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Best Ever Gluten-Free Carrot Cake

Carrot Cake

What makes this the best ever gluten-free carrot cake?

The secret to this carrot cake is what I like to call “a happy accident.” One day, while recipe testing at home for my first bakery, the shredding attachment on my food processor broke. I was already in the middle of making carrot cake, so I just threw the carrots in the food processor with the regular blade. The pulverized, finely ground carrots resulted in the moistest, most beautifully textured carrot cake I had ever had, and a new recipe was born. 

Don’t forget the frosting

The frosting for this cake is reminiscent of cheesecake, slightly sweet and made with more cream cheese than butter. It is important to use a high-quality vanilla extract. I prefer one that contains the seeds as well, such as Nielsen-Massey pure vanilla bean paste. This cake was always the most popular item sold by the slice in my bakery cases, and it sold out every weekend, no matter how much we made. I think the flavor and texture of this cake is even better after it is refrigerated over night.

This recipe also makes great cupcakes, but in my bakery, the cake slices were always more popular because of the cake-to-frosting ratio.

Best flour choices

In my bakery, I always used Cup 4 Cup gluten-free flour; however, I have also made this recipe successfully with Better Batter, Bob’s Red Mill 1 :1, King Arthur Measure for Measure and both of my copycat mixes

Carrot Cake

Best Ever Gluten-Free Carrot Cake

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American, gluten free
Keyword: Carrot Cake, Gluten Free
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Resting time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
Servings: 20
Calories: 451 kcal
Author: Alina Eisenhauer

The most delicious, moist, tender carrot cake you will ever have. This was a top seller in all of my bakeries for years.

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Ingredients

Cake

  • 255 grams 1:1 gluten-free flour blend
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon, ground
  • 1 teaspoon ginger, ground
  • 226 grams brown sugar, packed
  • 226 grams granulated sugar
  • 226 grams carrots, peeled (8 ounces)
  • 224 grams eggs (4 large)
  • 283 grams canola oil
  • 180 grams walnuts, finely chopped (1½ cups)

Frosting

  • 283 grams unsalted butter, room temperature (2½ sticks)
  • 452 grams cream cheese, room temperature (16 ounces)
  • teaspoons vanilla (extract or paste)
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 325 grams confectioners sugar (2½ cups)

Instructions

Cake

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

    Spray and lightly flour two 9-inch cake pans, and place a parchment or wax paper circle in the bottom of each pan.

  2. Mix the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, brown sugar and granulated sugar in a large bowl until incorporated, and set aside.

  3. Grind peeled and cleaned carrots in a food processor until they are finely ground and uniform. If there are a few large stray pieces, just remove them. No one wants a hunk of carrot in their cake.

    ground carrots
  4. Add the eggs and oil to the food processor and blend until well combined.

  5. Add the wet ingredients and the walnuts to the dry ingredients, and mix until well combined. Let the batter rest for at least 30 minutes. Longer resting time may improve your results with some flour blends. You can rest up to 2 hours at room temperature or overnight in the fridge.

  6. Divide into prepared pans and place in the oven. Once you close the door, turn the oven down to 350. Do not open the oven during baking.

  7. Bake for 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean and the cakes are starting to pull away from the sides of the pan.

  8. Remove cakes from the oven, and let cool for 5 minutes in the pans.

    Run a knife around the edge of the pan to loosen the cake, and invert onto parchment or wax paper to cool.

Frosting

  1. Make sure all ingredients are at room temperature. Ideally, you want your cream cheese and butter to feel as close to the same firmness as possible when you mix them together.

    Combine the butter and cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer (or use an electric hand mixer), and beat until creamy, well-combined and lump-free.

  2. Add vanilla and salt; mix well to combine.

  3. With mixer on low, gradually add confectioners' sugar until completely combined.

  4. Use to frost completely cooled cake or cupcakes.

Recipe Notes

Tips for success:

Make sure all ingredients are at room temperature.

When measuring flour, always fluff the flour up with a whisk or spoon, and then spoon into your measuring cup and gently level off with a knife or spatula. Do not tap or shake the cup, as that will settle the flour and give you an inaccurate measurement.

Nutrition Facts
Best Ever Gluten-Free Carrot Cake
Amount Per Serving (1 slice)
Calories 451 Calories from Fat 243
% Daily Value*
Fat 27g42%
Saturated Fat 12g75%
Cholesterol 88mg29%
Sodium 341mg15%
Potassium 143mg4%
Carbohydrates 48g16%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 36g40%
Protein 5g10%
Vitamin A 2270IU45%
Vitamin C 0.4mg0%
Calcium 56mg6%
Iron 1.3mg7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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