It’s a beautiful, hopeful spring day in the kitchen when you bake this Gluten Free Carrot Cake.

A blue plate with a slice of moist gluten free carrot cake with almond flour topped with cream cheese frosting

This recipe is sponsored by Bob’s Red Mill.

This is carrot cake at its best!

  • Fully loaded with a kitchen sink of mix-ins.
  • Topped off with a lavish slather of cream cheese frosting.
  • Indisputably moist and tender, yet substantial enough to hold a slice, just as carrot cake should.

My goal with this recipe was twofold. First and foremost, I wanted to bake a killer carrot cake, one that would fill my heart with optimistic feelings of springtime and taste like a happy, celebratory moment.

Second, I wanted my carrot cake to be gluten free, without actually tasting gluten free.

I mean no disrespect to the great GF bakers out there; the problem is that gluten free cakes disappoint more often than they should. This one does not. It tastes like a truly, super-duper, incredibly perfect carrot cake!

This carrot cake recipe is made with almond flour (no all-purpose flour is used), so if you are having trouble getting a hold of all-purpose flour right now, no matter your dietary needs it’s a fantastic option that you’ll be thrilled you tried.

A beautifully decorated almond flour gluten free carrot cake topped with nuts

Not only did this recipe turn out to be a stellar gluten free carrot cake, if you use a non-dairy cream cheese frosting recipe, it is a slam-dunk dairy-free AND gluten free carrot cake. That means more carrot cake for all, regardless of your dietary restrictions (or pantry situation).

Everyone deserves to have a fabulous carrot cake in their lives. At the moment, this is mine. I hope it will be yours too!

A frosted cake with chopped nuts on a cake stand

How to Make Gluten Free Carrot Cake

The first thing you’ll notice about this recipe (and what makes it gluten free) is that instead of all-purpose flour, I made this carrot cake with almond flour. I’ve eaten my share of carrot cakes (Healthy Carrot Cake) and carrot-cake inspired recipes (Carrot Cookies; Carrot Cake Muffins), and I think the almond flour actually makes carrot cake taste even better.

Almond flour’s subtle, nutty flavor was made to be incorporated into carrot cake, which traditionally calls for nuts anyway. It’s as if the two were destined to be together all along.

Almond flour is heavier than all-purpose flour (you can’t substitute almond flour directly in a recipe calling for all-purpose flour), so my biggest obstacle with this recipe was ensuring the carrot cake came out tender and fluffy, not dense. Beating the eggs for several minutes first proved to be the trick, a tip I picked up from Bon Appetit.

Ingredients in bowls being used to make a dessert recipe

The Ingredients

  • Almond Flour. A fantastic ingredient for gluten free and everyday baking. Almond flour is made of ground almonds, so it maintains the same health benefits that almonds do, such as vitamin E, protein, fiber, and healthy fats.

Quality here matters—I buy and recommend Bob’s Red Mill. The quality and consistency of almond flour can vary, and Bob’s never lets me down. I also appreciate that Bob’s puts a priority on how it sources and processes its ingredients to ensure they maintain the maximum nutritional value possible.

A bag of Bob's Red Mill almond flour used for gluten free carrot cake

  • Carrots. The other star ingredient in our carrot cake! Carrots make the cake naturally sweet, keep the batter moist, and their flavor is further enhanced by the warm spices and maple syrup. Plus, carrots are packed with Vitamin-A and potassium. Carrot cake for breakfast? It’s looking like a good idea.
  • Coconut. Another naturally sweet element that also adds texture.
  • Nuts. Toasted pecans or walnuts add a nice crunch and savory complement to the sweet flavors in this cake.
  • Maple Syrup. Instead of using only refined sugar, I wanted to naturally sweeten this cake with some maple syrup too. The flavor of maple syrup is incredible paired with the warm spices and nuttiness of the almond flour.
  • Raisins. I love adding raisins to carrot cake for their chewy texture and sweet flavor. If you’re not into them (they’re decisive, I know!) you can try golden raisins (which are sweeter), dried cranberries, or simply omit them.
  • Spices. A spiced carrot cake is a happy carrot cake. I used a classic combination of ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves for warmth and rich, deep flavors.

