The Best Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
Cake (Option: to make 12 cupcakes, use 1/2 of all the ingredients)
- 1 ½ cups Canola oil
- 2 cups sugar
- 4 eggs
- 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 8 oz 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.
59 thoughts on “The Best Carrot Cake”
One of the best carrots cakes I’ve ever had! Made this for my boyfriends birthday (he’s not gluten free) and he absolutely LOVED it! Already asking me too make another one. Will definitely be making it for easter! Thank you for this awesome recipe. 10/10!
Thank you!! Love that your boyfriend loves it too! I can’t wait to make it again myself!
Hello! Is there a substitute you might recommend for canola oil? I don’t have it in my pantry and am trying to limit trips to the grocery store! Perhaps bananas or apple sauce?
I completely understand! Unfortunately I don’t think this recipe would work without an oil of some kind… Do you have any neutral oil– grapeseed? maybe even coconut oil? I know it’s not the same but if you cut the recipe in half and just make 12 cupcakes, you only need 3/4 cup…. sorry!
I followed your swap suggestions! Everyone raved about it! Cupcakes were the way to go this year.. Thank you!
I made these cupcakes yesterday, and my husband and I LOVE them! So moist and delicious with or without the frosting. The walnuts added a really nice crunch.
Yay! So happy you loved them! We ate our batch from the other day without frosting, so I’m making more for Easter with frosting! And aren’t the walnuts so good?
Hi! I’m allergic to pineapple. Would it be a big deal if I left it out? Should I add something else for moisture?
Not a big deal at all! Maybe add 2 tablespoons of applesauce? Or just skip it… should still be great! Let me know if you try it!
I made the cupcakes and they are delicious!! They will be gone very fast in my house!!
Yay! Happy you love them too! I just made another batch myself!
This was the best cake recipe I have ever tried!! This cake was very moist, flavorful and delicious! I went ahead and did add in walnuts and the texture was great. I have tried so many other recrecipiespes, but this one was a huge success!
Wow! Thank you!! So happy you love it!
Best carrot cake I’ve ever had ?
Aw, thank you!!
This is an amazing recipe! It was a hit with my whole family. So moist and full of flavor. Thank you!!!
Thank you!! So happy you all love it as much as we do!
This cake is seriously delicious! Even my husband loves it and he’s not a big fan of carrot cake. I’ll definitely be making this one again and again! Thanks for the great recipes. Cant wait to try more of them!
Thank you! So happy you allll love it! And funny, my husband loves it too even though he doesn’t usually like carrot cake!
Thanks! Happy you love it!
This cake was amazing ! My daughter has celiac disease and she helped make this cake. The family enjoyed this cake so much-they would have never known it was gluten- free. We used bobs mill 1 for 1 four and baked 45 min in 2 9inch dark cake pans. ☺️
So happy your entire family loved it! Thank you!!
The best carrot cake i have ever had!!! My family is a huge fan of carrot cake so i wanted to make this recipe for dessert on Easter. I am the only one who is gluten free and usually the gluten free dessert options are sub par and obvious by taste. well…..everybody went back for seconds and we will probably make it again next week just because. We added a handful of raisins and walnuts inside and the texture was great. It was so delicious and moist but also light and very flavorful. Thank you so so much for this recipe!!
You just made my day! We want our recipes to be enjoyed by everyone at the table….. so happy your family allll loved this cake! Thank you!
This carrot cake is delicious and I can eat gluten!! I made it for my Celiac son but my whole family gobbled it up . I would never have guessed it was gf— so moist and no gf aftertaste which sometimes comes with gf recipes .
Going to try Lemon cheesecake squares next
Thanks for sharing such terrific recipes !
It deserves 5 stars but it won’t let me pick 5 stars below so I went with 4
Love it! That’s exactly what we hope to share— recipes everyone can love even if only one person at the table has to eat gluten-free! Thank you!
Can I make this with coconut oil or even vegetable oil or avacado oil. I don’t have canola. Which one would be best? Also instead of sugar can we use monk fruit sweetener?
Great question! I have never made it with another oil but I think vegetable or coconut oil would work fine! Vegetable would probably be the closest. But I have never used monk fruit sweetener so I really can’t speak to that, sorry!
Wow! Karen you’ve done it again!! This carrot cake is outstanding! And so easy!!! I did have to sub in apple sauce for the pineapple as I had already done my weekly grocery store trip but it’s perfect! And the frosting is yum! I’ve managed to eat half of it out of the bowl…I’m never really sure how long to cream it for so i may have overdone it a little…Thank you for sharing this!!
Thanks so much Jennifer! So happy you love it! And glad the apples sauce substitution worked! Thanks for sharing!
I can’t even begin to describe how amazing this recipe is! This was one of the best carrot cakes I have ever had…better than any bakery! Everyone loved it and we will be making this again for sure! If I could give it more stars, I would! Absolutely delicious!!!!
Aw, thank you SO much! Happy you loved it as much (maybe even more? lol) than we do!
