Combined two family recipes to create the yummiest Gluten-Free Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting ever! In fact, this was the hands down winner after many, many taste tests! Plus, NEW option to halve the recipe and make 12 cupcakes if you want the taste of carrot cake but don't need an entire cake!
The Best Carrot Cake
Moist, Flavorful and a total crowd pleaser!
Update April 2020: We won’t be celebrating Easter with our usual big family get together this year, but we will still be enjoying some of our favorite Spring dishes and desserts. And this Gluten-Free Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting is both a classic and a family favorite among many at our usual Easter table!
Since many of you, like us, won’t be celebrating with a large family gathering, I added an option to cut this recipe in half and make Gluten-Free Carrot Cake Cupcakes! That way you can still enjoy the great taste of carrot cake (and cream cheese frosting!) without have to make or eat an entire cake! The cupcakes should free well too if you have extra. I would just freeze without the icing and add icing when you eat them.
So whether you enjoy this recipe as cake or cupcakes, enjoy!
Is there any more iconic Spring dessert than carrot cake? With one week till Easter, we are finally sharing my family’s recipe for the BEST Gluten-Free CARROT CAKE with Cream Cheese Frosting!
Several in my extended family (including me) love carrot cake and we have a taste tested countless recipes over the years and most recently in the last few weeks… This one developed by my mom is the hands-down winner. It is a combination of my Grandmother’s and my husband’s Aunt Anne’s recipes and it is 💯.
The best texture –soft and moist, and the best flavor– just the right amount of sweetness. And the cream cheese frosting is so yummy!
Plus, it is one of the easiest cakes to make! Plus it can be made in as a double layer cake, in a tube pan or even a 9×13 in pan, whatever works for you!
And it’s made with real, whole food ingredients. For the cake you’ll need grated carrots, eggs, sugar, oil, baking powder, baking soda vanilla extract, cinnamon, gluten-free flour (we used GF Jules, affiliate link), pineapple chunks (only 1/4 cup!) and chopped walnuts (omit if nut free). For the frosting you’ll need confectioner’s sugar, cream cheese, butter or dairy free butter and vanilla extract.
As an aside, you may have noticed that we are affiliate for GFJules. To learn more about why we love GFJules flour and why we have used it for 10 years, click here. Bonus: at the bottom of that post is a one-time use affiliate Discount Code.
And importantly, purchasing through an affiliate link does not change your cost at all. It generates a small percentage of the sale for me, and purchasing through an affiliate link helps me fund this website and all the recipes I share, so thank you!
Back to the carrot cake….
Whether you’re making the cake in tube pan or 2 round pans ( I actually used 2 9″ spring form pans because I find it easier), one I find it helpful to cut out a piece of parchment paper in the shape of the bottom of the pan. Then grease the parchment paper along with the rest of the pan. This will allow the cake to come out of the pan cleanly. You just peel back the parchment paper after baking.
See how clean they come out of the cake pans?
OPTION: with Easter being a much smaller affair this year, I added an option to cut the recipe in 1/2 and make 12 cupcakes.
You use all the same ingredients (just 1/2 the quantity!) and follow all the same instructions, up until pouring the batter into the pan. Instead pour of spoon the batter evenly into 12 muffin tins.
Next up… my favorite part… cream cheese frosting!
The frosting is a classic… confectioner’s sugar, cream cheese, butter and vanilla extract.
It is creamy, smooth and delish!
If frosting a double layer cake, I like to start by frosting the top of one cake, then placing the second cake on top, frosting the top and then the sides.
You can feel free to decorate is any way you like… sprinkle with walnuts, top with some carrot sticks or jelly beans or just eat as is!
This recipe is a combination of two family recipes and is the best gluten-free carrot cake hands down! Super easy recipe can be made in a tube pan, 9 x13 pan, or a double layer cake using 2 9 inch round or springform pans. Option: Recipe can be cut in half and make 12 cupcakes.
Cake (Option: to make 12 cupcakes, use ½ of all the ingredients)
1 ½ cups Canola oil
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups gluten free flour with xanthan gum (we used GF Jules, affiliate link)
2 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups grated carrots ( cut carrots into medium size pieces and pulsed them in a food processor until what grated would look like)
¼ cup crushed pineapple, drained
¾ cup chopped walnuts (omit if nut -free)
¾ cup raisins, optional. (we didn't use)
1 8oz cream cheese room temperature (or dairy free alternative)
½ cup (1 stick) butter or dairy free butter, room temperature
1 lb powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and Grease pans. If using tube pan or round cake pans, cut our parchment paper to fit the bottom in the shape of the circle. Grease the parchment paper well too. This will make it easy to removed cake from pans. If making cupcakes, line 12 full size muffin tins with paper liners. Set aside.
Mix oil and sugar thoroughly in mixer.
Add eggs one at a time, beat thoroughly after each addition.
Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in a bowl with a pastry cutter or fork.
Add dry ingredients alternately with the grated carrots to the wet ingredients.
Add vanilla and drained pineapple. Mix thoroughly.
Add walnuts and raisins if using. Again, beat thoroughly.
*Pour into pan.
*Bake at 350 for 30-40 mins if baking the 2 9 inch cakes. Bake at 50 - 60 min if baking the tube or 9x13 inch cake, or until a cake tester comes out clean. As with all Gluten-free baking, if you feel the top is browning but the center isn't fully cooked, cover loosely with foil and continue to bake.
*If making cupcakes, pour or spoon batter evenly into 12 prepared muffin tins. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 mins, then loosely cover and continue baking for 10-15 more minutes or until toothpick comes out of center cleanly.
Let cool completely before removing from pan(s) and peel back parchment paper off the base of the cake.
Cream all ingredients together and frosting on cake once cake is baked and cooled.
If frosting a double layer cake, frost the top of the bottom cake, then place the second cake on top, frost the top and then the sides.
Hi! My name is Karen, and I’m the mom in our Healthy Gluten-Free Family. My posts and pictures here and on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter are labors of love that allow me to share a very personal journey with you, one our family has taken together — learning, experimenting and sharing how to raise a healthy happy gluten-free family. Read more ...