A classic old fashioned carrot cake is made gluten free with this easy to make Gluten Free Carrot Cake Recipe.
One of the things I miss about the old days of blogging is learning the story behind a recipe. Blogging and sharing recipes has changed. Because of SEO changes less of the story is shared.
Instead, you will see ingredient lists, lots of detailed instructions, and FAQs. There is nothing wrong with those things. In fact, I often do the same thing. But when I share a gluten free recipe I feel like readers often want the story.
I want to share delicious easy to make gluten free recipes. But more than that I want to help you make your favorite recipes gluten free.
Gluten free baking can be challenging. There are disasters along with the successes. There is trial and error. They is a lot of adapting and changing.
My goal is that by explaining what I did and what worked and what it didn’t, it will help you translate the information to your favorite gluten free recipes.
So, today you are not just getting a gluten free carrot cake recipe. You are getting the story of how I came up with the best gluten free carrot cake that I have had.
What makes it the best gluten free carrot cake?
This recipe was over ten years in the making. I love carrot cake. It is one of my favorite old fashioned dessert recipes.
Carrot cake often gets a bad rap because people don’t like carrots, but in a good carrot cake you won’t even notice the carrots.
I grew up eating desserts like carrot cake and applesauce cake. They contain everyday ingredients that my mom usually had on hand. Those kinds of desserts are comfort food for me.
Over the last twelve plus years I have tried many times to get the best gluten free applesauce cake and the best gluten free carrot cake.
A couple of years ago I finally figured out how to make the best gluten free applesauce cake. It wasn’t until more recently that I figured out how to make the best gluten free carrot cake.
Over the years I have thrown away many carrot cakes because the gluten free version was so bad.
The main trouble that I had was getting the right texture. They were either too dry or way too gummy.
I tried different gluten free flour blends and I tried individual gluten free flours. Nothing was gave me the results that I wanted.
Last week I went back to the drawing board. I pulled out a stack of old cookbooks and checked some recipes online.
I compared my notes on recipes that I had tried in the past. I was determined to come figure out how to make carrot cake gluten free, and I wanted it so good that you could not tell that it was gluten free.
What I Did
One of the biggest issues was the cake being too dry or too wet. In most cakes oil gives you a more moist cake, so I knew that I wanted to stick with oil for the fat.
I needed to figure out how else to add moisture. To solve that I decided to go to my applesauce cake. Part of what makes the texture of applesauce cake so good is the applesauce.
In many recipes, you can replace part or all of the fat with applesauce. I wanted the moisture of the applesauce, but since this is a carrot cake I did not want the taste.
Replacing just part of the fat worked well. It gave me the moisture that I wanted without an applesauce taste.
I also shredded my carrots fine. Very fine. I used the fine part of my grater. This really helped the texture. You could hardly tell that it had carrots in it at all.
The last thing I did was change up part of the sugar with brown sugar. A combination of brown and white sugar helped both the taste and the texture.
The end result was a gluten free carrot cake that we loved! Only three people in the family could eat that cake and it was still gone in twenty four hours.
My gluten eating son and husband loved this cake. They said that they could not tell at all that it was gluten free.
- Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 Gluten Free Flour Blend ( This is the blend that works best in this recipe and the only blend I recommend for this cake. If you want the best results use Bob’s Blend. Use other blends at your own risk. )
- baking soda
- baking powder
- granulated ( regular ) sugar
- brown sugar
- nuts, optional ( I left these out since my daughter has a nut allergy
- butter ( for frosting )
- cream cheese ( for frosting )
- powdered sugar ( for frosting )
- vanilla extract ( for frosting )
Carrot cake and cream cheese frosting just go together. But if you need a gluten free dairy free carrot cake use a dairy free frosting. Or if you don’t like cream cheese frosting use your favorite frosting recipe.
- 2 cups Bob's Red Mill 1 to 1 Gluten Free Flour Blend ( This is the blend that works best in this recipe and the only blend I recommend for this cake. If you want the best results use Bob's Blend. Use other blends at your own risk. )
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups granulated ( regular ) sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup oil
- 1/2 cup applesauce
- 4 eggs
- 3 cups finely grated carrots
- 1/2 cup chopped nuts, optional ( I left these out since my daughter has a nut allergy
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 3 3/4 cups powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Grease a 9x13 cake pan and set aside.
- Peel the carrots and then grate carrots using the fine side of the grater. You don't want huge pieces of carrots. Using a fine grater makes a difference. Set aside.
- In a bowl combine gluten free flour blend, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- In a mixing bowl mix sugar, brown sugar, and oil.
- Add eggs one at a time. Mixing well after each addition.
- Mix in applesauce.
- Slowly add in gluten free flour mixture.
- Stir in carrots.
- Spread batter into pan.
- Bake for 42-45 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.
- Let cake cool.
- While the cake is cooling make frosting.
- In a mixing bowl beat together butter and cream cheese until smooth.
- Add vanilla.
- Slowly add powdered sugar beating well.
- Mix for 3-4 minutes or until frosting is mixed together and fluffy. Beating it for several minutes helps make the texture better so be sure to mix it for 3-4 minutes.
- Spread frosting on cake.
For a gluten free dairy free carrot cake frost with a dairy free frosting.
Other gluten free flour blends may work, but for best results use Bob's Red Mill 1 to 1 gluten free flour blend. It really gives this cake the best taste and texture.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 297Total Fat: 19gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 51mgSodium: 328mgCarbohydrates: 29gFiber: 1gSugar: 23gProtein: 3g
Nutritional values are approxomite and aren't always accurate.