The Directions

  1. Prepare your cake pans with parchment paper, nonstick spray, and lightly dust them with almond flour.
  2. Toast the nuts at 350 degrees F. Once cooled, chop them into pieces. Whisk together the dry ingredients.
  3. Beat the eggs and sugar until fluffy. This is key to making the carrot cake light, so don’t shortcut this step. Add the maple syrup and vanilla.
  4. In a separate mixing bowl, combine the carrots, oil, coconut, raisins, and nuts.
  5. Alternate adding the wet and dry ingredients to the egg mixture. This also will help keep your cake fluffy.
    Two cake pans filled with batter for gluten free carrot cake
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pans, and bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Let the cakes cool in the pan for a few minutes before removing them to a wire rack.
  7. Prepare the cream cheese frosting, then pop it into the refrigerator until your cakes are cool. Frost and assemble your cake. I like to keep the sides “naked” for a fun, whimsy look. ENJOY!

Make-Ahead and Storage Tips

  • To Make Ahead. Cake layers can be baked 1 day in advance. Wrap in plastic and store at room temperature. The frosting can also be made a day in advance; store it in the refrigerator, then frost the cake a few hours before serving.
  • To Store. Cover the cake, and store it in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Let come to near room temperature prior to serving.
  • To Freeze. Cut your cake into slices, and individually freeze each slice in an airtight freezer-safe storage container for up to 2 months. Remove and thaw slices as desired in the refrigerator. You also can freeze the whole cake or freeze individual layers.

An almond flour gluten free carrot cake with cream cheese frosting and chopped nuts

More Favorite Almond Flour Recipes

It’s worth buying a bag of almond flour! You can use it in any of these almond flour recipes. Here are a few delicious recipe picks to get your started:

A slice of fluffy gluten free carrot cake with cream cheese frosting on a blue plate

I had originally hoped to bake this gluten free carrot cake recipe for my family at Easter—none of whom have a dietary restriction but all of whom love a good carrot cake—but we’re putting our get-together on hold for the time being. Ben and I will be having a quiet Easter brunch at home to ourselves. While I thought baking an entire carrot cake might be a bit excessive for just two the two of us, I honestly don’t think I’ll be able to resist!

This cake saves well (see tips above to store and/or freeze) and tastes so magnificent, I know we’ll be delighted to enjoy the leftovers in the days and weeks that follow.

I hope this carrot cake brings a sense of peace, comfort, and optimism to your table too.

A blue plate with a slice of moist gluten free carrot cake with almond flour topped with cream cheese frosting

Gluten Free Carrot Cake

5 from 11 votes
This moist, fluffy Gluten Free Carrot Cake is made with almond flour, slathered in cream cheese frosting, and has the perfect classic taste and texture!

Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Total: 2 hrs

Servings: 12 servings

Ingredients
  

FOR THE GLUTEN FREE CAKE:

  • 3 cups Bob's Red Mill Almond Flour plus additional for dusting pans
  • 3/4 cup raw walnuts or pecans plus additional for decorating the cake
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Pinch ground cloves
  • 5 large eggs
  • 3/4 cups packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups shredded carrots about 4 medium or 10 ounces
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • 3/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 1/2 cup raisins

FOR THE FROSTING:

