This Gluten-Free Carrot Cake is a delicious spring classic that will have everyone coming back for seconds. This carrot cake recipe may be gluten-free, but nobody will notice that because it's just so good.
Why You're Going to Love This Cake
Not only is this a gluten-free carrot cake, the cake is also made without oil, and, unless you frost it with the cream cheese frosting recipe that I have included, it is a dairy-free carrot cake as well.
However, this may be a gluten-free recipe, but nobody will be able to tell and everyone is going to love it.
This cake is fully loaded! Besides carrots, (of course), the ingredients include applesauce, pecans, raisins, and shredded coconut.
Carrot cake is a classic springtime treat, but we love it any time of year.
Here's What You Need to Make It
This is a gluten-free cake recipe, and I use a 1:1 ratio gluten-free flour blend. Because of that measure-for-measure ratio, you can easily use regular all-purpose flour instead.
Unsweetened applesauce is an excellent substitute for oil in this and many other baking recipes. Applesauce not only makes the cake moist and tender, but it also contributes fibre and vitamin C. And if that isn't reason enough, applesauce has natural sugars, which means we are able to reduce the amount of added sugar in the recipe.
Like most recipes, this one requires large eggs. However, if you only have small eggs, you can add an extra one.
This recipe uses plain old granulated white sugar. I do sometimes make this carrot cake with brown sugar, and you can use it in the same measure. The cake will have a slightly different taste and texture.
To yield two cups of shredded carrots, I used four large carrots, or one pound of peeled carrots.
Dried, shredded, unsweetened coconut adds a delicious texture and flavour to the cake.
Chopped Pecans add some crunch and also decoration. You can use any other nut, or omit the nuts if you prefer.
Not everyone is a fan of raisins, so leave them out if you don't like them.
Here's How To Make It
It may seem like there are a lot of ingredients in this recipe, and there are! But once you have everything assembled, it's as easy as pie (cake) to make it.
Make the Carrot Cake
- Whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices in a medium bowl.
- In a large bowl, whisk the applesauce, sugar, eggs and vanilla until combined.
- Stir the shredded carrot, coconut, pecans and raisins into the liquid ingredients, then stir in the dry ingredients. Add the dry ingredients and stir until just combined.
- Divide the batter between two prepared pans.
Make the Cream Cheese Frosting
While the cake is baking, make your frosting
- Beat together the cream cheese, butter and vanilla.
- Add the powdered sugar, one third at a time, beating until smooth.
- You will have a thick, smooth frosting.
- Ice the cooled cake with frosting and garnish with more pecans.
- A food processor with the grating attachment makes shredding carrots quick and easy, or you can use a box grater.
- Gluten-free flour blends have a finer texture than wheat flour. Scooping the flour from the bag with a measuring cup is not recommended. For more accurate measuring, use a spoon to add the flour into the measuring cup until it's full, then level off the excess with a knife.
- Be sure to check the label on your baking powder to ensure that it is gluten-free if that is a concern for you.
- Using cold cream cheese for your frosting will yield the best results.
- Avoid over beating the frosting. Beat just until smooth and spreadable.
- Allow the cakes to cool completely before frosting.
Use vegan butter and vegan cream cheese in place of the butter and cream cheese in the frosting recipe.
Yes, you can make a sheet cake from this recipe as opposed to a layer cake. Use a 9x13 pan and bake for 45 - 50 minutes
Yes. Line 2 cupcake pans with cupcake liners and spread the batter evenly into the liners. Bake 30 minutes or until the cupcakes are lightly browned and the tops spring back when touched.
Did you make this recipe? Please give it a star review! And I would love to see your creation! Take a photo and share on Instagram tagging @colleenthefoodblog
Gluten-Free Carrot Cake Recipe
Gluten-Free Carrot Cake
- 2 cups gluten-free flour blend
- 1 tsp gluten-free baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp nutmeg
- ¼ tsp allspice
- ⅛ tsp ground cloves
- 2 cups applesauce unsweetened
- 3 eggs large
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups peeled and grated carrots
- 1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
- 1 cup raisins
- 1 cup chopped pecans plus more for decorating
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 1 8 oz package cream cheese cold and cubed or dairy-free cream cheese
- 6 tbsp butter at room temperature or dairy-free butter
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350° Prepare two 9" round baking pans by lining with parchment paper
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and cloves.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the applesauce, eggs, sugar, and vanilla
- Add the carrots, coconut, raisins and pecans to the liquid ingredients and combine well.
- Add the dry ingredients and stir until combined.
- Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans.
- Bake in the center of the oven for 40-45 minutes or until the edges are pulling away from the pans, and the tops spring back when lightly pressed.
- Cool in the pans on a rack for 10
- Use a knife to loosen around the sides of each cake before inverting them on a rack to cool completely
- Using an electric mixer or a stand mixer, beat the cream cheese, butter and vanilla until combined
- Add powdered sugar, ⅓ at a time, beating between additions. Beat just until all sugar is incorporated and the frosting is smooth.
- Spread frosting over the top of one of the completely cooled cakes. Layer the second cake on top, and spread frosting over the entire top and sides of the cake. Garnish the top with chopped pecans.