Welcome, my dear food lovers and cooking enthusiasts! Today, I bring to you a scrumptious gluten-free carrot cake recipe that will delight your taste buds and leave you craving for more. This recipe combines juicy carrots with nutty pecans and mouth-watering spices to create an unforgettable dessert that can complement any meal or occasion.
If you are living a gluten-free lifestyle, then you know the struggles of finding baked goods that are both delicious and healthy. But fret not, as my recipe is tailored to meet all your dietary requirements while also delivering on taste and texture.
This carrot cake recipe is your ticket to indulging in a guilt-free dessert packed with wholesome ingredients that will keep you energized throughout the day. The combination of almond flour and xanthan gum in this recipe ensures that the cake stays moist and tender without falling apart.
So, what are you waiting for? Gather the ingredients, put on your apron, and let’s dive into this easy gluten-free carrot cake recipe!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
When it comes to carrot cakes, finding a recipe that is both gluten-free and delicious can be quite tedious. But, look no further! This gluten-free carrot cake recipe is the answer to all your prayers. You might be thinking, “But it’s just a carrot cake, what’s so special about it?” Well, let me tell you – this cake is a game-changer!
First and foremost, this gluten-free carrot cake recipe uses fresh carrots, which give the cake a natural sweetness and a moist texture. The use of almond flour instead of traditional wheat flour makes this cake perfect for those who are gluten intolerant or have celiac disease. Not only is it gluten-free, but it is also dairy-free, with a dairy-free option for the cream cheese frosting.
This recipe uses a unique blend of spices including nutmeg and cinnamon that gives the cake an irresistible aroma and flavor. Additionally, the crushed pineapple adds a nice twist to the traditional carrot cake recipe.
One of the best things about this recipe is its versatility. You can make a delicious layered carrot cake for birthdays or special occasions or turn them into cupcakes for an after-school snack or dessert.
Apart from being utterly delicious and versatile, this gluten-free carrot cake recipe is also healthier than most traditional cakes. It does not contain any refined sugar – instead, the natural sweetness from fresh carrots and applesauce gives it its tender sweetness.
So why will you love this recipe? Because it combines healthy and wholesome ingredients in such an extraordinary way that you won’t even miss the gluten or the dairy. This delightful treat is perfect for any occasion and is bound to put a smile on anyone’s face.
Before diving into baking this delicious gluten-free carrot cake, we need to gather all the necessary ingredients. Here’s a list of what you will need:
- 2 cups of gluten-free flour
- 1 tsp of baking soda
- 1 ½ tsp of xanthan gum (or guar gum)
- 1 tsp of baking powder
- A pinch of salt
- 2 tsp of cinnamon
- ¼ tsp of nutmeg
- 4 large eggs
- 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
- 225 g fresh carrots finely shredded (about 2 medium-sized carrots)
- 1 can (8 oz) crushed pineapple drained
- ⅔ cup chopped pecans
For the cream cheese frosting, you will need:
- 1 ½ cups powdered sugar
- 4 Tbsp (60 g) unsalted butter, softened
- 8 oz (226 g) cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
Note: If you want to make the carrot cake healthier but still delicious, you can make some substitutions such as replacing vegetable oil with coconut oil or substituting sugar with honey or maple syrup. You can also use almond flour or coconut flour instead of the gluten-free flour for a low-carb or keto version. For dairy-free options, use dairy-free cream cheese and vegan butter. And for a vegan version, you can substitute eggs with flax eggs.
The Recipe How-To
Now that we’ve got all our ingredients in place, it’s time to start whipping up our delicious gluten-free carrot cake. Here’s how to do it:
Step 1: Prepare the Dry Ingredients
In a large mixing bowl, sift together 2 cups of gluten-free flour, 2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon, 2 teaspoons of baking powder, 1 teaspoon of baking soda, 1 teaspoon of xanthan gum, ½ teaspoon of ground nutmeg, and ½ teaspoon of salt. Mix well using a wire whisk.
Step 2: Mix the Wet Ingredients
In another mixing bowl, whisk together 3 large eggs until light and fluffy. Add in 1 cup of granulated sugar and whisk until well combined. Slowly drizzle in ¾ cup of vegetable oil while continuously whisking the mixture. Then, add in 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract and continue whisking until everything is well blended.
Step 3: Combine Wet and Dry Mixtures
Slowly fold in the dry flour mixture into the wet ingredients until a smooth batter forms. Add in the grated fresh carrots, crushed pineapple and pecans, then fold them in as well until they’re evenly distributed throughout the batter.
