This stunning cake came out as a result of long experimenting with gluten free flours and I must admit I think this is it! My ultimate carrot cake! Gluten free, absolutely delicious, made from healthy ingredients ( ok, let’s not think about icing ) , it stays super moist for days, and has an amazing texture – thanks to nuts and cacao nibs!
If you want to make it dairy free as well as gluten free, my favourite option for icing is coconut whipped cream. See the “notes” in the recipe.
I used in recipe Doves Farm Gluten Free Self Rising Flour which is excellent, and full fat organic butter which I buy at the local farmers market. I never use refined vegetable oils (except coconut oil in some recipes) as they are full of saturated fats and basically very unhealthy.
Gluten Free cakes are usually tricky and not as easy to bake as wheat flour cakes. So, it always takes a while until you make it perfect and feel confident to share the recipe with your friends!
The cake lasted for 3 days and was still perfect, still very moist and fresh. I didn’t put it in the fridge this time and just kept the cake on the shelf in the porch, where it was reasonably cool.
I made it for my husband’s birthday and even my fussy 6 year old son said that the cake is “very very yummy”! So, must be a real deal then! Try it for yourself and enjoy with a nice cup of tea. The cake is surprisingly easy to bake and decorate, takes about 2-2.5 hours from beginning to the end, depends how fast you can grate carrot and chop the nuts – I was quite slow as was doing it by hands and not food processor 🙂
The recipe is below, hope you like the cake, please let me know your thoughts if you make it!
- 300 g Gluten Free flour (I used Doves Farm)
- 200 g Coconut sugar
- 3 Eggs
- 250 g Organic full fat butter,melted and cooled to the room temperature
- 1 tsp Bicarbonate of soda
- 1 tsp Baking powder
- 1 tsp Ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp Ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp Salt (don’t use salt if using salted butter)
- 1/2 tsp Vanilla extract or powder
- 400 g Grated carrot
- Zest and juice of 1 orange ( leave a pinch of zest and 1 tbsp of juice for icing)
- 1 tbsp Cacao nibs
- 100 g Any nuts for cake + 50 g for decoration, chopped.
- 400 g Icing sugar
- 250 g Cream cheese (Philadelphia or Mascarpone)
- 100 g Organic butter, softened at room temperature
- 1 tbsp of Orange juice
- 1 pinch of Orange zest
- Preheat the oven to 170C. Prepare 3 x 20cm (if you want taller special occasion cake) or 2 x 25 cm ( if you want casual, easy to cut cake) cake tins and line them with baking paper.
- Melt the butter in a saucepan on the low heat, then cool it to room temperature, make sure it’s still runny and not turning solid again.
- Mix the sugar, eggs and melted butter with an electric mixer with a paddle attachment and beat until all the ingredients are well mixed. Slowly add gluten free flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, salt, orange zest, juice (save one tbsp spoon for icing) and vanilla extract and continue to beat until well mixed. Grate the carrots, then stir into the mixture along with the orange zest and juice. Chop and add the nuts and also cacao nibs.
- Pour into the prepared cake tins and smooth over. Bake in the preheated oven for 20–25 minutes, or until golden brown and the sponge bounces back when you touch it. Leave the cakes to cool slightly in the tins before taking them out onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
- Meantime, make the icing. Beat the butter, icing sugar, a pinch of orange zest and 1 tbsp of orange juice with electric mixer ( start with a very low speed – then gradually increase) until well mixed and smooth, then add in the cream cheese and beat until light and fluffy . Don’t overbeat – the icing may turn runny.
- When all 3 layers of cake have completely cooled down, spread about 1/4 of the icing over the first one. Place a second layer of cake on top and spread another 1/4 of the icing over it.
- Top with the last cake and spread the remaining icing over the top and sides. Decorate with chopped nuts and cacao nibs on the top.
- For dairy free version mix 5-6 cans of coconut cream with 1/2 - 1 cup icing sugar (you can adjust sweetness as needed)
- 1. Chill your coconut cream in the fridge overnight.
- 2. The next day remove the coconut cream from the fridge, remove the lid, scrape out the thickened cream and leave the liquid behind (you can use it in smoothies or curry).
- 3. Place the cream in your mixing bowl. Beat for 30 seconds with a mixer until creamy. Then add vanilla (optional) and powdered sugar and mix until creamy and smooth - about 1 minute.
- 4. Taste and adjust sweetness as needed.
- 5. Use immediately or refrigerate.