Carob Cake with Date Caramel Spread (AIP, Paleo)

By Amanda Paa – 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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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!

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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

SCALE:

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions 

  • 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.

Did you make this?

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May 26, 2015

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90 comments

  1. Robin

    Have you ever tried this in a 6 inch round pan? I compared the sq in of the 2 loaf pans (24.75) to the round pan (about 28) so wouldn’t be as high as the loaf pan, but that would be OK for 1 layer cake. I really need a round cake. I’ll try if you haven’t, but maybe you have and it was a flop.

    • Amanda Paa

      hello! i think it would work just fine, i would just watch the bake time. it would likely be less with it being thinner.

  2. Jennifer

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

    • Amanda Paa

      Hi Jennifer! I haven’t tested it that way, with applesauce as a substitute. Seems like it could work though. Let me know if you try it!

  3. meg

    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!

  4. Carrie Z

    This was so good! I made frosted mini-muffins instead and glad I did fir the portion control! Will make again! Thanks!

    • amandapaa

      yay! i like making the recipe in a muffin tin too. so glad you enjoyed!

  5. Melanie

    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!”

    • amandapaa

      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!

  6. megan

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

  7. Jenn

    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!

    • amandapaa

      Yay! I’m so glad you’re enjoying the recipe. And thanks for letting me know it works in a donut pan!

  8. Ardi

    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!

    • amandapaa

      So glad you liked the recipe!

  9. Sidra

    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.

    • amandapaa

      You could use maple syrup or agave nectar!

  10. Federica

    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!

    • amandapaa

      Great! I’m so glad you liked the recipe. And appreciate knowing that banana flour works too!

  11. Wendy Hacault

    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

    • amandapaa

      Hi Wendy! That should work well. Enjoy. xo

  12. Grace

    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?

    • amandapaa

      You certainly could try that! I’m not sure, as I’ve never done that as a substitute.

  13. Suzanne

    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.!

    • amandapaa

      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.

      • Myr

        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?

        • amandapaa

          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.

  14. Katy

    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!

    • amandapaa

      hello! i use Otto’s Cassava Flour, and have not had any grittiness with it. it is milled very fine. {aff. link} http://amzn.to/2jQfjcK

  15. Caitlin

    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!

    • amandapaa

      So good to know you liked it, and that it worked with whole wheat pastry flour! Thanks for sharing. Good reminder to make again. :) xo

  16. Jill

    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!

    • amandapaa

      So glad you liked it Jill! And that’s awesome that you’re substitutions work. I will have to give it a try that way.

    • Tanya

      What is the coconut and arrowroot flour ratio that you used ? Thank you

  17. Tina

    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?

    Thanks!
    Tina

    • amandapaa

      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.

  18. Sheila

    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 ?

    • amandapaa

      that kind of thing happens! but glad you figured it out and, yes that is why they would take longer to bake.

  19. Jessica

    Can you do one standard loaf pan or will that alter the outcome of the recipe? Thanks!

  20. Karina

    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 …

    • Amanda Paa

      glad to hear you are feeling better! i have added small amounts of yucca and pumpkin, as well as onion and garlic. all seems to be okay!

  21. Marina

    These turned out perfectly! Thanks for the awesome recipe :)

    • Amanda Paa

      Great to hear Marina! Did you make the 2 small loaves or the “cupcakes”?

      • Marina

        The cupcakes! Do you know if these will freeze well?

        • Amanda Paa

          Oh lovely! They freeze really well if left unfrosted. I like to wrap them in a freezer saran wrap individually, then put all of them in a ziploc freezer bag. Remove from freezer and let thaw, or reheat in microwave for about 20 seconds.

  22. Karina

    @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?

    Thanks,
    Karina

    • Amanda Paa

      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.

  23. TEAJAE

    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.

    • Amanda Paa

      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!

  24. Amy K

    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!

  25. emily (a nutritionist eats)

    This bread looks so dense and delicious, wow! I have not tried collagen at all…I’m so curious. Thanks for the intro to it!

    • Amanda Paa

      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.

  26. Christine Grace

    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!

    • Amanda Paa

      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!

  27. Eileen @ Phoenix Helix

    Hi Amanda. This recipe is highlighted as a reader favorite at this week’s AIP Recipe Roundtable. Thanks for linking up!

    • Amanda Paa

      Thank you Eileen! Always so many great recipes to take in from your round-ups. Will stop on by!

  28. Sarah @ SnixyKitchen

    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!

  29. Faith

    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?

    • Amanda Paa

      I had tweaked the recipe once after writing it, and forgot to take that out. No water :)! thank you for catching it.

  30. Superfood-Guru

    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.

  31. Emma

    This sounds wonderful, I have been meaning to try date caramel!

  32. Amanda

    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!

    • Amanda Paa

      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.

  33. Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine

    I need to stock up on some Carob! But o that frosting….it’s so perfect! I’d eat just that with a spoon!

  34. Lindsey | Mabel & the Wooden Spoon

    You’re seriously blowing my mind with your ability to adapt to this new lifestyle and develop such incredible recipes. You’re amazing.

    • Amanda Paa

      :) thanks lindsey, i’m hanging in there. love to you. xo

  35. Lauren

    I’ve been looking for a gelatin sourced from pasture-raised cattle – I will definitely check out Vital Proteins!

    • Amanda Paa

      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.

  36. Mary

    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?

    • Amanda Paa

      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

  37. Sylvie | Gourmande in the Kitchen

    It looks so moist and tender and that frosting sounds like the perfect match!

  38. Emma

    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.

    • Amanda Paa

      Hi Emma! Although I have not tested, I think 1 flax or chia egg would work well. Thanks for stopping by and hope it turns out well for you.

  39. Laureen Fox

    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.

    • Amanda Paa

      I’ve been trying to make an AIP waffle with the cassava flour too – hoping to get that recipe worked out. Would be so delicious for brunch, and a savory version for dinner!

      • Laureen Fox

        Not sure whether it’s AIP friendly but I use a recipe posted by my friends Holley and Raj on The Primal Desire http://theprimaldesire.com/paleo-waffles/ My family prefers them over traditional wheatful waffles.

  40. sharon

    Amanda, this looks and sounds so delicious! Thank you again for all your efforts!

  41. Crista

    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 :)

    Xox

  42. Valerie Harris

    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.

  43. Becky Winkler (A Calculated Whisk)

    This looks delicious! What a perfect crumb.

  44. Millie | Add A Little

    This looks so delicious and rich!

  45. Hannah @ CleanEatingVeggieGirl

    This sounds crazy good! I have heard awesome things about collagen/gelatin. I think I need to try it out to see if it helps improve my joint pain issues.

  46. Lauren Gaskill | Making Life Sweet

    I have been looking for a dairy free caramel spread to try for weeks! Looks like it might also be good with sliced apples or on top of pancakes. :)

    • Amanda Paa

      it would be great with sliced apples, love that idea Lauren! i have to say i’ve made three batches already :)

  47. Ali the Skinny GF Chef

    What a beautiful recipe! I’ve been thinking about using gelatin and collagen so I’ll be trying these products soon!

    • Amanda Paa

      Thanks Ali! I think you’ll be quite surprised how great collagen is for your skin, hair and the extra protein. Plus it works so well as an egg replacement!

      • Gena

        This looks amazing! I, too, miss chocolate. Unfortunately, I can’t tolerate tapioca. What would you suggest substituting? Thanks for an amazing recipe!

        • amandapaa

          Hi Gena! You could try arrowroot starch in place of tapioca.

      • Janelle

        Can you use an actual egg in this recipe??!!

        • amandapaa

          i haven’t tested that way, but believe it would work well!