Step 4: Bake the Cake
Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Meanwhile, grease a cake pan with butter and line its bottom with parchment paper. Pour the cake batter into the prepared pan, ensuring it is leveled inside to ensure even baking. Place it in the preheated oven and bake for approximately 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted at the center comes out clean.
Step 5: Frost and Serve
Take out your baked cake from the oven and allow it to cool completely before serving. While waiting, prepare your cream cheese frosting by beating together some cream cheese, butter, and powdered sugar until everything is well blended. Smear the frosting onto the top of the cake (optional), slice into desired sizes and serve on a platter.
Enjoy every toothsome bite of this delicious gluten-free carrot cake!
Substitutions and Variations
As a nutritionist and food blogger, I always encourage culinary creativity and adaptation to fit individual preferences and dietary restrictions. Here are some substitutions and variations to try with this delicious gluten-free carrot cake recipe:
1. Nuts: Although this recipe calls for pecans, you can use any nuts you have on hand or prefer. Walnuts, almonds, or hazelnuts would all be great options.
2. Frosting: The tangy cream cheese frosting is undoubtedly delicious, but if you need a dairy-free option or want a lower sugar alternative, you can try using coconut whipped cream or a simple glaze made of powdered sugar and lemon juice.
3. Flour Mix: If you cannot find gluten-free flour at your local store or you prefer not to use xanthan gum or guar gum in your baked goods, you can make your own flour blend by mixing equal parts of almond flour, coconut flour, and tapioca starch.
4. Spices: While nutmeg and cinnamon are the classic spices that add warmth and depth to this cake recipe, feel free to experiment with other spices like ginger or cardamom to elevate the flavors.
5. Cupcakes: If you want to switch things up and make carrot cupcakes instead of a cake, simply divide the batter into lined muffin cups and adjust the baking time to about 20 minutes at 350°F.
These substitutions and variations show that there are endless possibilities for customizing this already fantastic gluten-free carrot cake recipe to your liking. Don’t be afraid to get creative in the kitchen!
Serving and Pairing
The gluten-free carrot cake recipe is the perfect dessert to pair with a hot cup of coffee or tea. It’s so delicious and moist that it’s easy to forget that it’s gluten-free. This cake recipe can also be served as a centerpiece for a special occasion, such as a birthday party or family gathering.
For an extra delicious twist, serve this cake with cream cheese frosting sprinkled with chopped pecans. The sweetness of the frosting pairs perfectly with the spice and nuttiness of this cake. If you prefer dairy-free options, you can easily find a dairy-free cream cheese substitute or use a frosting made from powdered sugar and coconut milk.
The carrot cake also goes well with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or whipped cream for added texture and flavors. To make this dessert more special, add a sprinkle of cinnamon on top.
If you are looking for something low carb or vegan, this recipe can also be transformed into cupcakes or birthday cake versions. Just swap out some of the ingredients according to your dietary restrictions, and you’ll never know the difference!
No matter how you choose to serve it, the gluten-free carrot cake is sure to impress your taste buds with its moist and tender crumb that is bound to keep you coming back for more.
Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating
There’s nothing better than having a freshly baked slice of gluten-free carrot cake, but sometimes we don’t have the time to bake it from scratch every time we want to indulge in this delicious dessert. Fortunately, this recipe can be made ahead and stored for later consumption.
To make ahead, let the cake cool completely to room temperature before wrapping it tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Place it in an airtight container or resealable bag before storing it in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. You can also freeze the unfrosted cake for up to 2 months.
When it’s time to enjoy your gluten-free carrot cake, you can take it out of the refrigerator or freezer and let it thaw at room temperature for several hours. To serve, top the cake with cream cheese frosting and some chopped pecans.
For reheating, you can choose to microwave the cake slices on a microwave-safe plate by heating them for about 10-15 seconds, depending on your microwave’s power. However, this might result in a slightly dry cake that is falling apart. A better way would be to reheat individual slices in a preheated oven at 350°F (180°C) for about 5-8 minutes until heated through.
One thing to keep in mind is that gluten-free baked goods tend to dry faster than their gluten-containing counterparts. Therefore, it’s essential to keep your gluten-free carrot cake moist by storing it properly and avoiding exposure to air. To prevent your cake from drying out, you can brush it with some simple syrup (equal parts water and granulated sugar cooked together) before frosting.
With these make-ahead, storing, and reheating tips, you’ll be able to enjoy this deliciously moist and tender gluten-free carrot cake any time you want without compromising on taste and texture.
