Go Back
+ servings
Slice of gluten free carrot cake on a plate with a fork.
Print Recipe Pin Recipe

Gluten Free Carrot Cake with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting (Grain Free, Sugar Free)

You can leave your mixing bowls in the cupboard for this healthy, gluten free carrot cake! The batter gets whizzed up right in the Vitamix or food processor, and the result is seriously amazing. It’s an ultra moist cake, and nobody will know it’s naturally sweetened. The cake is taken over-the-top with a maple cream cheese frosting (see that recipe below). Be sure to take the cream cheese out of the fridge before making the cake, as it needs to soften before making the frosting. Check out the notes for a dairy-free option! If you prefer to make cupcakes, divide the batter between 12 lined muffin cups, and bake for 30 minutes.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Cooling Time35 mins
Total Time1 hr 40 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: easy carrot cake recipe, Gluten free carrot cake recipe, healthy carrot cake recipe
Servings: 1 8-inch cake (or 12 cupcakes)

Ingredients

  • Cooking spray or oil, for pan
  • cup currants OR ½ cup raisins
  • 3 medium carrots (7-8oz /220g), peeled, trimmed and coarsely chopped
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • ¼ cup milk or nut milk
  • ¼ cup coconut oil, melted and cooled slightly (or you can use butter or a neutral vegetable oil)
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¾ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cups (165g) almond flour
  • ½ cup (42g) unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • cup (38g) chopped walnuts or pecans, plus more for garnish (optional)
  • Maple Cream Cheese Frosting (see recipe below!)

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Grease an 8-inch baking pan with coconut oil or cooking spray. Line the pan crosswise with parchment paper, leaving an overhang (this will make it easy to pull the cake out of the baking pan later, but you can skip this step and simply serve the cake in the pan).
  • Put the currants (or raisins) in a small bowl and cover them with warm water. Let sit.
  • Put the carrots in the Vitamix or food processor.  If using a Vitamix, turn the machine on and gradually increase the speed to medium (Variable 6 or 7), stirring with the tamper.  Blend until the carrots are very finely chopped but not pureed (it will only take a few seconds)—the carrots should look a bit bigger than rice. If using a food processor, pulse until very finely chopped. Scrape the sides and give the carrots one more pulse to make sure they're evenly chopped. Transfer to a bowl.
  • Put the container back on the base (no need to wash it—it’s ok if there are still some carrots around the edges and bottom), and add the eggs, maple syrup, applesauce, milk, coconut oil, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, nutmeg, salt and vanilla. Blend until smooth.
  • Add the almond flour, shredded coconut and baking powder. Blend on low (Variable 2 or 3) or pulse (if using a food processor) until incorporated.
  • Drain the currants (or raisins), and add them to the batter along with the chopped carrots and nuts (if using). Blend on low (Variable 1), stirring with the tamper, or pulse if using a food processor, until just incorporated (don't over-mix). Using a rubber spatula, scrape the sides and stir to fully incorporate all of the ingredients.
  • Scrape the mixture into the prepared pan and spread it in an even layer. Bake until golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Set the pan on a cooling rack and let cool 10 minutes. Run a thin knife along the sides of the pan then carefully use the parchment handles to transfer the cake to a rack (if you prefer, you can skip this step and serve the cake straight from the pan). Let the cake cool completely.
  • Spread the Maple Cream Cheese Frosting evenly over the top of the cake. If you’d like, sprinkle the top of the cake with chopped nuts. Refrigerate the cake for 15 minutes, or until you’re ready to serve.

Notes

Do Ahead: The frosted cake can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. The unfrosted cake can be wrapped tightly and frozen for up to 3 months. 
Tips:
  • You’ll need a Vitamix blender or food processor to make this gluten free carrot cake recipe.
  • This cake gets baked in an 8-inch square pan. I prefer a metal pan, which allows for even browning (and sharp corners!), but you could use a glass dish—just start checking for doneness about 5 minutes early.
  • I always suggest using an inexpensive kitchen scale when baking, not only because it's more accurate, but also because it's much easier (no messing with measuring cups!).
  • Be sure to let the cake cool completely before slicing. Since the texture is very moist, the cake can benefit from refrigerating (and it gets even better with time!).
  • I prefer to use dried currants in this cake since they distribute evenly in the batter, but raisins work great as well.
  • You can use honey instead of maple syrup in the cake batter.
  • It’s important that the cream cheese is completely softened before making the frosting, so take it out of the fridge before starting the cake. (To soften the cream cheese more quickly, place it on or near the warm oven.)
  • For a dairy free cake, simply omit the frosting, or serve the cake with a dollop of non-dairy coconut whipped cream instead.