This gluten free carrot cake recipe is based on whole food ingredients like almond flour and buckwheat flour and is naturally sweetened with honey and rapadura sugar. But if you tasted this carrot cake you wouldn't know that it was healthy, it tastes delicious!
Carrot cake has long been my favourite, go-to cake to make for special occasions. Probably because it means we get some extra vegetables in the form of baked confection. Also because it tastes so. Damn. Good.
This recipe is:
- gluten free
- refined sugar free
To make dairy free, use our Paleo Cream Cheese Frosting to replace the cream cheese frosting in this recipe or omit the frosting altogether.
To make this delicious and gluten free carrot cake recipe you will need the below ingredients.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Carrot (finely grated)
- Almond flour (blanched almond meal)
- Buckwheat flour
- Rapadura sugar
- Psyllium husk
- Walnuts (roughly chopped)
- Baking powder
- Mixed spice
- Ground cinnamon
Cream Cheese Frosting
- Cream cheese
- Powdered sugar
- Tapioca flour
- Lemon juice
How to Make Gluten Free Carrot Cake
This is a simple to make cake, mixed by hand. And when I say this cake is simple to make I mean, it literally is SO simple. All you need to do is mix all of the dry ingredients in one bowl, wet ingredients in the other and then mix together. Wallah! See the steps below.
STEP 1 - Mix together dry ingredients. Sieve the buckwheat flour, baking powder and spices into a bowl. Add the almond meal, psyllium and walnuts and whisk to combine.
STEP 2 - Whisk together wet ingredients. Add the eggs, olive oil and honey and whisk until well combined. Pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture along with the finely grated carrot and whisk to combine.
STEP 3: Divide mixture into baking tins. Divide the mixture between three greased and baking paper lined 18cm (7 inch) cake tins. Use the back of the spatula to spread the mixture out evenly. Place into the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes.
STEP 4: Make Cream Cheese Frosting. Sieve the powdered sugar and tapioca starch into a large mixing bowl and add in the cream cheese and lemon juice. Use electric beaters to beat until smooth, creamy and fluffy. Once the cakes are completely cooled, use a palette knife to frost the cake.
Tips for Making Healthy Carrot Cake
- Sieve the flour, baking powder and spices into the bowl. When you add the almond meal, use a whisk to combine and fluff instead of a spoon. This way you maintain more air in the mixture.
- When grating the carrot, grate on the fine side of the grater. This assists the carrot in cooking more evenly and results in a beautifully smooth carrot cake.
- To fill a piping bag with cream cheese frosting, place the piping bag with nozzle attached, inside a mug or large glass and fold the top of the piping bag back over the edges of the glass or mug. Add spoonfuls of cream cheese frosting to the mug, pull up the sides of the piping bag and shake gently to move the frosting right to the end. Twist the top and place twisted end down into the mug or glass. Set aside until ready to use.
Ingredient Substitutions for Gluten Free Carrot Cake
So you want to make this recipe but don't have all the ingredients? Here are some ingredient substitutions that you can make:
- Swap blanched almond meal for natural almond meal.
- Use brown sugar or coconut sugar instead of rapadura.
- Swap mixed spice for ¼ teaspoon cloves and ¼ teaspoon nutmeg.
- Walnuts can be swapped for Brazil nuts, pecans or left out of the recipe all together.
- Pure maple syrup can be used in place of honey.
If you have questions about freezing carrot cake, how to store carrot cake and how long does this carrot cake last then read on because we have the answers for you!
Yes. This carrot cake is based on whole food ingredients like almond flour and buckwheat flour, and sweetened naturally with honey and rapadura sugar. This carrot cake is gluten free and refined sugar free and can be made healthier and dairy free by using Paleo Cream Cheese Frosting.
If storing in the fridge, use cling film (plastic wrap) to cover the entire carrot cake and plate that the cake is on. If storing in the freezer, pre-slice the entire cake and place a sheet of baking paper between each slice of carrot cake. Freeze in an airtight container.
Carrot cake lasts up to 4 days in the refrigerator. Freezing carrot cake will make it last for up to 2 months, if frozen in an airtight container.
Yes. The best way to freeze carrot cake that has already been frosted is to slice it first and freeze with a piece of baking paper between each slice of cake in an airtight container.
Yes. Due to this cake containing almond meal and carrot, carrot cake is best refrigerated for up to 4 days.