Tips for Perfect Results
As a food blogger and nutritionist, I understand that baking can sometimes be tricky, especially when it comes to gluten-free recipes. However, with the right tips and techniques, you can have a delicious and moist gluten-free carrot cake. Here are my top tips for perfect results:
1. Use Fresh Ingredients: When making a cake from scratch, using fresh ingredients is key to achieving optimal flavors.
2. Measure Ingredients Accurately: In baking, accurate measurement of ingredients is crucial because a small mistake can drastically affect the texture and flavor of your cake. I recommend measuring your ingredients with a digital scale for the best possible results.
3. Don’t Overmix Your Batter: Overmixing your batter can cause the cake to become tough and chewy. Mix until just combined to avoid this.
4. Choose the Right Flour: I recommend using a high-quality gluten-free flour blend that includes xanthan gum or guar gum, as these help to bind the ingredients together and create a better texture.
5. Don’t Overbake Your Cake: Overbaking your cake can cause it to dry out quickly. Check your cake regularly after about 30-35 minutes of baking time to ensure it doesn’t dry out.
6. Allow Your Cake To Cool Completely Before Frosting: If you apply frosting before the cake cools, the frosting will melt and slide off the cake.
7. Add Texture with Nuts: Pecans are an excellent addition to this gluten-free carrot cake recipe as they add a great crunch and depth of flavor.
8. Make Ahead of Time: This carrot cake recipe is perfect for making ahead of time as it actually tastes better on the second day when all the flavors have had time to meld together.
By following these simple yet effective tips, you can make an impressive gluten-free carrot cake that’s sure to please everyone’s taste buds!
Before we conclude our journey through the wonderful world of gluten-free carrot cake, let’s go over some frequently asked questions that might still be lingering in your mind. Do not worry, I have you covered, and will provide some answers to help ensure your baking process goes as smoothly as possible. Let’s dive in!
How do you keep gluten-free cake moist?
Proper refrigeration and covering are crucial in preventing a gluten-free cake from becoming dry and hard on the outside. Adding buttermilk and extra fat to the batter can also help combat dryness in the texture.
How do you keep gluten-free cake from falling apart?
Making gluten-free baked goods is trickier than using regular wheat flour because we don’t have the magical binding agents, xanthan gum or guar gum, that hold everything together. To fix this, we need to take matters into our own hands and add these binding agents ourselves. Adding around ½ a teaspoon of xanthan or guar gum for every cup of gluten-free flour should do the trick. However, this can be adjusted later on to suit your preferences.
What makes gluten-free baked goods fluffy?
To achieve a softer and more malleable outcome in your recipes, certain components may come in handy such as eggs, gelatin, xanthan gum, and guar gum.
Why is my gluten-free cake hard?
When baking gluten-free cakes, there is a risk of them turning out dry due to over baking or using an oven that is too hot. To prevent this from happening, it’s recommended to slightly under-bake the cake and keep the moisture intact. This can be achieved by reducing the baking time by five minutes and checking it with a skewer to ensure it’s cooked.
In conclusion, this gluten-free carrot cake recipe is not only delicious but it is also healthy and nutritious. The recipe is easy to follow and the ingredients are readily available in most grocery stores. Whether you are looking for a dessert to serve at a party or a treat for yourself, this gluten-free carrot cake recipe is the perfect choice.
This cake is moist and tender, and the cream cheese frosting adds a sweet touch that makes it irresistible. You can make some variations or substitutions according to your preference, such as vegan or low-carb. Also, you can store it for several days without worrying about it drying out or falling apart.
Furthermore, consuming gluten-free products has become increasingly popular due to its health benefits such as improved digestion and better nutrient absorption. Therefore, incorporating gluten-free recipes in your diet like this gluten-free carrot cake recipe can be beneficial.
In conclusion, I highly recommend trying this gluten-free carrot cake recipe. I assure you that you won’t be disappointed! So go ahead and indulge in some healthy treats while enjoying the delicious flavors of nature’s bounty!
Delicious Gluten Free Carrot Cake Recipe
- 2 cups sugar
- 1/2 cup applesauce
- 2 cups all purpose gluten-free flour
- 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups grated carrots or 3 large carrots
- 1 cup drained crushed pineapple
- 1 cup chopped pecans (optional)
- 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, at room temperature
- 3 3/4 cups powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
- Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C).
- Beat sugar, drained crushed pineapple, and applesauce together. Then add eggs and carrots.
- In another bowl you will mix together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and chopped pecans (optional).
- Next slowly add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix well until fully blended.
- Pour into greased cake pan(s) and place in oven.
- Bake for 30-40 minutes until inserted toothpick comes out clean.
- Beat the cream cheese and room temperature butter until soft. Add the remaining powdered sugar and pecans until evenly blended.
- Wait at least 1 hour for cake to cool before icing.