This moist and richly spiced Gluten Free Carrot Cake recipe is made with simple ingredients and will instantly become a go-to in your kitchen! Carrot cake is my absolute favorite birthday cake, and is perfect to serve for Easter.
*Today I’m partnering with Sharp Home USA ~ Sharp creates quality home appliances that make life easier!
A Spring Perfect Almond Flour Carrot Cake
Hands down, this is the best carrot cake, gluten free or not.
It’s richly spiced, lightly sweet, and filled with earthy carrots and walnuts. Topped with a cream cheese frosting, it’s my ideal celebration cake.
Almond flour makes the best gluten-free cakes! It’s a sweet flour, and produces baked goods with a delicate crumb.
It’s a great 1-1 sub for white flour. Gluten free grain flours, like white rice flour and oat flour, often need binders like Xanthan gum to improve the texture. Not almond flour! It creates a perfect crumbed cake all on its own.
This easy recipe uses minimal ingredients to produce a moist carrot cake that’s easy to slice and has a beautiful presentation.
I bake this beautiful cake in my Sharp European Convection Oven. It’s the perfect appliance for so many of my favorite recipes.
It’s roomy inside, so perfect for large families or holiday meals. Its range of settings means baked foods, roasted vegetables, and meats, are all cooked exactly how I want them.
Hop on over to the Sharp Home USA website to see if their state-of-the-art appliances are the right fit for your dream kitchen!
Is Carrot Cake Gluten Free?
Carrot cake is typically made with wheat flours, so most often, store bought or restaurant cakes are not gluten free.
It’s easy to make a gluten free carrot cake at home using almond flour. Almond flour is generally well tolerated by people who need to eat a gluten free diet, including celiac disease sufferers.
Other grains, like oats, rice, and tapioca, often are cross reactive, meaning they cause symptoms in addition to wheat.
What You’ll Need
- Almond Flour (blanched almond flour. I like Bob’s Red Mill and the Kirkland brand from Costco. When using almond flour for gluten free baked goods, no xanthan gum is needed for texture!)
- Baking Soda
- Sea Salt
- Nutmeg (optional, but I love fresh grated nutmeg)
- Ginger Powder
- Coconut Oil (or avocado oil, both are healthier alternatives to vegetable oil!)
- Honey (maple syrup or date syrup make great subs! No white sugar is used in this healthy carrot cake recipe.)
- Vanilla Extract (optional)
- Shredded Fresh Carrots (finely shred)
- Walnuts or Pecans
- Unsweetened Coconut (or use raisins if they make carrot cake for you!)
- Cream Cheese Frosting (see post for ingredients and instructions on making the perfect whipped cream cheese frosting!)
How to Make a Gluten Free Carrot Cake
Step 1: Preheat oven to 325º F. Coat 2 9-inch round cake pans with coconut or avocado oil, and use parchment paper rounds to line the bottom of each pan. Set aside.
Step 2: In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine almond flour, baking soda, sea salt, cinnamon and ginger.
Step 3: In a large mixing bowl or bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together the eggs, coconut oil, and honey (or maple syrup).
Step 4: Add the dry ingredients into the bowl with the egg mixture, and stir to combine.
Step 5: Add in shredded carrots, walnuts, and coconut (or raisins). Stir to evenly mix in the additions.
Step 6: Evenly divide the carrot cake batter between both cake pans. For best results, set cake pans on a kitchen scale and weigh each layer to balance them.
Step 7: Bake the carrot cake for 32-35 minutes, until the cake is a golden color and is set in the center. Poke a hole in the center with a toothpick. I the toothpick comes out clean, the cake is ready.
Step 8: After the cakes have fully cooled, frost them with Healthy Cream Cheese Frosting.
Options for Carrot Cake Frosting
Use this fluffy whipped cream cheese icing. Make it with powdered sugar, or choose the sugar free option made with powdered monk fruit sweetener! It’s indulgent either way.
When preparing to make your carrot cake, be sure to have cream cheese and butter warmed to room temperature prior to make the frosting. Cream cheese is hard to whip smooth unless it’s at room temperature throughout.
