This easy gluten-free carrot cake recipe makes a moist and delicious cake. Add pineapple for an extra treat. Make the best cupcakes or muffins for the carrot lover in your life.
How to Make One Bowl Gluten-Free Carrot Cake
- Preheat your oven and shred the carrots. You always want to bake cakes in a hot oven. Turn on the oven and, while it heats, shred the carrots. You can use either a box grater or a food processor fitted with a grater attachment. Once the carrots are grated, set them aside.
- Whisk together the dry ingredients. Grab a large bowl and whisk together the gluten-free flour, brown sugar, baking powder and soda, salt, and spices. If you see any dry bits of brown sugar, break them up with your fingers.
- Add the wet ingredients. You’ve basically made a homemade cake mix at this point. All you need to do now is add the oil and eggs. The batter might look thick. This is totally normal. Once you add the carrots, it loosens up.
- Stir in the carrots. Use a wooden spoon or silicone spatula and add the carrots. If you’re using pineapple or raisins, add them now.
- Divide the batter between two cake pans. Grease two round cake pans and pour the batter evenly between the pans.
- Bake until a cake tester comes out clean. Gluten-Free carrot cake takes about 35 minutes to bake. Test it by inserting a cake tester in the middle of the cake. It should come out with only a few crumbs clinging to it.
- Remove from the oven and cool. Allow the cake to cool in the pan for about five minutes. If you let it cool longer than that, it can stick to the pan. And if you try to remove it before that, the cake will be hot and delicate and can break. Five minutes is your magic number here.
- Frost. Once the cake is totally cool, frost it with your favorite frosting. Cream cheese frosting is classic but you can use whatever you love.
FAQs: Gluten-Free Carrot Cake
What’s the best flour for gluten-free carrot cake?
For this recipe, use Bob’s Red Mill’s 1:1 Gluten-Free Baking Flour. It makes for a nice moist carrot cake with a tender crumb. (If you want to mix your own flours, see recipe note.)
How do I shred the carrots?
There are two ways to shred/grate the carrots for carrot cake.
- Use a box grater.
- Use the grater attachment on a food processor.
But! I think both of these methods have one shortcoming: the carrot shreds can be too long.
Here’s what I like to do:
If using a box grater, place the shredded carrots on a cutting board. Chop the grated carrots lightly with a Chef’s knife.
If using a food processor, you have two options. You can chop the carrots in the bowl of the food processor by removing the grating disk and inserting the food processor blade, then pulse the grated carrots a few times. (Don’t go wild or you’ll get carrot mush.) If that’s too much of a pain (the ease of this step really depends on your food processor) place the grated carrots onto a cutting board and chop.
Do I need to do this?
No, you don’t. I just think that shorter pieces of chopped, shredded carrots are more pleasing in a cake than long strands.
Can I add pineapple?
Yes! Add one 8-ounce can of crushed pineapple. Any more than that and the cake gets too moist, almost gummy.
How about raisins?
If you like raisins in your carrot cake, go for it! (Just don’t offer me a slice…)
Is this carrot cake dairy-free?
Yes! The cake contains no dairy.
What kind of frosting goes best with carrot cake?
Most of the time, cream cheese frosting is used. If you have a dairy allergy, try using a dairy-free cream cheese or finishing the cake with a classic dairy-free buttercream.
How do I make carrot cake muffins?
If you want to use this recipe, you’ll be making carrot cake cupcakes. There really isn’t a big difference between carrot cake muffins and cupcakes. If you want a recipe for carrot muffins, let me know!
Why does carrot cake turn green?
Hopefully, with this recipe you won’t have to wonder why your carrot cake turned green!
If this happened to you in the past, there are two possible culprits:
- The recipe called for too much baking soda. Carrots contain a pigment that makes them sensitive to alkaline. (Baking soda is alkaline.)
- The baking soda wasn’t mixed into the recipe and, therefore, came into direct contact with the carrots. To prevent this, be sure to mix the dry ingredients well before adding the eggs, oil, and carrots. That will solve this problem!
Gluten-Free Carrot Cake
Easy gluten-free carrot cake recipe makes a moist and delicious cake. Add pineapple for an extra treat. Make the best cupcakes or muffins for the carrot lover in your life.
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 2 cups Bob's Red Mill 1:1 Gluten-Free Baking Flour
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 3/4 cup canola or other vegetable oil
- 4 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 cups grated carrots (about 5 to 6 large carrots)
- 1 (8 ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained optional
- 1 cup coarsely chopped pecans optional
- ½ cup raisins optional
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese softened
- 1/4 cup butter softened
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 4 cups powdered sugar sifted
For the carrot cake, preheat oven to 350° F. Grease two 8-inch round cake pans with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
Whisk together the flour, sugars, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. Add the oil, eggs and vanilla extract. Whisk until smooth. Stir in the carrots, drained pineapple, pecans, and raisins, if using.
- Divide the batter evenly between the two prepared pans.
- Bake until golden brown. A toothpick inserted into the center of the cake should come out clean, about 35 minutes.
Allow cakes to cool in the pan for 5 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely. When cool, frost with Cream Cheese Frosting.
Cream Cheese Frosting
Combine cream cheese, butter and vanilla extract in a large bowl. Cream until light and smooth. Add powdered sugar. Mix until smooth.
To use your own flour blend, replace the Bob's Red Mill Flour with:
1 cup white rice flour
1/2 cup sweet rice flour
1/2 cup tapioca starch
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
Whisk together in a small bowl before using.
Pineapple and Sweetness
Because pineapple adds sweetness, you can reduce the brown sugar by 2 tablespoons if desired.