Gluten-Free Carrot Cake for National Carrot Cake Day!

Sunday February 3rd is a big day. If you are enthusiastic about football, I suppose you will watching the Super Bowl, drinking beer and pigging out on salty foods. If you are not interested in football, you might be indulging your sweet tooth, because it’s National Carrot Cake Day! I am making an delicate crumbed gluten-free carrot cake with a creamy vanilla cream cheese frosting.

Let me give you a little background story here. A good friend of mine is getting married in Mammoth this summer and she asked me to make cupcakes for her wedding. I delightfully agreed. I have an awesome carrot cake recipe that we have been making since I was a kid, and now I wanted to try a gluten-free version (the bride is gluten-free). The results were amazing and I never thought I could make a gluten-free carrot cake taste so moist. You would never guess it was gluten-free unless I told you!

This was the first time I was going to see her after a long summer. I was rushing around the day after Christmas to finish the cake and hit the road. You can’t rush through baking, lesson learned (time and time again). I did a crumb coating on the cake; which wasn’t fully cooled, and put it in the freezer to harden for twenty minutes. I pulled the cake out, added the final layer of frosting and a few buttercream decorations, then put it back into the freezer.

Crumb coat

I guess when I put the cake in the freezer, it wasn’t sitting completely flat on my plate, because when I opened the door, the cake fell on the floor. Immediately the tears started welling up in my eyes. I know all of us bakers have probably experienced this feeling before; the hours of work you just put in to have it all be ruined in a flash of a second. I shamefully hollowed out the middle of the cake that was still good and brought the bride some cupcake mush.

DISASTER!! WAAAAAAAAAA

Thankfully, she is super easy going and didn’t care at all. She was so pleased with the results, that she chose this cake for their bride and groom cake.

Gluten- Free Carrot Cake
*This recipe was originally not a gluten-free recipe. To make the regular recipe, omit the Xanthan gum and use regular all-purpose flour.

4 Eggs

2 C Sugar

1 C Oil

2 C Gluten-free all purpose baking flour

1 1/2 tsp Xanthan gum

2 tsp Baking soda

1 tsp Salt

2 tsp Cinnamon

3 C Grated raw carrots

1 C Chopped walnuts (optional)

1 C Raisins (optional)

  • Preheat oven to 350° and grease and flour two 8” pans. If you choose to use a different size pan, you will need to adjust the baking time accordingly. This can easily be made in a 9” pan as well as a Bundt pan.
  • Lightly beat eggs with a fork. Add sugar and heat on low speed until smooth. Add oil and continue to beat on low speed until well mixed.
  • In a medium bowl, combine gluten-free flour, xanthan gum, baking soda, salt and cinnamon and mix together. Slowly add flour mixture to wet ingredients and beat until incorporated.
  • Use a food processor to shred carrots into smaller pieces. Add to the batter mixture and beat until combined.
  • Fold in walnuts and raisins.

Bake for 40-45 minutes. Use a toothpick or knife to check the center of the cake. If your toothpick comes out clean, the cake is done.

Once cooled, top your carrot cake with your favorite cream cheese recipe!

Cream Cheese Frosting- my all time favorite recipe!
Adapted from Martha Stewart 

1 C (2 sticks) Unsalted butter at room temperature

2 (8 oz) Packages cream cheese at room temperature

1 tsp Vanilla extract

1 lb  (approximately 3.5 cups) Confectionary sugar

  • Cream together butter and cream cheese until smooth and silky. Add vanilla extract until well mixed.
  • Slowly add confectionary sugar and beat until desired consistency. I like to whip mine with the paddle attachment on my stand mixer on medium-high speed for at least 2 minutes to ensure my frosting is smooth.
  • Add an additional 1/2 C confectionary sugar for a stiffer consistency if desired.
  • I like to refrigerate my cream cheese frosting for about 30 minutes before I try to pipe my cupcakes. This will allow some time for the frosting to set and before a little bit stiffer so it will hold a nice shape. If you frost it right out of the mixer, it will be too soft to pipe.
  • You can refrigerate the frosting for several days. Allow the frosting to come to room temperature before using.
  • Tip: you can use a clear Vanilla extract to keep your cream cheese a pure white color

For this post, I decided I would make a batch of gluten-free cupcakes instead of a cake. Especially because I didn’t have any “before” pictures of my cake. This recipe will make approximately 24-26 cupcakes if the cupcake liners are filled 2/3 full. I baked them for about 20 minutes, but baking times will vary depending on your oven. The cupcake have a crispy top layer while the insides remain very moist.

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