How to make gluten-free carrot cake with spices, walnuts and raisins

Shutterstock / Brent Hofacker

Carrot cake is a sweet treat that has plenty of wonderful texture and healthy fiber. A gluten-free carrot cake is actually even more pleasant to the bite when prepared with almond and coconut flours in place of all-purpose wheat flour. The ingredients are all naturally sweet so you won’t need to use too much sugar.

GF Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 6 to 8

Ingredients

Cake

  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 1 cup coconut flour + plus more for dusting pans
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground or grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 5 whole eggs
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup virgin coconut oil, melted and cooled slightly, + some for greasing the pans
  • 10 ounces shredded carrots, water squeezed out
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup raisins (golden are best)

Frosting

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1-1/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt

Directions

Cake

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Generously grease two 8″ round cake pans with coconut oil. Dust with coconut flour and tap any excess out.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the 2 flours, salt, and baking powder. Set this aside.

In another large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, place the eggs and brown sugar. Mix on medium-high for approximately 6 minutes until tripled in volume. Add in the vanilla and mix just to combine. Reduce the mixer to low and add the flour mixture in 3 portions and mix again to combine the wet and dry ingredients. Then, mix in the coconut oil.

Add the carrots, walnuts, and raisins. Fold them in with a silicone spatula or wooden spoon until all are combined.

Pour the batter in equal amounts into the two cake pans. Place these on the upper/middle rack of the oven and bake until lightly browned on top and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, approximately 35 minutes. The cakes should be a little springy to the touch. Allow the cakes to cool for 10 minutes.

Carefully run a butter knife around the outer edges of each pan to release the cakes. Cover the cakes with a plate and turn the pans over to gently let the cakes out of the pans. Place them on a wire rack and leave them to cool completely. Make the frosting while the cakes are cooling.

Frosting

In a medium mixing bowl or the (clean) bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the cream cheese and butter on medium-high for 2 minutes or until completely combined. Reduce the speed to low and beat in the powdered sugar.

Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Increase the speed to medium-high and add the yogurt, vanilla, and salt. Mix until fluffy, approximately 3 to 4 minutes.

Place the bowl in the refrigerator and chill for at least 10 minutes.

Assembly

Place one cake, domed side down, on a round serving plate or cake stand. Evenly spread 1/3 of the frosting on this cake, top, and sides. Place the other cake, domed side up, on top of the frosted cake. Spread the remaining frosting all over the cake to coat evenly.

Carrot cake is one that really lends itself well to a gluten-free recipe. One of the tricks is to use plenty of eggs and to whip air into them with a hand or stand mixer. Carrot cake is inherently denser and more textural than standard vanilla or chocolate sponge cake. The flours used in this recipe are naturally sweet. The carrots, nuts, and raisins add even more natural sweetness and texture.