Traditional gluten-free carrot cake frosted with a whipped cream cheese buttercream. Brown sugar spice cake base filled with nutty pecans, shredded carrots, and you can even add raisins or coconut if you like. Moist and delicious!
I could not let the week before Easter pass by without sharing a recipe for gluten-free carrot cake. I had wanted to bake a carrot cake last year to share with you for Easter. I even bought all of the ingredients. But I was in my first trimester with Baby T and was just too exhausted and sick to even get off the couch and fix my family dinner, let alone make a gluten-free carrot cake.
I am a huge fan of cream cheese frosting, which is probably one of the big reasons that I like carrot cake. Load that baby up with all the cream cheese frosting! The cake is pretty good too, though. Moist, sweet, with the crunch of pecans and that chewy bite that comes from the carrots. If you are a fan of coconut or raisins go ahead and toss some in. The batter should be able to handle 1-1 1/2 cups of add-in (which includes the 1/2 cup of pecans that I added.) so if you really want a nutty cake, add an entire cup of pecans! Want it all? Do 1/2 cup each of pecans, raisins, and coconut. Or do just pecans and raisins. Or leave out the pecans and other add-ins entirely and bask in the pure, unadulterated carrot-y goodness.
Layer cakes are really not that tricky to make. Check out my Gluten-Free Red Velvet Cake Recipe to see a photo-tutorial on how to stack and frost a layer cake. There are a few tricks that will make it a cinch.
You can also just bake the batter in a 9×13 pan and go the rectangle route. I think it would make an amazing poke cake! Just bake the cake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. I’d start checking it about 30 minutes.
I would recommend baking the cake in 9inch round pans that are 3 inches tall. My pans were 2 inches tall and it didn’t give the batter enough space to rise. The cake ended up being much taller than the pans, and very rounded on the top so I had to trim off quite a bit. If you only have 2 inch tall round pans like mine I’d suggest dividing the batter between 3 round pans and baking 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- 16 oz brown sugar (approx 2 cups firmly packed)
- 1½ cups oil (I used vegetable)
- 4 eggs
- ⅓ cup milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
- 16.5 oz my gluten-free rice flour/cake blend (approx 2½ cups)
- 10 oz shredded carrots (approx 2½ cups)
- 3 oz pecans (approx ¾ cup)
- 12 oz Cream Cheese, softened
- 6oz butter, softened (3/4cup)
- 2 lbs (32 oz) powdered sugar
- 2-3 Tablespoons milk or cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Lightly grease 2 9x3 inch round cake pans. (see post above if you only have 9x2 inch pans). Line the bottom of each pan with a round of parchment paper.
- In a stand mixer or a large bowl mix together the brown sugar, oil, eggs and milk until the sugar is dissolved.
- Add the baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, xanthan gum, and the gluten-free flour. Stir until combined.
- Add the shredded carrots and ½ cup of the pecans, chopped.
- Evenly divide the batter between the cake pans.
- Bake at 350F for 45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Let cool completely and then frost with cream cheese frosting and garnish with the remaining pecans.
- Using a stand mixer or electric hand beaters beat the butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy (5 minutes) add the milk or cream, powdered sugar and vanilla and beat until smooth (additional 3 minutes.)
I used my rice flour/cookie/cake flour blend. For best results use my blend. If you want to use another blend feel free to experiment. Omit the xanthan gum if you use a different blend that already has it.
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