Carrot cake is one of those recipes that I just love bringing out and sharing on a special occasion. It takes a little more time to make because of the shredding of the carrots, but it is oh so worth it. This gluten free carrot cake recipe is wonderfully moist, easy to make and full of those warming spices like cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. And you dont have to frost this cake. I frequently make it as muffins and leave bare. The cake has enough moisture that it doesn’t “need” a frosting.
My husband has two favorite cakes, chocolate with peanut butter frosting and carrot cake. So I tend to switch off between the two for his birthday each year. All of my friends have their favorite cakes out of the ones I make, and I bake it for them every year on their birthdays. I think I just decided this year on Thanksgiving that my birthday cake from now on shall be a pumpkin pie. Who cares if that isn’t a traditional birthday kind of baked good. It is my absolute favorite combination of flavors. The only draw back is that I have to be the one to make it since I know how to make a gluten free pie crust.
I asked my husband if he cared if the cake was regular flour or gluten free, and he said all my other cakes came out so well gluten free, that he was fine with that. Plus that means I get to have some with him. This recipe dates back to when I was in culinary school in 2007. I asked if I could take the regular wheat-flour based recipe and covert it in class. My teacher was supportive in me giving it a try and the cake worked! I still use this recipe to this day.
Make this Carrot Cake as Muffins too
This carrot cake recipe makes great muffins and you can leave them unfrosted like the picture below. It is tasty and sweet enough without the added sugar. For company though, I add a cream cheese frosting. You could use this as a breakfast muffin or snack.
What about a Non-Dairy Cream Cheese Frosting?
- Miyoko’s Cashew Milk Vegan Cultured Butter
- Miyoko’s also has a Vegan Cream Cheese
- Kite Hill has an almond milk based butter spread
- Kite Hill makes my favorite non-dairy cream cheese
- Tofutti has the original non-dairy cream cheese, made of tofu, which I only use sparingly. It is a little too over processed for me, but has good texture and flavor if that is the only brand you can find.
There are also more and more brands coming out with plant-based butters and spreads like Violife Foods, Daiya, Treeline and Milkadamia. If you make a dairy free cream cheese frosting please let me know how it came out and which products you tried!
Gluten-Free Carrot Cake Recipe
- Yield: 2 8-inch cakes 1x
This was the first cake recipe I converted to gluten free back in culinary school. This cake still stands up today as the best, most moist and satisfying cake you can imagine. You wont miss the gluten (or dairy) one bit. This recipe does not contain nuts, so feel free to add some in if you want, pecans and walnuts work great.
1 1/4 cup brown rice flour
3/4 cup potato starch
1/2 cup tapioca flour
1/2 cup sweet rice flour
2 tsp xanthan gum
1 Tbsp baking soda
1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp ground cardamom
2 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup applesauce
1 tsp sea salt
1 1/2 cups coconut or grapeseed oil
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups finely shredded carrot, packed ( a little under a pound of carrots)
1/2 cup yellow or golden raisins
- Preheat oven to 350. Spray two 8″ cake pans with coconut oil cooking spray, or rub with a little oil and line the bottom with parchment paper.
- Measure out all dry ingredients into a medium size bowl and whisk to mix. Set aside.
- Place all the wet ingredients except the carrot and raisins in a separate larger bowl and using a hand mixer or stand mixer, beat on low to medium setting until well incorporated. Add the dry mix into the wet and beat another 30 seconds until the batter just comes together.
- Add carrot and raisins and stir to mix with a rubber spatula.
- Pour batter into parchment lined cake pans and bake for 65 minutes, rotating pans half way through. Remove from oven when a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
For cupcakes reduce baking time to 20 minutes. Remove from oven when a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.