Oh, Carrot Cake, how I have missed thee. I have missed your intoxicating cinnamon scent and your addictive sweet taste, your soft crumb and velvety smooth icing. Yes, I have missed you for over three years now. But no longer shall I be wanting, for here you are in all your delicious glory in wonderful gluten-free form. Hallelujah!
Carrot cake is an infamous dessert in my household. It has graced the table of nearly every celebratory occasion including birthdays, Christmases, and even my parents’ wedding. Truly the perfect combination of impressive appearance and addictive taste, our traditional carrot cake is sure to awe every guest and comfort every taster. And thus ever since my diagnosis, it has been my goal to create a gluten-less version of this delectable family favorite. And voilà! This is it.
Brown sugar and freshly grated carrots make this cake incredibly moist, while nutty walnuts offer the perfect textural accent. The sweetness of this dessert is highlighted by a delicate hint of cinnamon and allspice and complemented by the queen of all frostings: vanilla cream cheese. The frosting is satiny smooth and buttery rich with just the slightest tang to offset the sweetness of the cake. It is the type of frosting you will devour by the spoonful if you aren’t careful. And thus, with this finishing touch, a wonderful cake is transformed into a spectacular dessert sensation! You will never have to go carrot-cake-less again!
Gluten-Free Carrot Cake
1 cup canola oil
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 cups GF Flour Mix*
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
½ teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped walnuts (plus extra for decoration)
3 cups grated carrots
Preheat the oven to 325°F. Spray three 9″ round baking pans with cooking spray and line with parchment paper.
Beat together the oil, vanilla, eggs, and sugars in a large bowl until well combined. In a separate bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients and spices. Add dry ingredients to the oil mixture and stir until fully incorporated. Add in the nuts and carrots and stir until thoroughly mixed.
Divide batter into prepared baking pans and bake 40-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cake cool in pans for at least 15 minutes, and then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Once cool, frost and decorate as desired.
Cream Cheese Frosting
12 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
12 tablespoons butter, room temperature
3-4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla
Beat butter until light and creamy. Add in cream cheese, a few pieces at a time, and beat until very smooth and light. Gradually add in powdered sugar on low speed, adding just enough to reach the desired sweetness and consistency (more sugar will produce a thicker, more stable frosting that is required for decorating). Beat in vanilla until fully incorporated.
*GF Flour Mix
2 cups brown rice flour
2/3 cup potato starch
1/3 cup tapioca starch