  • 8 ounces reduced fat cream cheese
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 2 to 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon pure almond extract
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two, 8-inch round cake pans with parchment paper, then coat with nonstick spray. Lightly dust with almond flour, tapping out excess.
  • Spread the nuts in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Place in the oven and bake until toasted and fragrant, about 8 minutes. Remove to a cutting board. Let cool slightly. Measure out ¾ cup, then finely chop for the batter. Reserve the rest for decorating the cake.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves, and remaining 3 cups almond flour.
  • In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or a large mixing bowl, beat eggs and brown sugar on medium high until pale toasty brown, fluffy, and nearly tripled in volume, about 5 to 7 minutes. (Don’t shortcut this step—it helps make the batter airy). Beat in the maple syrup and vanilla.
  • Pat the carrots dry. Place in a clean medium mixing bowl. Stir in the oil, coconut, raisins, and chopped nuts.
  • With the mixer running on low speed, add one-third of the almond flour mixture to the egg mixture. Once it disappears, add half of the carrot mixture. Add the next one-third of the flour mixture, then remaining carrot mixture, then the last one-third of the flour, fully incorporating after each addition.
  • Divide batter between prepared pans and smooth the tops. Bake layers until the cake is lightly browned on top, a toothpick inserted into the center of the layers comes out clean, and the tops spring back lightly when touched about, 20 to 25 minutes. The cakes will be a deep golden brown. Place the pans on a wire rack and let cool in the pans 10 minutes. Carefully run a dull knife around edges to release the cakes, then invert them onto the rack to cool completely.
  • While the cakes bake, prepare the frosting. In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and butter together until smoothly combined, about 2 minutes, stopping to scrape down the bowl as needed. Reduce mixer speed to low and slowly add 2 cups of the powdered sugar. Beat until combined. Continue adding the last 1 cup sugar, until the frosting is as stiff and sweet as you'd like (the more powdered sugar you add, the stiffer and sweeter it will be). Add the vanilla, almond, and salt. Increase the speed to medium high and beat until smooth, ultra creamy, and a little lighter and fluffier, scraping down the bowl as needed, about 4 full minutes. Refrigerate to firm up a little while the cake continues baking and cools. If it firms up too much to spread easily depending upon how long you keep it in your fridge, let stand at room temperature prior to frosting, until it is easily spreadable.
  • Assemble the cake: Trim the domed top of one cake layer so that it is flat, then place the layer trimmed-side up a serving plate. Tuck strips of parchment paper around the edges to protect the plate from drips. Spread 1/3 of the frosting on top. Top with remaining cake layer, domed-side up. Spread the top with a thick layer of additional frosting. Keep the sides very lightly frosted (think decorative smear). Decorate with remaining nuts as desired.

Notes

  • TO MAKE DAIRY FREE: Use your favorite dairy-free or vegan cream cheese frosting recipe.
  • TO STORE: Cover the cake, and store it in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. 
  • TO FREEZE: Cut your cake into slices, and individually freeze each slice in an airtight freezer-safe storage container for up to 2 months. Remove and thaw slices as desired in the refrigerator. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1(of 12)Calories: 588kcalCarbohydrates: 57gProtein: 11gFat: 38gSaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 83mgPotassium: 316mgFiber: 6gSugar: 42gVitamin A: 3659IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 149mgIron: 2mg

Join today and start saving your favorite recipes

Create an account to easily save your favorite projects and tutorials.

Register

I am sharing this post in partnership with Bob’s Red Mill. As always, all opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting the brands and companies that make it possible for me to continue to create quality content for you! For more healthy recipe inspiration, coupons, or to find a store that carries Bob’s Red Mill products near you, visit bobsredmill.com.

Did you try this recipe?

I want to see!

Follow @wellplated on Instagram, snap a photo, and tag it #wellplated. I love to know what you are making!

Share this Article

Pin0Print0

This post contains some affiliate links, which means that I make a small commission off items you purchase at no additional cost to you.

You May Also Like

Free Email Series
5 Secrets for Cooking Tasty and Healthy
My secrets for making wholesome meals you'll WANT to eat.

Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at wellplated.com and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

Learn more about Erin

Leave a Comment

Did you make this recipe?

