Moist and luscious, gluten-free carrot cake with cream cheese frosting is a gluten-free favorite at my house. The cake freezes well and the recipe makes one round layer cake, one 13×9-inch sheet cake or 36 cupcakes. Three cups of grated carrots add healthy carotene, a nutrient that the body uses to make vitamin A. Not bad for a cake!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
- 2 cups sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1 1/2 cups light olive oil OR your favorite vegetable oil
- 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
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup chopped nuts
- 3 cups freshly grated carrots
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 ounces cream cheese
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 cups gluten-free powdered sugar (See note.)
Preheat oven to 350° F / 176° C
Use two round 9-inch cake pans, one 9×13 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.
- Cream sugar and eggs in a large mixing bowl with an electric beater or stand mixer. Add oil and vanilla and beat just until smooth.
- In a separate bowl combine gluten-free flour mix, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Whisk to combine. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and beat until blended.
- Stir in grated carrots and nuts. Pour the batter into prepared pans.
- Bake in preheated oven for 45-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. For muffins, reduce baking time to 30-35 minutes or until they pass the toothpick test. Cool on a wire rack.
- While cake or muffins are cooling place butter, cream cheese and vanilla in a large mixing bowl and beat on high until smooth. Add powdered sugar and beat until smooth and creamy.
- When cake is cool frost.
- Most powdered sugar products are made with granular sugar processed with cornstarch or tapioca starch. However, when buying powdered sugar, read labels carefully to be sure that the product you are considering is not made with wheat starch. Manufacturers can change product formulations without notice.
- I used Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free Pizza Crust Mix in this recipe with good results. 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.
Author Information: Teri Gruss, MS
About.com Guide to Gluten-Free Cooking
Teri was diagnosed with gluten intolerance after decades of symptoms that culminated in malabsorption syndrome. Teri has written numerous health and nutrition articles for the popular website naturalnews.com and was a founding member and moderator of nutritioncircle.org, a nutrition forum for healthcare professionals and students. She is a member of the American Dietetic Association and supports the non-profit organization Gluten Intolerance Group (GIG) of North America as a member.
Email Teri Gruss, MS here.