Classic carrot cake made gluten-free, but no one will ever know!
- 4 medium carrots (2 cups, grated)
- 1 ounce pecans (or walnuts, 1/4 cup finely chopped, optional)
- 3/4 cup canola oil
- 3/4 cup light brown sugar (150g per 3/4 cup, packed)
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar (150g per 3/4 cup)
- 3 eggs
- 1 can crushed pineapple (8 oz., well-drained)
- 3 teaspoons vanilla extract (divided)
- 2 1/3 cups all purpose gluten free flour
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (or a blend of cinnamon, ginger powder, nutmeg, allspice and ground cloves)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (scant)
- 1/4 cup raisins
- 1/4 cup shredded coconut
- 12 ounces cream cheese (1 1/2 blocks, softened)
- 4 ounces unsalted butter (1 stick, softened)
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Spray two 9-inch round cake pans with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
- Grate the carrots and finely chop the nuts.
- Place the canola oil, brown sugar, granulated sugar, eggs, crushed pineapple, and 1 tsp. vanilla extract in a large mixing bowl. Whisk vigorously until smooth and combined.
- Add the gluten-free flour, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, baking soda, and salt to the bowl. Continue whisking until the mixture is just combined. Do not over-mix.
- Pro tip: Don't have pumpkin pie spice? Blend your own with a mixture of 9 parts cinnamon, 2 parts ginger powder, 2 parts nutmeg, 1 part allspice and 1 part ground cloves.
- Fold in the grated carrots, raisins, nuts, and coconut.
- Divide the batter evenly between the two cake pans.
- Bake the cakes for 29-33 minutes on the middle rack of oven, until a toothpick inserted in the centers comes out clean.
- Check to see that cakes are done. Remove from oven or add time as needed.
- Allow the cakes to cool in the pans for 15-20 minutes. While the cakes cool, make the frosting.
- Place the cream cheese and butter in a large mixing bowl. Beat with a mixer on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Add the powdered sugar in two additions, beating on low speed after each until the sugar is fully incorporated into the cream cheese mixture. Add 2 tsp. vanilla extract and salt to the bowl. Continue beating on medium-high speed for 2-3 minutes, until the frosting is light and fluffy.
- Pro tip: Adjust quantity of powdered sugar as needed to achieve desired consistency and sweetness of the frosting.
- To release the cake, run a butter knife between the edge of the cake and the pan. Turn each cake onto a cooling rack. Allow the cakes to cool fully for 1-2 hours before frosting. Store frosting in the refrigerator while cakes cool.
- Frost the cakes as desired. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Refrigerate leftovers in a container for up to 1 week.
- Pro tip: Place a bit of parchment paper underneath the sides of the cake while frosting, then remove after frosting to keep the cake stand clean.