This moist and fluffy gluten free carrot cake recipe makes the perfect cake or cupcakes. It’s loaded with fresh carrots, spices and topped with traditional or dairy-free cream cheese frosting. Perfect for Easter, or any time!
I love carrot cake! There is just something about it. The spices, the cream cheese, the carrots….it almost makes you feel like it’s ‘healthy’ therefore you feel a little better about indulging.
I get the honor and privilege of making majority of the cakes for all of our family’s get togethers. They know baking is my love language and they love eating what I bake so it’s a match made in heaven! For my parents 35th Wedding Anniversary they requested a carrot cake and I was so excited to make it for them!
We were in the process of building our farm house so I was going to cheat and get a couple of boxed cake mixes and ‘jazz’ them up a bit. However, after reading the ingredients and seeing Red dye and several other things my daughter is allergic too I knew that was not an option. So I set out to find the perfect and easiest Allergy friendly carrot cake….and this is it! It is so moist and fluffy and irresistibly delicious. I hope you like it as much as we do!
Ingedients For Moist and Fluffy Gluten Free Carrot Cake Recipe
- Xanthan Gum (If not using a 1:1 flour blend)
- Baking Soda
- Baking powder
- Ground Cinnamon
- Granulated Sugar
- Light brown sugar
- Neutral Oil (I used Organic Refined Coconut Oil)
- Eggs at room temperature, beaten
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Pure Vanilla Extract
- Milk or Milk Substitute (Almond, coconut, cashew)
- Optional-chopped pecans or nut of choice
- Freshly peeled and grated carrots-I find using a food processor makes this step very easy and makes your carrots the perfect size and texture for your carrot cake.
I used Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free flour for this gluten-free carrot cake recipe. Personally, it is my favorite cup for cup gluten-free all-purpose flour blend made with rice flour. A cup for cup gluten-free flour blend is one that already has starches and xanthan gum added to it.
Cup for cup (or 1 for 1) flour blends makes gluten-free baking so much easier! Make sure you do not add any extra xanthan gum to your flour if it already has it in it. If you do, your cake will be super gummy! Not all gluten-free flour blends are created equal so keep that in mind when choosing a flour!
Some other great brands are Pillsbury Gluten-Free flour and King Arthur Gluten-Free Flour Blend. Another thing to keep in mind with gluten-free baking is to weigh your flour instead of using a measuring cup. Or use a spoon to scoop the flour into the measuring cup, being careful not to pack the flour into the cup.
How To Make Moist and Fluffy Gluten Free Carrot Cake Recipe
- Preheat your oven to 350°F. Grease two 8-inch round baking pans and set them aside. If making cupcakes, grease or line two standard 12-cup muffin tins, and set them aside.
- In a large bowl add the flour, xanthan gum (if using), baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and granulated sugar. Whisk to combine well. Add the brown sugar, and whisk again to combine, working to break up any lumps in the brown sugar.
- Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients, and add the oil, eggs, vinegar, vanilla and milk, and mix to combine. Add the (optional) pecans and mix until well combined. We do not like nuts so I leave them out.
- Add the freshly grated carrots to the mixture, and stir until evenly distributed throughout the batter. The batter will be thick, but relatively soft.
- If baking a cake place in the center of the preheated oven and bake until the cake is uniformly light brown on top, and beginning to pull away from the sides of the pan rotating the pans once during baking (35 to 40 minutes).
- If baking cupcakes, fill each muffin tin 3/4 of the way full and bake about 20 minutes.
- Cool completely before frosting cakes or cupcakes.
- I like my carrot best served cold. Once the cakes or cupcakes are completely cooled I cover the cake with plastic wrap and refrigerate for several hours, up to overnight before I frost the cake.
How To Make Cream Cheese Frosting
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 lb. Powdered Sugar
Dash of salt
1 tbsp. half and half or whole milk, plus more if needed for thinning
In the bowl of an electric mixer, mix together the cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, and salt until smooth. Add the half and half or milk and check the consistency. It should be somewhat thick but thin enough to spread in a thin layer. This frosting is absolutely divine and my daughters favorite.
All dairy-free cream cheeses are made a little differently. Some of the brands are softer than others. You may need to add more powdered sugar to make up for the softer dairy-free cream cheese. I really like Daiya dairy-free cream cheese. I’ve used it in previous recipes, like my Gluten-free Dairy-Free Pumpkin Roll.
A shortcut to making homemade gluten-free and dairy-free cream cheese frosting is buying the Pillsbury canned cream cheese frosting. The Pillsbury canned frosting is both gluten-free and dairy-free. Typically, I would not use this frosting as it has Red 40 in it which is something my daughter is allergic to. But if you are needing a gluten and dairy-free frosting in a pinch, this is an option.
You will need 2-3 cans if you are making the 9″ cake and wanting to make the frosting swirls. Please always check the label because companies often change their ingredients.
And there you have it! A moist, fluffy and delicious gluten-free carrot cake. I hope you enjoy it as much as my family and I do. As always, Happy Baking!
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Moist & Fluffy Gluten-Free Carrot Cake Recipe
- Food Processor
- 2 1/4 Cup Gluten-Free 1:1 All Purpose Flour Blend
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup oil (I prefer refined coconut oil)
- 4 eggs room temperature, beaten
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup whole milk or milk substitute
- 2 cups grated carrots
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans (if using)
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 8 ounces Cream Cheese (room temperature)
- 1 stick Unsalted Butter (room temperature)
- 1 lb Powdered Sugar
- 1 dash Salt
- 1 tbsp Whole milk or half & half (more if needed)
- Preheat oven to 350F. Grease two 8-inch round baking pans and line them with parchment paper. If making cupcakes, line two standard 12-cup muffin tins. Set aside.
- To a large mixing bowl, add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and granulated sugar. Whisk together until well combined. Add the brown sugar and whisk again until there are no more lumps.
- Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the oil, vinegar, eggs, milk and vanilla and mix until well combined. If adding nuts, add them now and mix until evenly distributed.
- Add the grated carrots, using a spatula, carefully stir until the carrots are well incorporated.
For the Cake
- Divide the batter evenly into two 8-inch round baking pans. Spread into an even layer in each pan.
- Place cakes into the center of a preheated oven and bake until the cake is uniformly golden brown on top. Because the cake is so moist, the 'toothpick' test doesn't always work. The cakes will begin to pull away from the sides of the pans when they are done. To ensure even baking you can rotate the pans once during baking. (35-40 min)
- Remove from the oven and allow the cakes to cool completely before icing.
- Fill the muffin tins 3/4 of the way full. I find using a 1/4 cup measuring cup makes this step the easiest.
- Place muffin-tin in the center of a preheated oven and bake for approximately 20 min or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcakes comes out with no more than a few moist crumbs.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before icing.
For the Icing
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, mix together the cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, and salt until smooth.
- Add the half and half or milk and check the consistency. It should be somewhat thick but thin enough to spread in a thin layer.
- Once the cake/cupcakes are cool, frost and enjoy!