This recipe for moist and luscious gluten-free carrot cake with cream cheese frosting makes it possible for those with gluten intolerance to enjoy this popular dessert again.
Make your choice of two (9-inch) cake rounds, one (13-inch) sheet cake, or 36 cupcakes with this recipe. The baked product in whatever form you choose freezes well.
The three cups of grated carrots called for add healthy beta-carotene, a nutrient that the body uses to make vitamin A—not bad for a cake!
- For the Cake
- 2 cups sugar
- 4 large room-temperature eggs
- 1 1/2 cups light olive oil (or your favorite vegetable oil)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 2 cups all-purpose gluten-free flour mix
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 teaspoons gluten-free baking powder
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 cups fresh carrots (grated)
- 1 cup chopped nuts of choice
- For the Cream Cheese Frosting
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter (softened)
- 3 ounces cream cheese (softened)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 1/2 cups gluten-free confectioners' sugar
Note: while there are multiple steps to this recipe, this gluten-free carrot cake is broken down into workable categories to help you better plan for preparation and baking.
Make the Cake
Gather the cake ingredients.
Heat oven to 350 F / 176 C. Set aside two round 9-inch cake pans, one 13-inch sheet cake pan, or 36 muffin cups for this recipe. If using round cake pans, lightly grease and place a circle of parchment in the bottom of the pan for easy removal. Use paper lining cups if making cupcakes.
Add oil and 2 teaspoons vanilla and beat just until smooth.
In a separate bowl, combine gluten-free flour mix, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Whisk to combine.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and beat just until blended. Don't overmix.
Stir in grated carrots and nuts. Pour the batter into prepared pans.
Bake for 45 to 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. For muffins, reduce baking time to 30 to 35 minutes or until they pass the toothpick test. Cool on a wire rack.
Make the Frosting
Gather the frosting ingredients.
While cake or muffins are cooling, place butter, cream cheese, and 1 teaspoon vanilla in a large mixing bowl and beat on high until smooth.
Add confectioners' sugar and beat until smooth and creamy.
Frost cake or cupcakes once completely cool.
- Most confectioners' sugar products are made with granular sugar processed with cornstarch or tapioca starch. However, when buying confectioners' sugar, sometimes called powdered sugar, read labels carefully to be sure that the product you are considering is not made with wheat starch.
- This cake turns out well using gluten-free flour mixes that contain xanthan gum, eliminating the need to add more gum to this recipe. Use your favorite gluten-free flour mix in this recipe and add 1 teaspoon xanthan or guar gum to the recipe if the mix you are using does not contain one of these baking gums.