Carrot Cake

carrotcake3 Carrot Cake

Last week when I posted Gluten Free Grains 101, many of you asked for the recipe of the cake shown in that post. Well, this isnt it! Haha. This is a recipe for carrot cake, which several of you requested when seeing that cake. Since I haven’t been able to stop thinking about carrot cake I decided to give it a try. There is no shortage of gluten-free recipes for carrot cake out there because carrot cake translates beautifully to gluten-free. Gluten Free Gobsmacked’s exquisite carrot cake is one example, especially with Kate’s secret ingredient (*wink wink*). Since I did not have the ingredients on hand for that delectable cake, I decided to refer to a recipe in Sherry Yard’s cookbook, The Secrets of Baking. This cookbook is not for the beginning cook but is wonderful for someone trying to master the skill of baking. There were a number of things about the recipe that make it a good adaptation:

1) in the financier family (uses almond meal) 2) use of crushed pineapple 3) lots of vanilla 4) a whole teaspoon of cinnamon 5) coconut 6) melting butter until dark golden color gives cake even more flavor

Note: You can just sub your gluten-free flour mix for the one I used. I did not like sorghum flour with this one (although you might), so I used a different flour mix. The gluten free flour blend I did use was awesome and there was not a hint of gluten-free about the cake.

Additional note: Sherry Yard’s recipe called for 2 10 inch baking pans, so my original plan was to make a triple decker carrot cake with 3 nine inch pans. However, there was only enough batter for 2 9 inch cakes (no idea why). Next time, I might double the recipe to make a triple decker carrot cake and use any leftover batter for cupcakes to freeze. I just think a triple decker cake is very festive!

Here is the recipe with my gluten-free alterations:

carrotcake1 Carrot Cake


2 sticks of unsalted butter

2 Tablespoons millet flour

2 Tablespoons sweet rice flour

1/2 cup brown or white rice flour

1/4 cup tapioca flour

1/2 cup almond meal (I ground sliced almonds in my mini food processor)

1 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. xanthan gum

1/2 cup white sugar

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

3 eggs, at room temperature

1 Tablespoon vanilla extract

1 cup finely grated carrots or up to 1 3/4 cup

1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut, pulverized in food processor too

1 cup crushed pineapple, mostly drained (eyeball and add a little juice if you need it)

Cream Cheese Frosting ( 2 8 oz. bars of cream cheese, 1 stick of butter, 2 1/2 cups of powdered sugar, 2 T. lemon juice, a little lemon zest, 1 tsp vanilla)


Get all your ingredients ready. Grind the almonds, coconut, etc. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees make sure your rack is in the center, and prepare your baking pans (2 9 inch baking pans or 3 if you are doubling the recipe) by greasing them and putting parchment paper in the bottom of each pan.

In a med. saucepan, melt the butter over med. heat until the butter is a dark golden color and the solids begin to separate. This process will probably take 7-10 minutes. Remove from heat and let the butter cool (not in the fridge) for about 30 minutes. Yard said the butter should be cooled to about 70 degrees. Basically, it should still be in liquid form but not hot.

In the bowl of your stand mixer, sift your almond meal, other gluten-free flours, xanthan gum, baking soda, and baking powder. Turn the paddle on and make sure it is mixed well.

In a separate bowl, mix the granulated sugar and cinnamon together. Add the powdered sugar and then blend in the brown sugar.

In yet another bowl (you may have quite a mess to clean up), whisk the eggs and add vanilla. Stir into the sugar mixture and whisk until incorporated.

At this point, turn your mixer on and pour the sugar/egg mixture in the bowl until combined. Then slowly add your cooled melted butter (including any brown bits). Make sure you scrape down the sides of the bowl and combine well. This will probably take 3-4 minutes.

The next step is to mix in the pineapple, shredded coconut (ground a little in food processor first) and carrots with a balloon whisk. You can also add nuts but my husband isn’t a big fan, so I omitted them entirely. I did put sliced almonds on the sides of the cake once I had frosted it.

Pour into the baking pans and bake until a toothpick comes out clean- it took my cakes approximately 35 minutes to bake. Yard’s original recipe calls for a 45 minute baking time.

Once the cake has cooled, frost the cake with the most decadent cream cheese frosting you can find. This cake is extremely fat and sugar-filled, so those on a diet should not eat this cake. Looking at this cake might even make you gain a pound…

This cake is best made the night before and chilled in the refrigerator before serving. It will keep in the refrigerator for about 3 days.

If you are looking for a gluten-free, casein-free carrot cake, try Cindalou’s Carrot Cake.

carrotcake4 Carrot Cake

I made this especially for Jude because it is his “Happy Day” today.

Happy Birthday, Jude!

And this is my 100th post.

