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Gluten Free Carrot Cake is a classic recipe used for generations and topped with a delicious cream cheese frosting.
Carrot Cake is an absolute classic especially as we near Easter. We have been making this particular Carrot Cake Recipe for many years, it was passed down by my great great aunt…that’s right, two greats!
She would have been nearing the 120-year-old range if she were still here today and this recipe was from the 1950s.
I love looking at her old recipe collection because almost all the recipes are written in her handwriting on index cards. They are weathered and take a bit of deciphering, but I feel like she’s cooking right along with me.
This carrot cake recipe never disappoints either. Over the years though, I’ve turned this into a Gluten Free Carrot Cake.
If you prefer though, you can always make it with regular flour if gluten free is not a need for your family, that’s the only change in this recipe from the original is the flour.
What flour should you use for Gluten Free Carrot Cake?
There are plenty of great gluten-free all-purpose flours available these days and many at the store; however, I do prefer Better Batter.
If you are using Better Batter it’s a 1:1 swap, which means that you would use the same amount of regular flour as you would the gluten-free flour.
Does this carrot cake recipe have to be made gluten-free?
Not if you don’t need it to be if you do not have a gluten intolerance or celiac, then just use your regular all-purpose flour and you can make it the exact same way.
Does carrot cake actually have real carrots in it?
Carrot Cake has grated carrots in it that get soft as they cook. That means they just naturally mix well with the batter and do not necessarily enhance the flavor or texture.
What texture does Gluten Free Carrot Cake have?
Carrot Cake is naturally a dense cake, which makes it a great one to make gluten-free because typically gluten-free baking yields dense baked goods.
It is though a moist cake and is delicious with the cream cheese frosting.
Tips for making Gluten Free Carrot Cake:
The most tricky part of the entire process of making a carrot cake is simply getting the cake out of the pan without it crumbling. It is absolutely VITAL to be sure to prepare the pans for baking well before cooking.
If you are gluten-free it is not as easy as buying a baking spray because many of them include wheat. This post on how to grease and flour baking pans is a great tutorial on preparing the pans for baking.
I suggest following this method or using parchment paper and cooking spray.
This cake can be made in a bundt pan or 2 8-inch pans.
How many coats of Cream Cheese Frosting should you use?
When I make this recipe, I typically will double the frosting recipe. The recipe you see in the card is for just 1 serving of frosting which normally will coat the entire cake but if you want to use that like a crumb coat, make another batch of frosting.
That means you would want 2 batches of frosting so that you could let the crumb coat harden and then do another layer of frosting.
If you enjoy this Gluten Free Carrot Cake, be sure to try it in these Carrot Cake Cupcakes too!
- 1 ½ Cups Sugar
- 1 Cup Oil
- 2 ½ Tbsp Hot Water
- 3 Eggs
- 1 Tsp Baking Soda
- 1 ½ Cups Flour or Gluten Free All Purpose Flour
- 1 Tsp Cinnamon
- 1 Tsp Baking Powder
- ¼ Tsp Nutmeg
- Pinch of Salt
- 1 Cup Grated Carrots (1 Carrot, Grated)
- 1 Cup Walnuts
Frosting (Double if Preferred)
- 1 Stick Unsalted Butter, Softened
- 1 Package Cream Cheese, Softened
- 1 Tsp Vanilla
- 3 ½ Cups Powdered Sugar
- 1/2 Cup Walnuts
- Preheat the oven to 350* and grease two 8 inch round cake pans. Grease these well or use parchment paper and baking spray. See the post for the how-to on preparing the pans.
- Mix the cake ingredients in order, stopping after the carrots; a stand mixer works best for mixing this.
- Fold in the walnuts.
- Pour ½ the batter in one cake pan and the rest in the other. This will be a thick batter, may need to spread it into the pan.
- Bake in the oven on 350* for 35 minutes or until poked in the center with a toothpick, the toothpick comes out clean.
- Let the cakes cool for 5-10 minutes and carefully release the cake and place it on a wire rack for 1-2 hours to cool completely.
- While the cakes are cooling, prepare the icing; begin by creaming together the butter and cream cheese.
- Add in the vanilla and powdered sugar, whisking on high with a stand mixer until the icing is formed.
- Fold in the walnuts.
- Release one of the cakes from the cake pan, and then ice the top of it with a portion of the icing.
- Place the second cake on top and then continue icing the entire cake.
- If you prefer, this can be the crumb coat and make a second batch of icing for a final coat.
- This can be chilled in the fridge and served cold or served at room temperature.
If you want to have a crumb coat + final coat of icing, double the recipe for the icing. The photos you see in this post have 2 layers of icing, a crumb coat plus an additional coat.
If you do this, frost the cake then let it harden in the fridge for about 30 minutes to 1 hour then frost again with a final coat.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1 Servings
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 683Total Fat: 39gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 28gCholesterol: 74mgSodium: 206mgCarbohydrates: 80gFiber: 2gSugar: 58gProtein: 7g