Don't forget to leave a review!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




58 Comments

Leave a comment

  1. OH BOY, I have all the ingredients! I love baking with almond flour and almond meal. I can’t wait to try this recipe, Erin! I’ll report back!

    1. Hi Karen! I’ve never tried the recipe this way, but you can certainly experiment with it. To be safe, I’d suggest monitoring the cupcakes’ baking progress carefully and start checking them at about the 15 minute mark. You can then extend the time from there if needed. And, baking them at 350 degrees F should be fine. If you decide to try it, I’d love to hear how it goes!

  2. Hi Erin,

    Looks like a great Easter recipe! Could I use frozen carrots in this recipe if I remove the water content? Also, can I bake it in a bundt pan? If so, do you know the approximate time?

    Thanks!

    1. Hi Annita! Unfortunately, I’ve never tried the recipe with either of these swaps, so I’m not sure how it would turn out. If you decide to experiment, I’d love to hear how it goes!

  3. Holy cow, this recipe is an absolute winner Erin! The only changes I made were to cut back the dark brown sugar a tiny bit to 2/3 cup and had to use 9” pans because that’s what I had. Also skipped the raisins because we don’t care for them. Otherwise I made this cake as written. It’s moist, perfectly spiced with a great texture. The frosting is good enough to eat with a spoon on its own. Not that I did that. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Make this cake. It’s perfect. 5 stars

  4. This was the first cake I’ve ever made, and it really wasn’t too hard for me to follow. The cake itself was fantastic!! I made it for Easter and everyone else loved it too :)5 stars

  5. I’ve never made carrot cake before, but when I saw the photo for this recipe I was set on giving it a try. And it did not disappoint – it’s seriously the best carrot cake we’ve ever had, and has remained moist and delicious days later. We don’t have gluten sensitivities and didn’t notice any compromise to the flavor or texture at all. I did omit the raisins based on personal preference. And I didn’t have cake pans on hand, but 9-inch pie dishes worked fine (though, unsurprisingly, the cakes didn’t come out as symmetrically pretty and circular) – I just ordered some pans, though, so I can make this again. If you even remotely like carrot cake, you have to try this!5 stars

    1. Hi Patty! Unfortunately, I’ve never tried crushed pineapple in this recipe, so I can’t offer any specific advice. If you decide to play around with it, I’d love to hear how it goes!

      1. My friend made it with crushed pineapple, I guess a small can drained, and it was delicious! Moist but it didn’t fall apart. She brought it to our q outdoor dinner last evening. We have a very small group of friends who we trust to strictly q. It ‘s a big cake, though, so I could never make it for just the two of us. So I am so glad it freezes well. I assume you freeze it with the frosting already on? And double win, I must be gluten free.5 stars

        1. I’m so happy that it was a hit, Alene! You can freeze it with the frosting on. Thank you for sharing this kind review!

  6. It turned out fantastic and everyone loved it. My husband and mother in law are Celiac so they were excited. Everyone else had no idea it was anything but a wonderful homemade carrot cake with cream cheese frosting. Wish I could post my photo of the cale since it looks just as nice as a regular cale.
    Thank you for a great easy to follow recipe that actually tastes delicious!5 stars

    1. Hi Erin
      I really want to try this recipe out because its gluten free and packed with spices. Is it necessary to use maple syrup? Or can I omit it completely? Also, can I substitute brown sugar with coconut sugar? Do let me know. Thank you.

      1. Hi Jacqueline! I wouldn’t recommend omitting the maple syrup, as it provides both flavor and moisture to the cake. I’ve only tested the recipe with brown sugar, so it would be an experiment to use coconut sugar instead. If you decide to try it, I’d love to hear how it goes!

    1. Hi Andrea! I looked online and 1 cup is 96 grams, so 3 cups would be 288 grams. I hope you love the recipe!

    1. Hi Yvonne! Unfortunately, I wouldn’t recommend this swap. Artificial syrup doesn’t have good results in baking, and its flavor isn’t as rich as pure maple syrup. It’s definitely worth using the real thing here. You could use honey instead if you prefer. I hope this helps!

