Before we adopted the gluten-free diet, my family and I used to eat carrot cake very regularly. A large carrot cake from BJ’s was our favorite weekly dessert.
However, once we eliminated gluten from our diet, we no longer enjoyed our weekly carrot cake. It was one of our gluten specialties that I really missed when we started the gluten-free lifestyle.
Why do so many great foods contain gluten? What are the alternatives to mouth-watering carrot cake?
Some of my favorite memories involve all of us sitting at the table every Sunday enjoying our cake after a good dinner. It was a great opportunity to relax and prepare for the long week ahead. Not only did I miss eating the cake itself but, I missed enjoying dessert together as a family at the beginning of each week.
We tried hard to find a delicious gluten-free carrot cake but, it was very difficult to buy one that was affordable and tasted close to the real thing. Eventually, we started to bake a gluten-free carrot cake from scratch, with our own ingredients. Still, it was not easy to get the taste and texture just right.
So, lately, I’ve been doing some research on gluten-free carrot cake and I have found that, now, there are many great recipes online for baking your own cake. I’ve included a few of the best ones in this article. Of course, you are quite free to experiment on your own as well!
1. Gluten-Free Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
- 2 cups of sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1 ½ cups of light olive oil or your favorite vegetable oil
- 2 cups of all-purpose gluten-free flour mix
- 2 teaspoons of baking soda
- 2 teaspoons of gluten-free baking powder
- 2 teaspoons of cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
- 1 cup of chopped nuts
- 3 cups of freshly grated carrots
- 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter
- 3 ounces of cream cheese
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 2 ½ cups of gluten-free powdered sugar
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Use two round 9-inch cake pans, one 9×13-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.
- Cream sugar and eggs in a large mixing bowl with an electric beater or stand mixer. Add oil and vanilla and beat until just 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 a preheated oven for 45-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in 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 or muffins are cool, frost.
Recipe courtesy About.com
2. Gluten-Free Carrot Cake
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour and 55 minutes
Yields: 12 servings
- 1 box (15-ounce) of Betty Crocker Gluten-Free yellow cake mix
- ? cup of water
- ½ cup of butter, softened
- ½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon of ground nutmeg
- 2 teaspoons of gluten-free vanilla
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup of finely shredded carrots (2 medium)
- ¼ cup of finely chopped pecans or walnuts
- 4 ounces (half an 8 ounce package) of cream cheese, softened
- 2 tablespoons of butter
- ½ teaspoon of gluten-free vanilla
- 2 cups of powdered sugar
- 1-3 teaspoons of milk
- ¼ cup of coconut, if desired
- Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease bottom only of an 8 or 9-inch square pan with shortening or spray with cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, beat cake mix, water, butter, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla and eggs on low speed for 30 seconds. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes, scraping the bowl occasionally. With spoon, stir in carrots and nuts. Spread mixture in the pan.
- Bake for 36-41 minutes for 8-inch pan or 33-38 minutes for 9-inch baking pan or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely for about an hour.
- In a large bowl, beat cream cheese, butter, vanilla and milk with an electric mixer on low speed until smooth. Gradually beat in powdered sugar, one cup at a time, until smooth and spreadable. If frosting is too thick, beat in more milk, a few drops at a time. Stir in coconut. Spread frosting over the cake.
3. Gluten-Free Carrot Cake with Coconut and Cream Cheese Icing
- 3 large eggs
- ½ cup of light vegetable oil
- 1 cup of organic light brown sugar, packed
- ? cup of plain yogurt or coconut yogurt
- 2 teaspoons of bourbon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon of honey or agave (for added moisture)
- ½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon of Pumpkin Pie Spice or Apple Pie Spice (or a mix of nutmeg, clove, ginger and allspice)
- 2 cups of Pamela’s Ultimate Baking and Pancake Mix
- ¾ cup of flaked sweetened coconut
- 1 ½ cups of processed or finely grated carrots (about 4 medium carrots)
- ½ cup of golden raisins or currants
- ½ cup of toasted chopped walnuts or pecans
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9-inch Springform cake pan.
- In a mixing bowl, beat the eggs; add the oil and beat; add the brown sugar and beat until smooth. Beat in the yogurt, vanilla, honey, cinnamon and spice. Add in the baking mix and beat until combined. The batter should be a bit thicker than wheat flour batter. Add in the coconut, carrots, raisins and nuts; stir with a wooden spoon to combine.
- Spread the batter evenly in the cake pan; and place the pan in the center of a preheated oven. Bake until the cake is firm, and a wooden pick inserted into the center emerges clean, about 40-45 minutes or longer if necessary. Cool on a wire rack.
- Frost with your favorite cream cheese frosting icing and sprinkle with coconut, if desired.
With these great new recipes or, maybe, original recipes of your own, it is possible to have delicious gluten-free carrot cake that tastes even better than its gluten counterpart! Enjoy baking your own unique, one-of-a-kind, gluten-free desserts!
Image courtesy Stuart Spivack