Since I don’t have a lot of experience with baking gluten-free stuff, coming up with a gluten-free baked goodie for a charity sale last week was quite a challenge! Gluten-free bakes often turn out dry and crumbly, so I figured going with a carrot cake would be a good idea – there was no way that wouldn’t turn out moist and yummy (I hoped).
I decided to use my own carrot cake recipe as a basis for this one, because it seemed very suitable – apart from the flour, of course. Then came the actual challenge: what should I use instead of said flour? I thought about using gluten-free flour, but eventually I landed on using almond meal. It adds a very subtle nutty flavour, which goes well with the spices and the carrot.
While the cake was baking in the oven, I had a moment of slight panic, when I thought this endeavor would turn into a baking fail – after 35 minutes, the cake had turned quite brown on top, but was still way too jiggly in the middle. Luckily, that could be fixed with some aluminium foil over the top of the tin, and in the end this cake turned out very moist and delicious! Its structure is a bit different from the original, but it holds together and tastes incredible. What more could I want?
You’ll need… (for about 10 servings)
- 3 eggs
- 150 ml sunflower/vegetable oil
- 100 g white sugar
- 100 g light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla flavouring
- 125 g almond meal
- 2 teaspoons of baking powder
- a pinch of salt
- 1½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon of ground ginger
- 165 g grated carrot
- 50 g chopped pecans
- 50 g raisins
For the frosting…
- 100 g cream cheese
- ½ tablespoon of buttermilk
- 1/8 teaspoon of vanilla flavouring (a few drops)
- 110 g icing sugar
- zest of a quarter of a lemon
- optionally: a few drops of lemon juice
- a springform tin (22 cm)
- parchment paper
- aluminium foil
- and an oven, of course! This cake needs to be baked at 175 °C (don’t forget to preheat your oven!)
So, let’s get baking!
1. Mix together eggs, oil, sugar and vanilla First of all, you need to beat together the eggs and the sunflower (or vegetable) oil, and then add the two types of sugar and the vanilla flavouring and mix until everything is evenly mixed. I just used a whisk for everything.
2. Add almond meal, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and ginger Next up, you’ll have to add the almond meal and the baking powder and mix it through, and do the same with the salt, the cinnamon and the ginger.
3. Add carrots, pecans and raisins Now, stir in the grated carrots and then also add the chopped pecans and the raisins. Mix everything until everything is evenly mixed.
4. Prepare the tin and bake the cake Line the bottom of your tin with parchment paper and then grease the entire tin. Pour in your batter and place the tin into your preheated oven. Bake the cake for about 35 minutes and then check how far along it is. It will probably already be quite brown on top but still very liquid in the middle. If this is the case, cover the tin with aluminium foil and bake the cake for another 15 minutes or so. Check if it’s done by inserting a skewer. If it comes out (relatively) clean, your cake is done! Remember that a carrot cake is quite moist, so your skewer will not be completely dry when it comes out. Take the cake out of the oven when it’s done and let it cool.
5. Make the frosting After your cake has cooled you can coat it with the frosting, which you prepare by mixing the cream cheese, buttermilk and vanilla flavouring together with an electric mixer, after which you gradually mix the icing sugar through it. Then add the zest of about a quarter o a lemon. Just gradually add the zest and taste after mixing if you think it’s right! I also added a couple of drops of lemon juice because I thought the frosting was a little too sweet.
6. Coat the cake with the frosting When your cake has cooled down completely, you can coat it with the frosting. I only coated the top of the cake and left the sides uncovered, but you can do whatever you like, of course!
And there you have it! Your gluten-free carrot cake is done! Enjoy!