Carrot Cake (Gluten Free)
The other day, I told my mom that I would be making a carrot cake soon. She said “that’s a winter cake”. Then I said “No mom, it’s a spring cake because bunnies like carrots and people like carrot cake in the spring”. That was pretty much the end of the conversation. Needless to say, after the cake was baked, I didn’t hear any complaints.
My dad even told me that the cake was “succulent”, and I said “dad, you don’t use that word to describe cake”. I think he meant to say that it was moist (sorry for that word), and tender.
I would like to say that I think this is one of the best things I’ve ever made.
I opted to make this cake gluten free because I have a lot of people in my life who are gluten free. They inspire me to create recipes that they can enjoy too. The thing about baking with gluten free flours is that they soak up more liquid than white flours. This means that you normally have to compensate by adding more liquids to the recipe. In this recipe I used coconut oil and applesauce to moisten the cake.
In this cake I used almond flour and gluten free flour (both from Bob’s Red Mill). I recommend using almond flour instead of almond meal because it will yield a better texture. For icing, I made a classic cream cheese icing. Because what is carrot cake without a classic cream cheese icing?? I haven’t really experimented with healthier icing recipes yet, but I will soon.
One of the things I’ve learned about baking with gluten free flours, is that they soak up more liquid than white flours. This means that extra liquid is always necessary in gluten free baked goods.
What are the ingredients in this carrot cake?
The base is almond flour and a gluten free flour blend. This cake is sweetened with maple syrup and coconut sugar. It is moistened with coconut oil and applesauce.
The cake portion is completely refined sugar free and it doesn’t have any white flour. If you make this cake, don’t forget to tag me on instagram @livelymeals.
Carrot Cake (gluten free)
- 2/3 cup coconut sugar
- 2/3 cup maple syrup
- 1 cup applesauce
- 3/4 cup melted coconut oil
- 4 eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 3 cups grated carrots*
- 2 cups gluten free flour
- 1 cup almond flour
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
- pinch of salt
- 8 oz block cream cheese
- 4 cups powdered sugar**
- 1 tsp vanilla
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Oil and flour two round cake pans. (I used 9 inch pans). In a large bowl, mix the coconut sugar, maple syrup and applesauce, using a whisk. Then add in the coconut oil and mix until combined. Add in the eggs one by one, while whisking the mixture. Then mix in the vanilla.
- Once ingredients are combined, fold in the carrots followed by the gluten free flour, and almond flour. Once those are combined, fold in the cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, chopped pecans and pinch of salt. Mix just until combined. Do not over mix.
- Divide the ingredients evenly among the two cake pans. Bake for 20-25 minutes. The time may vary depending on the size of the cake pan. Insert a toothpick in the center of the cake to check to see if its done. If the toothpick comes out clean, the cake is done.
- Remove from oven and let cake rest for ten minutes. Then run a knife along the edges of the cake to loosen from the pan. Remove the cake from the pan and let cool completely on a rack before icing.
- In a large bowl, use a mixer to beat the cream cheese and butter until combined. The mixture should be fluffy and smooth once combined.
- Then add in the powdered sugar and vanilla and beat until combined. Make sure the cake is completely cooled before combining.
- If you live in hot area, I recommend storing this cake in the fridge. Let it get room temperature before eating. This cake can also be sliced and placed in the freezer as well.
* use a box grater to grate the carrots. I used the large holes. ** you could probably lessen the powdered sugar here if you prefer less sugar