Hello Gluten Free Carrot Cake!
Carrot Cake always makes me think of spring. My grandfather loved having carrot cake around Easter and I always remember my mom making it for him. We would be decorating Easter eggs at the kitchen table while the carrot cake baked. The smell of it was heavenly, even with the under notes of hard boiled egg lol.
However good it smelled I refused to eat it. I loved the cream cheese frosting but wouldn't eat the cake because of the gelatinous 'carrot' mixture that came with the box of carrot cake. I was a so-so picky eater and the gooey dark orange mass that plopped out of the bag was a no go for me.
Fast forward to my adult years and someone presents me with mini gluten free carrot cake cupcakes for a family party. They took the time to make sure I had something gluten free to enjoy while everyone else had normal cake. So I ate one, and then another and maybe even another (They were mini cupcakes after all), and to my surprise I found I like them a lot. It reminded me of a richer Spice Cake.
Fresh Carrots make all the difference
What a difference fresh carrots make when creating this cake. Grating them is simple, just make sure you are using the smaller grater so the carrot shreds a fine and not chunky. They add a wonderful texture to the cake and, allow with the brown sugar, keep the cake nice and moist. They also add a bit of sweetness on their own. Say goodbye to goopy pre-shredded carrots.
When I was researching carrot cake recipes the amount and kinds of spices varied somewhat. Almost all the recipes had Cinnamon and Nutmeg and a few had Clove as well. Ginger was occasionally used so I decided to add it. I love this spice combo for this cake, but if your more of a purest or want less spices you can omit them.
If you are using Cinnamon make sure it is Ceylon Cinnamon. It's also known as true Cinnamon and has a more delicate and sweeter taste than the typical Cinnamon found in your local market. I buy it in bulk and keep it in a labeled mason jar. If you can't find Ceylon Cinnamon you'll want to use 1 teaspoon instead of 2 teaspoon for the recipe. Otherwise the Cinnamon will overpower everything.
Cream Cheese frosting is easy to make but there are some tips to make it turn out perfectly every time.
- Make sure the butter and cream cheese are at room temperature. This will allow them to cream together easier and create a fluffier frosting.
- Start the mixer at a low speed until the powdered sugar has incorporated. Alternatively you can cream the other ingredients together first and then slowly add in the powdered sugar.
- Wait for the cakes to cool completely before frosting. Otherwise the frosting will melt into the cakes.
Decorative frosting is not my strong suit. I usually like to keep the decor simple so it doesn't look like a child decorated it. With that said, I loved how easy is was to make these little carrots out of frosting. Its basically an orange tapered squiggle and a fat green leaf that I took a toothpick to and created veins/lines for the carrot tops. Super easy.
I also used pecans to decorate the sides and top between the carrots. They both look great but I found adding them to the sides to be a bit messy. If you don't want a bit of a mess to clean up I suggest skipping the chopped pecan sides.
Alternatively you could triple the amount of pecans (or add walnuts) and coat the whole cake in chopped nuts (it was my plan B should the carrots not turn out lol).
Now go bake an amazing Gluten Free Carrot Cake!Print
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 25 minutes
- Total Time: 35 minutes
- Yield: 12 1x
- Category: Dessert
- Cuisine: Holiday
- 2 cups Bob's Red Mill Gluten free 1 to 1 flour (Or preferred blend)
- 2 teaspoon Ceylon Cinnamon (or 1 tsp common Cinnamon)
- ½ tsp Nutmeg
- ¼ tsp Clove
- ¼ tsp Ginger
- 1 tsp Baking Soda
- 1 tsp Baking Powder
- ½ tsp Salt
- 4 Eggs
- 1 cup Oil (Avocado or Vegetable)
- 1 cup Brown Sugar
- ½ cup White Sugar
- 2 tsp Vanilla extract
- 2 ¼ cups Shredded Carrots (small shreds)
- 8 oz Cream Cheese (Room temp)
- ½ cup Butter (Room temp)
- 3 cups Powdered Sugar
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 1 pinch Salt
- Preheat the oven to 350F
- In a bowl, combine the flour, spices, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
- In a stand mixer or using a hand mixer, cream together the eggs, brown sugar, sugar, oil and vanilla extract. Once combined mix in the carrot shreds.
- With the mixer on low, slowly add in the dry ingredients. Once combined let the batter rest a few minutes.
- Grease two cake pans and divide the batter between the two.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes. After 25 minutes check with a toothpick, if it comes out clean it's done. Allow to cool completely.
- Add all the frosting ingredients to a mixer and whip until combined
- Place a Tbs of frosting in the center of the serving plate. This will keep the cake from shifting. Place the first layer down and center it. Spread ⅓ of the frosting over the top of the cake and then place the second tier on top of it use the remaining frosting to cover the sides and the top of the cake. Decorate as desired.
To decorate like photographed save some frosting out and divide it into two bowls. Color one bowl green and the other orange. Pipe out to create carrots.
Take ½ Cup pecans and toast them in the oven. After toasting save out 8-10 halves for the top of the cake and chop the rest for covering the sides of the cake.
Keywords: cake, Carrot, Gluten free, gluten free cake