Gluten-Free Carrot Cake With Cream Cheese Frosting

Carrot Cupcakes With Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting
Diana Rattray
Ratings (96)
  • Total: 60 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 45 mins
  • Yield: 1 cake or 36 cupcakes

This recipe for moist and luscious gluten-free carrot cake with cream cheese frosting makes it possible for those with gluten allergies to enjoy this popular dessert again.

Make your choice of 2 (9-inch) cake rounds, 1 (13x9-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 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 (see notes)
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons gluten-free baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups freshly grated carrots
  • 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 (see notes)

Steps to Make It

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

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Heat oven to 350 F/176 C.

  3. Set aside two round 9-inch cake pans, one 13x9-inch 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.

  4. In a large bowl, cream sugar and eggs with an electric beater or standing mixer.

  5. Add oil and 2 teaspoons vanilla and beat just until smooth.

  6. In a separate bowl, combine gluten-free flour mix, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Whisk to combine.

  7. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and beat just until blended. Don't over-mix.

  8. Stir in grated carrots and nuts. Pour the batter into prepared pans.

  9. 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

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. 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.

  3. Add confectioners' sugar and beat until smooth and creamy.

  4. Frost cake once it is completely cool. 

  5. Slice and enjoy!

Kitchen Notes

  • 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 Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free Pizza Crust Mix. It contains 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.

 Reminder: Always make sure your work surfaces, utensils, pans and tools are free of gluten. Always read product labels. Manufacturers can change product formulations without notice. When in doubt, do not buy or use a product before contacting the manufacturer for verification that the product is free of gluten.