Dessert

Gluten-Free Carrot Cake

SERVES 12

Carrots and fruit give this delicious, dense cake enough natural sweetness that you can omit the sugar if you choose. Forgo the frosting and bake in a loaf pan for a satisfying breakfast bread. This recipe is easy to make dairy-free and egg-free, too.

¾ cup brown rice flour
¼ cup tapioca starch/flour
¼ cup coconut flour
¾ cup gluten-free oat flour
2½ teaspoons baking powder
1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon guar gum
½ teaspoon salt
¾ cup finely chopped walnuts or sunflower seeds, optional
4 ounces (½ cup) unsalted butter or dairy-free butter alternative, heated until just melted
2 tablespoons coconut palm sugar or sugar of choice
½ cup dried dates, seeded and finely chopped into a paste
1¼ cups mashed ripe bananas (about 3 medium)
1½ cups grated carrots (about 3 medium)
½ cup plain Greek yogurt or dairy-free yogurt
2 eggs, lightly whisked, or egg replacer (see Egg-Free Carrot Cake below

Topping

8 ounces cream cheese or dairy-free cream cheese, room temperature
3 tablespoons maple syrup or agave nectar (or to taste)
3-4 tablespoons powdered sugar, optional (makes frosting sweeter and thicker)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease two 8-inch round cake pans and line them with parchment paper.

2. Sift together flours, baking powder, cinnamon, guar gum and salt. Stir in walnuts, if desired, and set aside.

3. Stir sugar into melted butter until mixed. Add dates, breaking them up a bit.

4. In a separate bowl, combine bananas and carrots. Stir in date-butter-sugar mixture, breaking up any date clumps as you go. Whisk in yogurt and eggs. Add flour mixture and stir until everything just comes together. Spoon batter into prepared pan(s).

5. Bake in preheated oven 50 to 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of each cake comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool.

6. While cake is baking, prepare frosting. Whip together cream cheese and maple syrup. Add powdered sugar, if desired. Taste and adjust sweetener to your liking.

7. When cake has completely cooled, spread top with frosting using a spatula.

Each serving contains 307 calories, 17g total fat, 9g sat fat, 0g trans fat, 77mg cholesterol, 261mg sodium, 37g total carbohydrate, 4g fiber, 5g protein.

*TIP For Egg-Free Carrot Cake, omit 2 eggs. Add 2 tablespoons arrowroot to dry ingredients. Add ½ cup unsweetened applesauce to yogurt and proceed with step 4. Cake may take a bit longer to bake. 

Recipe adapted to be allergy-friendly by Madalene Rhyand, director of Living Without’s test kitchen.

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