This is by far the best carrot cake I have had. So easy and delicious and moist. I made it into two 9” rounds and it was perfect!
Hi! I wanted to get your thoughts on making this cake ahead of time and then freezing it (just the cake part). Then defrosting and making the cream cheese frosting fresh and serving? My son has asked for carrot cake for his birthday but we’re renting a house and skiing over his birthday weekend. I really don’t want to pack and lug all the baking items I’ll need…including my Kitchen Aid mixer. I was recently watching a Barefoot Contessa and she said one could do just that with her chocolate mocha cake. Thank you!
I completely understand! I haven’t done it with this cake but the it should work fine! One tip: when you de-thaw the cake, the top may be moister than if you had just baked it and served it, so when you make your frosting, you might have to make it a little thinner (wetter, loose) so that it spreads without “picking up the cake”… I would make sure the butter and cream cheese are very room temperature before making the frosting… hope that helps!
Hello! What would you recommend for an egg replacement?
Hi! I’ve never made this cake without eggs… you might be able to make the cupcakes, which is half the recipe and use your favorite egg substitute, but with 4 eggs for the full recipe, it might not work as well
I just tried it without pineapple and it was awesome!! I added a little bit of pumpkin spice to the cinnamon and substituted coconut oil. I also use 1 cup or maple syrup to cut back on the sugar. ?I didn’t bake it the additional 10 minutes. 20 minutes was perfect. They are very moist and you definitely can’t tell they are gluten free!!thanks for the recipe!
Happy you love it! Thanks for sharing your recipe adjustments to! Enjoy!
I would like to add some shredded coconut, do you have any idea of how much should I add?
Hi. Great question! I have never added coconut and but maybe swap out the raisins or walnuts and add coconut in its place?
Hi! Looking forward to giving this recipe a try. Question…trying to cut out sugar. Would coconut sugar be an appropriate substitute or what would you suggest to make the cupcakes? Thank you.
I’ve never made them with coconut sugar but it should work. It’s not a sweet cake/ cupcake but you could probably even cut sugar to 3/4 cup (v 1 cup in cupcakes) but I would not do less than that because sugar impacts texture, not just flavor. Let me know if you make them.
I made your carrot cake recipe tonight. It was so delicious!! No one even knew it was GF!!
I did not use the pineapples (Im allergic). Made no difference. The cake was so moist and the icing was perfect!!
Thank you for all your recipes!!
Thank you! So happy everyone enjoyed it! And thanks for sharing that you didn’t use pineapple and it was still great!
I had some leftover cream cheese frosting from making the cinnamon rolls and decided to make carrot cake cupcakes to use up some of the extra icings! I love how you can make a cake or cupcakes from the recipe. These were the best gluten-free cupcakes I have ever had! I absolutely loved the addition of the pineapple in the recipe! I used fresh pineapple and cut them into slightly larger pieces. They were light, moist, fluffy, and had a perfect consistency! I decided to use brown sugar instead of white granulated sugar and they still tasted great! I would recommend this recipe to anyone who loved carrot cake. It was so easy to follow, includes simple ingredients, tastes amazing. My family members could not even tell that they were gluten-free! I will definitely be making this recipe again and maybe even try making the cake version! Thaks so much for the recipe!
Thank you SO much! Happy you found the recipe easy to follow and that you loved them! Love your idea of using the extra cinnamon roll frosting on the cupcakes!
This cake is simply divine! I made it in a bundt pan, and once again, your recipe was perfection, although I did reduce the sugar a bit as I do with most sweets recipes. I covered the top with foil for the last 10 minutes of baking. I used lactose free cream cheese and margarine, and the frosting was a bit runny. If others run into this problem, I suggest refrigerating the icing until it thickens up before frosting the cake.
Happy you loved it! And always so pretty in a bundt pan! Thank you!
Cake was delicious! You would never know it was gluten free by its taste or appearance. Everyone loved it.
Thank you!! Happy everyone loved it!
SCRUMPTIOUS! PERFECTION! I made cupcakes and they are SO good! Everyone raved about them at Easter. Thank you Karen for another delicious recipe! I used Cup4Cup GF Multipurpose Flour and they came out perfect! Still enjoying the few leftover cupcakes I have and wishing for more.
Thank you so much Jen! Happy you all enjoyed them as much as we do! And thanks for sharing that you made them with Cup4Cup.
Hi, I made this for Easter and everyone raved about it and couldn’t believe it was gluten free. Thank you so much! Do you have any tips for a sheet pan version?
My sheet pan is 12 1/2 x 17 1/2. Looking at your other sheet pan recipes you use a smaller sheet pan and bake for 20 min. Would I need to increase the recipe and bake longer for my larger pan?
Hi. Do you have a 13 x 9 in pan? That works well with this recipe. My sheet pan chocolate and vanilla cakes use a smaller pan that this one would require.
If I make the cake the night before, can I cover it and leave on the counter overnight and then frost it the next day? Thank you.
Definitely! I do that all the time as well! Enjoy!