Are you ready to fall in love with the best gluten-free carrot cake recipe? This recipe features a gluten and nut-free take on the classic carrot cake. Get your aprons ready because we’re diving right in!
Let’s Talk Cake
There are few things better in life than a perfect Gluten-Free Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting. In my opinion, it’s the best cake out there. Plus, it’s kind of, sort of healthy since it has vegetables in it, right? Of course, there’s nothing healthy about that delicious cream cheese frosting, but hey, it’s all about balance!
In my mind, carrot cake is a classic Easter dessert. It must be something about bunnies and carrots going hand in hand that has planted this idea in my head. But I would gladly take a slice of carrot cake over chocolate eggs any day! And after this recipe, you’ll be agreeing with me. This moist carrot cake sans walnuts is the perfect dessert to serve up this spring.
Gluten-Free Carrot CakeCourse: DessertDifficulty: Medium
- For the Cake
2 1/4 cups gluten-free baking flour
3/4 cup almond flour, plus more for dusting
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cardamom
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
5 large room temperature eggs
1 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup coconut palm sugar
1/4 cup almond milk
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups peeled and shredded carrots
1 cup unsweetened coconut shreds
1/2 cup golden raisins
- For the Frosting
8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup of unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cup gluten-free powdered sugar
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- For the Cake
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and grease two 8″ round cake pans, then lightly dust with almond flour
- In a medium bowl, combine the baking flour, almond flour, sea salt, baking powder, cinnamon, cardamom, ground ginger, nutmeg and baking soda
- In another bowl, combine the eggs, brown sugar, and coconut sugar using an electric mixer
- Beat with the electric mixer for 3-5 minutes on high until the ingredients have doubled in size and are thick and creamy
- Next, add the almond milk and beat for 2 minutes before adding the coconut oil and vanilla extract, then beat for another 2 minutes on medium speed
- Then, whisk in the carrots, coconut, and raisins
- Reduce the speed to low and beat in the dry ingredients, slowly adding fourth of the flour mixture at a time
- Use a spatula to pour the batter in the prepared pans, dividing evenly
- Bake the cakes for 34 minutes, then allow to cool for 15-20 minutes before running a clean knife along the edges of the pan
- Allow the cakes to cool outside of the pans on a wire rack for 45 minutes before frosting
- For the Frosting
- Allow the cream cheese and butter to come to room temperature before using an electric mixer on high speed to beat together
- Once combined, about two minutes, reduce the speed to medium and sift in the powdered sugar
- Beat for two minutes until smooth and creamy, then add the greek yogurt, vanilla extract and sea salt
- Use the electric mixer to combine until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes
- Place in the refrigerator for 20 minutes before frosting
Here’s a fun fact about this recipe, the cake itself is actually dairy-free! We use coconut oil in place of butter and almond milk instead of cream for a healthy carrot cake. If you would like, you can make a dairy-free frosting for this cake so that it’s 100% dairy-free! Just grab your favorite dairy-free cream cheese and coconut yogurt. Then, you have a gluten, nut, AND dairy-free cake (say that five times fast).
It’s Time to HOP into This Recipe!
We’re going to start by preheating our oven, greasing our cake pans with coconut oil, and dusting them with flour to prevent the bottom and sides of the cakes from sticking to the pan. You may also line your pans with parchment paper to be extra cautious, but you typically don’t need to. Next, we will combine Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 Gluten-Free Baking Flour with almond flour. We’re using a combination of two flours here because the baking flour produces delicious desserts, but we want our cake to have the lightness that will keep it fluffy thanks to the almond flour. In my experience, using all of the gluten-free baking flour or all almond flour leaves the consistency of the cake slightly dry.
After combining our flours, we will add the baking soda, baking powder, and seasonings to a large mixing bowl. Of course, for the perfect gluten-free carrot cake, we use cardamom, cinnamon, ground ginger, nutmeg, and a touch of sea salt to make a beautiful blend of seasonings. Once we have our dry ingredients, we’re going to set that bowl to the side and grab a new bowl. In a large bowl, we’re going to combine the eggs and sugars. Just like the flours, we’re using a mix of light brown sugar and coconut palm sugar to give us that perfect texture. While I love brown sugar, too much of it can be overpowering, and coconut palm sugar is a lovely light touch that keeps the sugars balanced. We will use an electric mixer to beat the eggs and sugar for three minutes at high speed until fluffy. Then, add the almond milk, coconut oil, and vanilla extract to the wet ingredients. While I usually use coconut milk as a dairy-free alternative, we’re going to use almond milk here to keep our batter light and fluffy. After that has been beaten with an electric mixer and is combined, it’s time to add the main ingredient… CARROTS! Before adding the carrots, make sure they are grated or shredded to ensure you have no pieces too large. Then, add the golden raisins and coconut shreds to the batter. Use the electric mixer on low to combine the ingredients, then slowly add the dry ingredients. For best consistency, make sure you add one-fourth of the dry ingredients at a time. Beat everything together on low and then use a spatula to pour the batter into the prepared pans. Then, all that’s left to do is bake them!
We will let those cakes bake for 32-35 minutes before removing them from the oven. First, allow them to cool in their pans for 15 minutes before taking a clean knife to loosen the edges. Then, allow the cakes to cool on a wire rack before frosting. While those are cooling, it’s time to make our cream cheese frosting! Start by letting the cream cheese and butter to come to room temperature before beating with an electric mixer at high speed. We want to beat that for 3 minutes until creamy and smooth. Then, we’re going to sift in the powdered sugar. Sifting in the sugar is an essential step in creating the perfect frosting because any lumps in the sugar will cause the smooth texture of the frosting to change. Once the powdered sugar has been beaten until the creamy mixture, add the greek yogurt and slowly beat on medium until combined. Then, add a touch of vanilla extract and a pinch of salt for the final ingredients! Beat on low for 2 minutes until fluffy and creamy, then refrigerate for about 20 minutes. Once the 20 minutes is up, the cakes should be cool, and you can frost them any way that your heart desires. Add a sprinkle of coconut shreds to your frosting, and you’re ready to slice into this beauty!
It Doesn’t Get Any Better Than This
Trust me when I say that all it takes is one bite of this cake to make you forget about all other cakes! The combination of the moist cake with the creamy frosting is a match made in heaven. One of the many reasons why I love this carrot cake recipe so much is because the sugar isn’t overpowering. Usually, one slice of cake is too rich for me, but I could have three slices of this recipe in one sitting and still want more. Did I mention why I especially LOVE this frosting? This recipe is a favorite because the cream cheese frosting has a tang to it, thanks to the greek yogurt. Greek yogurt is a great way to cut down on the sugar and add a touch of tanginess to the frosting that balances the heavy cream cheese. Plus, it’s an easy and healthy substitute for sour cream, which is often used in dessert recipes to keep them moist. All in all, this is probably my favorite cake recipe and I can’t wait to hear what you think of it!