more shiny.

  21. I can’t wait to try this! I even have all the ingredients on hand (that never happens). I am doing AIP, and I can’t tolerate coconut very well right now (I have a slight reactivity to it). I might be able to handle the little bit of coconut milk, but do you think I could substitute ghee for the coconut oil? I found a brand that’s certified casein free. Do you think that would work? Thanks!

    • Hi Christine, Yes, I think melted ghee in place of the coconut oil should work, the flavor will just be a little more “buttery” which is never a bad thing! If you do try that, could you let me know how it goes? Thanks!

  22. That swirl on top of the bread is so gorgeous, Amanda! I’m so impressed with the way you work with healthy ingredients to get at the flavors you miss so much. This bread doesn’t look or sound like it’s “lacking” in any way, but it sounds so delicious!

  23. The directions of the recipe say to add water to the dry ingredients, but it is not listed in the ingredient list. Any thoughts about the contradiction?

  24. I’d like to explore gelatin and collagen as substitutes in cooking. I think I’ll start with your recipe and go from there. I hope it tastes as good as it looks! Thanks for sharing.

  25. It’s my birthday tomorrow so guess what I’ll be making… Have really cut down on all baked goods in the 9 months on AIP so we all deserve a treat occasionally!
    I’m a regular user of collagen and gelatin using the Great Lakes brand though. Red to make jellos/gummies/baking “eggs” and green is in my drinks daily. Best stuff ever, my hair and nails are the best they have ever been :)
    I only have a normal size loaf ti, is that ok and how well do they freeze, if there are any left of course!

    • Happy birthday Amanda! So exciting, and I hope you are feeling better on your healing journey. And totally agree with you on the improvement to hair and nails. Mine chip far less often and my hair is fuller. I haven’t tried this in a regular loaf pan, so I would recommend making them into cupcakes by using a muffin tin instead. Just make sure to fully grease the insides of the tins with coconut oil and don’t use the paper liners. If you do make them, post to instagram and tag me, @amanda_paa so I can see! Enjoy your special day, xo.

    • Hi Lauren! Vital Proteins is definitely the best source I’ve found. They have taken great care to ensure that the pasture size for each animal is one animal per 2.67 acres. Plus they are in alignment with the Global Animal Partnership 5-step animal welfare rating standards. So important to me! Hope you’re having a great day, and thanks for stopping by.

  26. Amanda, this looks delicious. Thank you for sharing your great recipes with us!

    I’m on the AIP, too, and have found I don’t tolerate the Great Lakes gelatin well. Do you have any experience with that brand versus the Vital Proteins gelatin?

    • Hi Mary! Appreciate you stopping by, and hope you’re able to try the bread. I have used both Great Lakes Gelatin and the Vital Proteins, and although I digest both without problems, I think the VP dissolves better and breaks down easier. They also have extremely high standards in the animals that they are using for the collagen, the pasture size for each animal is one animal per 2.67 acres. Plus they are in alignment with the Global Animal Partnership 5-step animal welfare rating standards. This is important when you are trying to make sure that what you’re ingesting has been eating things that your body can digest as well. Hope that helps and you give it a try. xo

  27. Hi! This looks awesome. I was wondering if you think a chia or flax egg would replace the gelatin in here. I know I wouldn’t be getting the collagen and other health benefits you speak of, but I cannot bring myself to eat it, and this looks amazing.

  28. Cassava flour is a recent discovery for me. I love making waffles with it. Your cake looks yummy! Never tried dates in a frosting but sure will have to give it a try now.

  29. Amanda! I’m so happy to hear about your feel-good streak!

    That date caramel spread might make an appearance in my kitchen just for dipping in to :)


  30. Wow, very interesting. I am most excited about the frosting. I will definitely try that. I have not tried cassava flour yet but I will get that one at the top of the list. As far as the carob, historically, I am not fan. But it has been many, many moons and maybe it is worth a re-visit. I use flax to replace eggs with good success but trying gelatin is worth a try. I personally don’t abstain from happy eggs however I do cook vegan at times. Nice post.