- 2 Mixing Bowls
- 1 Sieve
- 1 Mixing Spoon
- 3 7 inch (18cm) Cake tins
- Baking Paper
- Cooling Rack
- Palette Knife
- 2 cups blanched almond meal or almond flour
- ¾ cup rapadura sugar
- 1 cup buckwheat flour
- 2 tablespoons psyllium husk
- 2 teaspoon baking powder aluminium free
- 1 cup walnuts roughly chopped plus extra for decoration
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp mixed spice
- ¼ cup honey
- ⅔ cup olive oil extra virign
- 3 eggs
- 2 cups carrot (330 grams) finely grated
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 500 grams cream cheese room temp
- 105 millilitres lemon juice from approximately 1 lemon
- 4 tablespoons tapioca starch
- 100 grams butter (4 ½ tablespoons) room temp
- Preheat the oven to 170 degrees Celsius. Grease 3 x 7 inch (18 cm) round cake tins and line with baking paper.
- In a large mixing bowl sieve buckwheat flour, mixed spice, cinnamon and baking powder. Add walnuts, rapadura sugar, psyllium and almond meal and whisk lightly to combine.¾ cup rapadura sugar, 1 cup buckwheat flour, 2 tablespoons psyllium husk, 2 teaspoon baking powder, 1 cup walnuts, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, ½ teaspoon mixed spice, 2 cups blanched almond meal
- In a medium sized mixing bowl whisk together the eggs, olive oil and honey.⅔ cup olive oil, 3 eggs, ¼ cup honey
- Pour egg mixture into dry ingredients along with grated carrot and stir through until just combined.2 cups carrot
- Divide cake batter among the 3 baking paper lined cake tins, using a spatula to spread out evenly. Place into oven to bake for 35-40 minutes, or until cakes springs back when pushed down gently in the centre.
- Once cakes are cooked, remove from oven and allow to cool in tin for 5 minutes before removing from tins and transferring to wire cooling rack.
Cream Cheese Frosting
- Sieve the tapioca starch and powdered sugar into a large mixing bowl. Add the lemon juice, butter and cream cheese. Beat with electric beaters until smooth, creamy and fluffy.2 cups powdered sugar, 500 grams cream cheese, 105 millilitres lemon juice, 4 tablespoons tapioca starch, 100 grams butter
- Once cakes are completely cooled, place the first cake onto a serving plate. Top with a large dollop of cream cheese, using a palette knife to spread evenly across the surface. Repeat this step with the remaining two cakes to create 3 layers.
- Place a large dollop of cream cheese frosting on the top of the cake and use a palette knife to spread across the top of the cake and around the outsides of the cake.
- Place the remaining cream cheese frosting into a piping bag with knozzle and pipe swirls of frosting onto the top of the cake.
- Sprinkle the top of the cake with finely chopped walnuts if desired.
Cream Cheese FrostingThe recipe yields enough cream cheese frosting to frost all three layers of the cake plus the top and outside of the cake. Leftover cream cheese frosting can be placed into a ziplock freezer bag and frozen for later use.
Storing the Carrot CakePlease see the blog post for all information on storing carrot cake.
To Make Dairy FreeOptions for making this cake dairy free:
- Use our Paleo Cream Cheese frosting instead of the Cream Cheese Frosting in this recipe.
- Use a dairy free alternative to butter and cream cheese and follow the recipe.
- Omit frosting the cake and serve naked.
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Great recipe, used spelt flour instead of buckwheat and was delicious x
Thank you so much Thérèse - oh how I miss being able to use spelt flour! I'm glad you loved it.
Can we use flax eggs instead of eggs for vegans
I haven't tested this recipe with flax eggs but I believe it would work well. I would use 2-3 flax eggs in this recipe. Happy baking!
Can you use oat flour to substitute for buckwheat flour?
I haven’t tried this yet but I do think it would work. I’d love to hear how you go if you try it!
Made this carrot cake for a dinner party our friends were hosting a couple of weeks ago. Added cashew cream to the icing mix to reduce dairy component, it actually works! Received many comments on how delicious it was. Making it again today for a birthday. Thanks Sarah!
That’s so lovely to hear! I’m glad you loved it and great idea with the cashews!
please can you write the recipe for one layer? thank you
Hi Victoria, You can definitely bake this as a one layer, it will just need to bake for longer. I'll add cooking times for you asap - otherwise if you just bake until a skewer comes out clean when pushed into the centre and the cake is golden on top, it should work just fine!