Dairy Free Carrot Cake Frosting
This Gluten Free Carrot Cake is dairy free as written. The frosting contains butter and cream cheese. The whipped cream cheese frosting works well made with vegan cream cheese and vegan butter. Increase the powdered sugar as necessary, as plant based alternatives often have more water than dairy products.
You can also choose to frost this cake with a basic vegan vanilla buttercream frosting!
How to Frost a Carrot Cake Layer Cake
Step 1: Add a dap of frosting to your plate, and then place the first cake round in the center of the plate (with the flat side up). Add a generous layer of cream cheese icing over the top, and spread into an even layer.
Step 2: Add the second cake round on top, and run your hands around the sides of both cakes, ensuring they are centered on one another. Add a thin layer of frosting over the top and down the sides of the cake. This is a crumb coat, so if crumbs of the cake come off and spread into the frosting, it’s okay. Refrigerate the cake for at least 30 minutes to allow the crumb coat to slightly harden.
Step 3: Add a thicker layer of frosting over the top and down the edges of the cake.
Step 4: If desired, decorate the cake with chopped walnuts, toasted coconut, or use the remaining frosting to pipe edges on your cake.
FAQ & How to Store Leftover Almond Flour Cake
How to Store Leftover Gluten Free Carrot Cake
Refrigerate carrot cake uncovered so the frosting chills and becomes hardened. Then, wrap the carrot cake in plastic wrap and seal it in an airtight container. Refrigerate gluten free carrot cake for up to 7 days.
Once the cake is wrapped in an airtight container or sealed plastic bag, it can be frozen for up to 3 months.
How to Make Gluten Free Carrot Cake Cupcakes
This recipe works perfect for paleo carrot cake cupcakes!
Line a muffin tin with parchment paper liners, and divide batter equally.
Bake gluten free carrot cake cupcakes at 325º F for 22-24 minutes, until the centers have fully cooked.
Other Pan Sizes for Gluten Free Carrot Cake
Carrot Cake Sheet Cake
This cake recipe can also be baked in a 1/4 sheet pan or 9×13 glass pan. Line and grease the pan, and then add the carrot cake batter.
The baking instructions are the same.
Can I substitute gluten-free flour in carrot cake?
Yes! Substitute your favorite gluten free all purpose flour mix in this carrot cake recipe. This is a great option if you need a nut free gluten free carrot cake.
I prefer to use almond flour because it has a mildly sweet flavor and is less crumbly than gluten free all purpose flours.
Gluten Free Carrot Cake with Pineapple
If you adore carrot cake with pineapple, this recipe is easily adapted! This makes an especially moist cake. My whole family loves this variation!
Add 1 cup of crushed pineapple to the batter. Fully drain and squeeze our excess moisture from crushed pineapple prior to adding it to the batter.
See this post on Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Pineapple for full instructions!
Other Gluten Free Cake Recipes
- Healthy Hummingbird Cake
- Gluten Free Tres Leches (gluten free and dairy free Paleo Tres Leche!)
- Chocolate Quinoa Cake
- Almond Flour Cake
Gluten Free Carrot Cake
- 3 cups almond flour blanched, not almond meal
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ginger
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 5 eggs whisked
- 1/2 cup honey or maple syrup
- 1/4 cup coconut oil melted, or avocado oil
- 3 cups carrots finely shredded
- 1 cup walnuts chopped
- 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut or 1/2 cup raisins
- Preheat oven to 325º F. Coat 2 9-inch round cake pans with coconut or avocado oil, and use parchment paper rounds to line the bottom of each pan. Set aside.
- In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine almond flour, baking soda, sea salt, cinnamon and ginger.
- In a large mixing bowl or bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together the eggs, coconut oil, and honey (or maple syrup).
- Add the dry ingredients into the bowl with the egg mixture, and stir to combine.
- Add in shredded carrots, walnuts, and coconut (or raisins). Stir to evenly mix in the additions.
- Evenly divide the carrot cake batter between both cake pans. For best results, set cake pans on a kitchen scale and weigh each layer to balance them.
- Bake the carrot cake for 32-35 minutes, until the cake is a golden color and is set in the center. Poke a hole in the center with a toothpick. I the toothpick comes out clean, the cake is ready.
- After the cakes have fully cooled, frost them with Healthy Cream Cheese Frosting.