Best Gluten Free Carrot Cake Recipe

Carrot cake is one of those desserts that people either love or hate. If you grew up eating it, it’s a fantastic comfort food that you can’t get enough of. If yours wasn’t a carrot cake family, it might seem weird to even think of carrots in the context of dessert. 

Unfortunately, carrot cake is, after all, a cake. If you’re gluten intolerant, you probably don’t have much grip with the carrot part, but the cake part is always a bit of a hassle to adapt to a gluten-friendly diet. 

Well, put those thoughts aside because we’re going to share our favorite gluten free carrot cake recipe in this post.  

Best Gluten Free Carrot Cake

The problem with gluten-free baking is that it often falls short in the texture aspect of desserts. Gluten is an important ingredient if you want your cakes to be moist and dense. Plus, it gives desserts just the right amount of bite without making them too chewy. 

But as important as gluten is, it’s not impossible to replace. You just have to be smart about how you do it and follow a few simple rules. For this recipe, we put our thinking caps on and put all our baking prowess to work to create a cake that’s just right. 

Here’s the recipes for gluten free carrot cake:

  • 3 cups of almond flour
  • ¾ cup of walnuts, almonds, pecans, or your favorite nut
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 ½ tsp cinnamon 
  • 1 tsp dried ground ginger
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups of shredded carrots
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • ¾ cup shredded coconut
  • ⅓ cup raising or sweetened dried cranberries

Those are the basic ingredients for the cake. You can use your favorite frosting recipe to frost the cake or use a store-bought frosting (we promise not to tell). But if you’re not the type of person who’s picky about frosting, we’ve got you covered with a recipe that pairs perfectly with this carrot cake.

  • 8 oz. of cream cheese
  • 2 tbsp room temperature unsalted butter
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • A dash of almond extract

You can replace the cream cheese with reduced-fat cream cheese if you’re worried about fat content. And, to be fair, almond flour has a lot of fat compared to all-purpose flour, so you’re well within your rights to be worried about it. 

With all your ingredients ready, it’s time to move on to the fun part. 

Carrot Cake

Ingredient Rundown

Before jumping into instructions, it’s worth saying a few words about these ingredients and how they behave together. 

And the big one to talk about is almond flour. Recipes for gluten-free carrot cake often use this flour, but you can’t use it just like all-purpose flour. Almond flour makes much denser baked goods than wheat flour, and it’s easy to mess up your desserts with it. 

To give it a little airiness and prevent it from being overly dense, make sure you beat your eggs vigorously. You’ll want to beat them well beyond the point that you’d stop if you were using all-purpose flour. This adds more air to the cake from the start and keeps it fluffy. 

The other star ingredient is carrots, of course. 

Root vegetables in cakes don’t feel like the most intuitive combination. Yet, carrot cakes are a crowd pleaser in all parts of the world. And that’s because carrots are surprisingly sweet and supremely moist while still being fibrous enough to add structure to a cake. 

The coconut is there to add a little more texture and bite, which is what you’re missing when you exclude gluten. Raisins serve a similar purpose while also adding a pop of flavor to every bite, as do the nuts. Walnuts are always a favorite, but you can substitute almonds, pecans, or whatever nuts you choose. 

Lastly, the spices. 

A carrot cake loves to be spiced, which is why there are so many in this recipe. But, spices are optional; you can remove them altogether or come up with a mix of spices that suit your tastes or what you have on-hand. 


Putting it All Together

The moment you’ve been waiting for, this is where the fun starts. 

First, you want to line two 8-inch cake pans with parchment paper and preheat your oven to 350 ℉. To maintain an authentic cake feel, use round pans, but you can make loaves as well with 8-inch long bread pans. Coat the pan with cooking spray and lightly dust them with almond flour. 

If you’re using whole nuts, this is the time to chop them into fine pieces, but chopped nuts will work just as well. Also, you’ll want to toast your nuts before chopping if they’re raw. 

In a mixing bowl, combine the almond flour, baking soda, salt, baking powder, and spices. Mix the dry ingredients until they’re fully incorporated. 

Using a mixer, beat the eggs in a separate mixing bowl and add brown sugar. Keep mixing until the eggs become very fluffy and the sugar is completely dissolved. This process will take the better part of seven or eight minutes, but it’s worth the effort for a fluffier cake. 

Keep the mixer running at half speed and add the dry ingredients one third at a time, giving each batch time to mix into the eggs and sugar before moving on. Then, add the carrots, coconut, raisins, and nuts. 

Once everything is mixed evenly, divide the mixture evenly between the cake pans and bake in your preheated oven for about 25 minutes. You’ll want the tops of the cakes to be a deep golden brown. 

Cool the pans for about 10 minutes before removing the cakes, and then cool the cakes for a further 30 minutes. 


Assembling the Cake

If you’re using our frosting recipe, combine all the ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix them either by hand or with a stand mixer until they’re completely combined. 

If you use a dairy-free frosting, you also have a dairy-free cake without lifting a finger. 

Trim the tops of the cakes you baked so they’re flat, and spread a layer of frosting on top of one. Then, lay the second cake on top and spread another layer of frosting on it. Use the remaining frosting to frost the sides of the cake and decorate with chopped nuts.


Have Your Cake and Eat it Too

There you have it: a perfect carrot cake without a hint of gluten in sight. Despite the long ingredient list, this is a surefire recipe that won’t disappoint.

At Root and Bone, we pride ourselves on our exquisite carrot cake (gluten-free, of course), and it’s one of the stars of our dessert menu. We’d love to have you try it and some of the other best desserts in Miami, so book a table right now, and we’ll save a slice just for you. You can also join our reward club for an instant reward. 

And we’d also like to hear about your favorite carrot cake recipes, so don’t hesitate to share them with us.