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22 Responses to “Carrot Cake”

  1. Looks so yummy, Natalie! Happy Birthday Jude!

  2. Happy Birthday, Jude! Oh! That cake of yours looks so good, Natalie! :0

    No secret ingredients, huh?
    Your keyboard must be broken.


  3. Oh beans-
    I hit return too fast (stinkin’ keyboard)….

    HAPPY 100th POST, Natalie!

  4. Please tell everyone you know to go vote on the Martha Stewart website on Martha’s blog for the big idea bakeoff. One of the ideas is to launch a new magazine with Martha for people with food allergies and intolerances. Please vote as many times as you can each day for the next week so this dream becomes a reality!
    Go to Martha’s blog and vote!
    Check it out…we need more press and more resources for Celiacs!

  5. HAPPY BIRTHDAY JUDE!!!!!! Great looking carrot cake. MMMM.

    Hope to see you at Brandons birthday at Jumpin beans. TTYS

  6. Christina- Thanks! Wish you could come over and have a piece with me!

    Kate- heh heh. That carrot cake of yours looked so good too. I didn’t have the ginger, lime, or the orange extract. I actually had all of the stuff I put in the above cake and didn’t have to go to the store, but those three things I didn’t have.

    Celiac girl- I have voted! Thank you for letting me know. I updated the link for you.

    Jenifer- Thanks. I guess it is Brandon’s turn next!

  7. Ok, next time I need a birthday cake I am calling you! I don’t think I have even attempted a double decker cake in 20 years (I was 5 then really!) and don’t even like cake that much but I do like carrot cake, even though I hate cooked carrots as their own side dish (shhhh).

  8. This cake looks amazing!
    It may help me get over the lighter than air chocolate cake I am currently obsessed with since going gluten-free.

    Happy Birthday Jude! and congrats on your 100th post!

  9. Your carrot cake looks delicious, but very sweet compared with other recipes. Structure-wise, how much and which sugar do you think that I can eliminate? I will be using sweetened pulverized coconut since I already have some, but I don’t like my baked goods overly sugary. Thank you for your help.

  10. 100 posts! Congrats!

    Great way to celebrate with a yummy looking carrot cake. I love your blog! And the pictures of your adroable children, too :)

  11. Happy 100th post!! happy b-day to your guy too. :)

    And, that cake looks YUM! I might have to go bake something now….

  12. Ginger- My family will only eat carrots in a cake. I love carrots, but I am in a minority around here.

    Caroline- I am trying to force myself to make another cake for tomorrow and clean. hmmm….

    Rick- Thanks for commenting. I thought that the sugar content was high when reading this recipe for the first time too. Since Sherry Yard is a pastry chef at Spago, I decided to try it with the sugar content she had recommended. I really liked it as is, but it is clearly a luxury cake- no one could eat this all the time. If you decide to reduce the sugar, I know you could probably reduce the granulated sugar by 1/4 cup with no problems and go with a light frosting. Maybe some of my baking savvy readers have some ideas!!! Good luck! :)

    Lizzie- Gee thanks! I am a real blogger now. tee hee.

    Slacker Mom- It is worth your trouble. It will make you unbutton your pants, but it sure is yummy cake.

  13. Happy 100th Post! I can’t wait to try the gf/cf carrot cake!

  14. That looks fabulous! I love carrot cake!

  15. That is gorgeous and incredibly delicious-looking. I often wonder how I could create a cream cheese substitute.

  16. This looks delicious! I have a weakness for carrot cake and your pictures are NOT helping this urge to gobble the computer screen here :) Your blog is beautiful, I love your style and how organized and professional it is. I’m very impressed with every post I see!

  17. Cindy- You made my day! Your carrot cake looked awesome too, which is why it is linked here. A couple people have told me they are definitely making it! :)

  18. Hey there! You forgot to put the amt of butter on this recipe for the cake! I did find it though, and was able to get this one made today. YAY!

    Since I don’t have the original cookbook, I googled the recipe to find the amt of butter needed.

    Thanks for posting this one! :)

  19. J Stahl- You are right. I totally forgot. Sorry about that! Thanks for letting me know! It is corrected now :)

  20. This cake is so good!

    I made it for Ben’s birthday; he requested carrot cake or pie. Luckily you posted this because I am not sure how I would have begun to make my apple pie recipe gluten-free.

    It turned out amazing, and it isn’t hard at all… it is slightly time consuming because there are a lot of ingredients, but it is WORTH IT. I am eating it for breakfast and lunch. =)

    thank you !

  21. Terrific cake! I made it for Easter in my bunny shaped pan. It turned out beautifully. I didn’t have millet flour so I used soy instead. Delicious and so cute as a bunny!


  22. Re: Carrot Cake

    If I use a prepared flour blend (Authentic Foods) which lists
    xanthan gum as the last ingredient in the blend – should I still add more??

    Thank You for your site. I just found it and glad I did – I’m gonna play with the granola recipe Tuesday.

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