  7. I tried this recipe but unfortunately the baking time u have mentioned made my cake little underbaked.. I used only one pan m. It was underbaked from the centre but the flavors were good. Can you reccomend how much baking time should I give it if I am making this mix in one pan?

    1. Ash, next time, I’d suggest baking half of the batter at a time if you only have 1 pan. Doubling it up in a single pan will make the cake very thick, so it will be hard to bake it through to the middle without the edges burning. If you try again with either 2 pans (or use 1 pan but only bake half of the batter at a time; cool the pan between), I think you’ll love the results.

  8. This recipe is a keeper!! I’ve made this cake twice, and it has turned out very well both times. My immediate family eats gluten-free, but my extended family members (who regularly consume gluten) have commented both times they couldn’t believe it was GF. I subbed in avocado oil successfully, in case anyone else was wanting to not use canola, and added a little extra coconut in place of the raisins. I love that it’s made with so much real, whole food to balance out the extra cream cheese frosting that’s always requested. Thanks, Erin!5 stars

  9. I have made this twice. I will be making it again in a couple of weeks for my brothers birthday party. It is his favorite!5 stars

  10. Love this recipe! I get requests for it too.
    I wish you had a cookbook with all the almond flour recipes in it.5 stars

    1. Hi Charyn! I’ve only tested this recipe in round cake pans, so it would be a complete experiment. If you decide to try it, I’d love to hear how it goes!

  11. Tried this recipe tonight- it is a lovely carrot cake! Next time I want a carrot cake, I will use the same recipe. I switched melted butter for the vegetable oil because I love buttery cakes. Also left out all of the nuts and raisins for personal preference. So if anyone is wondering if those adjustments work, they do! I don’t have cake pans, so I used 2 similarly sized enamel-coated cast iron pots. Cooking time was about 10-15 minutes longer (as would be expected!) but they turned out moist inside and golden brown on top.

    Erin, thank you for taking the time to make this recipe post. Trying your recipe made for an enjoyable Evening, and I’m quite happy with the result!5 stars

    1. Happy Birthday, Destinee! I’ve only tested the recipe with brown sugar, so it would be an experiment. If you decide to try it, I’d love to hear how it goes!

    2. I’m guessing you could use coconut sugar or maple sugar. You can “make” dark brown sugar by adding 2 tablespoons of blackstrap molasses to white or coconut sugar, btw. I think using some molasses in this recipe would be amazing (for instance, as a sub for maple syrup if you don’t have that)!

  12. Hi, what system of measurement are you using? UK, aus, or US?

    Also the shredded coconut used is dry or fresh?

    Thanks can’t wait to try this recipe out!

  13. I was wondering if i would be able to use gluten free ap flour in place of the almond flour and if so what other changes would i need to make to it?

    1. Hi Danielle! Since almond flour and regular flour react very differently in baking, I would not recommend this swap. However, you could experiment with using the gluten free flour in this Healthy Carrot Cake recipe. I hope this helps!

  14. Hi, I’ve made this cake a few times and it’s a family favourite ! I was wondering how you think it would turn out in a loaf tin ? As I need it sliced up for snacks and the cake form isn’t practical for that, so was thinking of making a cake loaf or perhaps 2 seperate square cakes just 1 layer. Have you tried either of these alternatives ?

    Thanks

    1. I’m so happy that it’s been a hit, Bailey! I’ve only tested this recipe in round cake pans, so it would be an experiment. If you decide to try it, I’d love to hear how it goes!

  15. This was a excellent recipe. I used sugar free brown sugar , replaced the canola with coconut oil and used sweetened coconut instead of unsweetened. I don’t like super sweet cakes and this one was perfect. Oh and added pumpkin pie spice as well !5 stars