Satsuma-zest Almond Meal Carrot Cake: Wake Up Cake


The gluten-free cake that will invite your senses back home…

Lawdy be!  Gluten-free’s gone crazy on this one.  This has to be my favorite gluten-free dessert recipe yet.  It is one tasty, moist, flavorful, AND easy to make cake.  So, while everyone is snorting refined sugar and artificial food colorings this Christmas…take a sweet stand and bake this as an act of kitchen counter-culture.

Be the change.  Share the love.

I’ve been steadily healing my gut since about 2002.  Along the way, I’ve met so many fascinating-foodie-people that helped me reprogram my eating habits.  One of those people is my dear friend and nutritionist, Holly.

While living in San Francisco, Holly introduced me to Jessica Prentice’s gatherings of local farmers & foodies called Full Moon Feasts.  Prentice’s monthly newsletters on agrarian lunations and bi-monthly Full Moon Feasts eventually culminated in one of my all-time favorite books, Full Moon Feast: Food and the Hunger for Connection.  I even explored my own lunar cycle when I lived in the mountains of western North Carolina, one year.


Annual lunar cycle

Holly, at the time, was also the SF chapter leader for the Weston A Price Foundation (find your local chapter here).  So, she opened my eyes to traditional food ways, nutrient-dense foods, and the recovery of gut health.  This was also the time that I took a dive into permaculture which extended my concept of gut healing beyond my own gut…into my environment and where my food came from.  It exposed me to foodsheds, watersheds, fermentation/microbes, soil health, seed saving, medicinal plants, food forests, and composting.

I was learning a lot all at once.  I realize, now, that this was all to counter the culinary amnesia that supermarkets, fast food joints, CAFOs, Sysco trucks, and school lunches had put me in.  Flavor began to take on a kaleidoscope of colors as I got my taste buds back after they had been bombed to smithereens by refined sugar.

Holly seduced me into loving wholesome foods with her cooking, as well.  When I moved into my new apartment in her neighborhood, she brought me freshly cooked frittata and a pear galette.  This was just one of many meals she shared with me over time.

I’ve taken Holly’s carrot cake recipe and put a little spin on it by changing some ingredients and adding some.  Because of Holly’s influence on me (and my gut), I’m going to call this Wake Up Cake.

This cake is not only nourishing, it sweetens the soul and offers your tongue a host of flavors to fancy.  It’s just the thing to take to a friend or loved one to share together, have tea, and toast to our capacity to help each other wake up from culinary amnesia.

I’d like to add that the carrots in the recipe were from Bountiful Harvest Farms, the free-range eggs from Beaverdam Fresh Farms, the honey from Flobaby Farms, the satsumas from The Blueberry Patch (yes, citrus in MS…she has high tunnels!), and the butter was handmade and given to me as a gift by a local friend.


Cake is cooling and cream cheese frosting is prepared

Wake Up Cake:
Satsuma-zest Almond Meal Carrot Cake
with Cream Cheese Frosting

Serves 5-6

6 cup Bundt cake pan
Hand-held Mixer
Medium-sized bowl

1 1/2 cups almond meal flour
1 1/2 cups finely shredded carrots (loosely packed)
3/4 cup honey
1/2 cup cashews
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup unsalted butter (softened at room temp)
2 eggs
1 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of salt
1 tablespoon satsuma/orange zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Place butter on counter top and left soften at room temperature.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease Bundt pan.
In a medium-sized bowl, whip the butter with hand mixer.
Add eggs and honey and mix well.
With hand mixer, blend in almond meal, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, vanilla, and zest.
With a spoon, mix in carrots and nuts.
Pour into greased Bundt pan.
Place in oven and bake for 45-50 minutes until the surface is well browned.
Test with fork.  No cake granules should stick to the fork when you pull it out.
Take out from oven and put on counter to cool for 2-3 hours.


After cake is completely cooled, turn Bundt pan upside down and vigorously tap onto cake plate or parchment.

Cream Cheese Frosting:
Medium-sized bowl
Hand-held mixer

8 oz (standard size package) organic cream cheese
4 oz (1/4 cup) pastured unsalted butter
2-3 tablespoons honey (taste after 2 spoons and see if you want it sweeter)
1 teaspoon vanilla

Place cream cheese and butter on counter to soften at room temp.
In a medium-sized bowl use the hand-mixer to whip the cream cheese and butter.
Add honey and vanilla and blend well.
Apply cake when it has fully cooled.
Garnish frosting with cashew bits.


Wake Up Cake is ready to serve! Bon appétit!

6 thoughts on “Satsuma-zest Almond Meal Carrot Cake: Wake Up Cake

    • It really is divine! I had my boyfriend and my two friends from Spain falling out of their chairs… Let me know if you give it a try!

  1. This sounds amazing!!!!!!!!!! With GF/DF family members this cake is totally happening (with coconut oil) and no frosting (but I will prepare it and bring it along for those of us that are not DF). Thank you!!!!

    Barb Meza

    Sent from my iPhone

    • ENJOY! Let me just say that the cake is definitely incredibly moist and flavorful by itself (with no frosting)…and Holly’s original recipe called for coconut oil or butter… So glad you’re gonna give it a try!

  2. Is there no negative health effects from cooking honey? I cannot quite remember why I heard not to do that or where, but would love your input on that.

    • There are no negative health effects, but you will lose a lot of the enzyme activity in raw honey. Honey is a great sweetener for cooking…and even for herbal preparations (heated or unheated). Of course, I prefer raw honey when possible…but I do cook with it… In the Ayurvedic tradition they do say that honey does produce “ama” or toxicity when heated. I suspect that means the important enzymes are lost due to being heated. However many old culinary traditions do heat honey…like for halva or turkish delights.

      So, I say…if you want the medicinal properties of *just* the honey…eat it raw. If you want to use it to cook with…use it as a sweetener (and know that you will lose some medicinal properties).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s