Tender and full of flavor, this gluten free carrot cake is just as good as the traditional version! Feel free to use either pecans or walnuts in this recipe (or omit them entirely). Can't do cream cheese? Make a coconut cream frosting for a dairy free version!
For the Carrot Cake:
- 1 1/2 cups coconut sugar
- 1/2 cup melted butter OR olive oil
- 4 eggs
- 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups cassava flour (spooned and leveled)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoons gluten free baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 2 cups freshly grated carrots
- 1/2 cup unsweetened raisins
- 1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans, divided
For the Cream Cheese Frosting:
- 8 oz full fat cream cheese
- 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 cups confectioner’s sugar
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spread the walnuts out on the baking sheet, then bake for 10 minutes. Remove and let cool. Reduce the oven temperature to 300 degrees F. Prepare two 9-inch cake pans with a circle of parchment paper (this isn’t required, but does wonders to prevent sticking!). Grease the parchment paper and sides of the cake pan.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the coconut sugar and melted butter. Cream the butter and sugar together, starting on low and increasing to medium-high speed, until the mixture has lightened in color and is completely combined. Turn the mixer off and add the eggs, applesauce, and vanilla. Mix again at medium speed until smooth.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the cassava flour, baking soda, baking powder, sea salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon. Fold in the carrots, raisins, and toasted walnuts (reserve 1/2 cup walnuts for garnish).
- Divide the batter evenly between the two cake pans. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean. Allow the cakes to cool completely on a wire rack in the cake pans. The cakes have to be completely cool before assembling and frosting.
- While the cakes are cooling, prepare the frosting. In a large bowl of a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, beat the cream cheese and butter together on medium-high speed for about 2 minutes, until smooth. Add the confectioner’s sugar, vanilla extract, and salt. Beat on low speed for about 30 seconds, then gradually increase to high speed. Continue beating on high speed for 3 minutes until the frosting has increased in volume and is creamy. The frosting should be soft and spreadable, not runny.
- Finally, assemble and frost the cakes. Remove the cooled cakes from the cake pans. Use a large serrated knife or cake level to slice off the tops of the cakes to create a flat surface. Place the first cake layer on a cake stand or serving plate. Evenly cover the top with frosting. Carefully place the second layer on top. Spread the remaining frosting all over the top and sides of the cake. Sprinkle with reserved walnuts. Refrigerate for 15-20 minutes to help the cake hold its shape when cutting.
Keywords: gluten free carrot cake, carrot cake, cream cheese frosting