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Gluten-Free Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

This gluten-free carrot cake (which is also paleo) is a rustic naked cake, topped with ultra creamy cream cheese frosting and pecans.

This gluten-free carrot cake (which is also paleo) is a rustic naked cake, topped with ultra creamy cream cheese frosting and pecans.

Hi friends! Easter is right around the corner and I feel like I’m highly unprepared this year. I’ve had so much travel and excitement this past month, much due in large part to KitchenAid. First, there was the Housewares show in Chicago. An event fab enough on it’s own, but remember that little video we created? Yeah. It’s now been viewed more than 2.7 million times. Crazy!

Then, KitchenAid flew me out to New York for a blogger retreat just last week. We literally ate our way around the city on a foodie walking tour of the lower east side and spent a whole day at Food52 (I seriously wanted to move in). Food52 is like a candy store for food and interior design obsessed adults. Oh, and we got to meet Chef Marcus Samuelson. Yep, two unbelievably dreamy days.

This gluten-free carrot cake (which is also paleo) is a rustic naked cake, topped with ultra creamy cream cheese frosting and pecans.

This gluten-free carrot cake (which is also paleo) is a rustic naked cake, topped with ultra creamy cream cheese frosting and pecans.

This gluten-free carrot cake (which is also paleo) is a rustic naked cake, topped with ultra creamy cream cheese frosting and pecans.

So continuing my month of KitchenAid love, I bring you this triple layer gluten-free carrot cake, made super easy with KitchenAid’s new Fresh Prep Slicer Shredder. If you leave your stand mixer on your countertop (as I do), then it’s super easy to add this attachment and quickly grate 3 cups of carrots.

The carrot cake itself is gluten-free, dairy-free and paleo-friendly, but the icing does contain dairy. You guys know I’m dairy-light, but I do love cream cheese frosting, so this is my splurge for Easter. If you don’t do dairy, I promise you this gluten-free carrot cake is abundantly delicious all on it’s own. Or, you could make a dairy-free buttercream, similar to the one I used on my Coconut Amaretto Crepe Cake (minus the amaretto and shredded coconut).

This gluten-free carrot cake (which is also paleo) is a rustic naked cake, topped with ultra creamy cream cheese frosting and pecans.

This gluten-free carrot cake (which is also paleo) is a rustic naked cake, topped with ultra creamy cream cheese frosting and pecans.

I decided to make this gluten-free carrot cake a naked cake, meaning the sides are scraped clean of icing (otherwise known as a crumb coat). This gives it a bit of a rustic look, which I think is fitting for a carrot cake. It also keeps it a smidge (a very slight smidge) healthier.

When it comes to carrot cake recipes I know some folks like to add lots of mix-ins – things like raisins, coconut…even pineapple. Call me boring, but I like a simple, pure carrot cake. The only mix-in I added was chopped pecans. But feel free to modify this gluten-free carrot cake recipe as you wish.

This gluten-free carrot cake (which is also paleo) is a rustic naked cake, topped with ultra creamy cream cheese frosting and pecans.

This gluten-free carrot cake (which is also paleo) is a rustic naked cake, topped with ultra creamy cream cheese frosting and pecans.

One quick note about the three pans. It will seem like the pans barely have any batter and that’s okay. Once you divide the carrot cake batter between three pans they’ll only be about 1/4 full, but your cake will rise. It will also cook faster and bonus, my layers cooked and stayed 100% flat, so there was no need to trim a dome. You could also do this recipe in three 6-inch pans or two 9-inch pans. Just adjust the cook time accordingly.

Enjoy!

Pin for later:

Gluten-Free Carrot Cake

This gluten-free carrot cake (which is also paleo) is a rustic naked cake, topped with ultra creamy cream cheese frosting and pecans.

This post was created in partnership with KitchenAid. Thank you for supporting the sponsors that help keep Downshiftology going! As always, all opinions are my own. 

This gluten-free carrot cake (which is also paleo) is a rustic naked cake, topped with ultra creamy cream cheese frosting and pecans.
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Gluten-Free Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Prep Time: 30 mins
Cook Time: 35 mins
Total Time: 1 hr 5 mins
Servings: 12 servings
Author: Lisa Bryan
This gluten-free carrot cake (which is also paleo) is a rustic naked cake, topped with ultra creamy cream cheese frosting and pecans. 
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Ingredients

Gluten-Free Carrot Cake

  • 2 1/2 cups almond flour
  • 1/2 cup tapioca flour
  • 1 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 3 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup palm shortening, ghee or butter, melted and room temperature
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 cups shredded carrots
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans, (plus extra for garnish)

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 16 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 4 tbsp butter, room temperature
  • 3 cups powdered sugar, (or more, as needed)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees fahrenheit.
  • Grease three 8-inch pans and line the bottom of each with a circle of parchment paper. 
  • Add all of the dry ingredients to a medium bowl and whisk together. 
  • In a separate large bowl, add the eggs, palm shortening or butter, applesauce and vanilla extract. With a hand mixer on medium speed, blend together for 30 seconds. 
  • Add the dry ingredients to the wet and blend for another minute, or until well combined. Fold in the shredded carrots and chopped pecans. 
  • Evenly divide the cake batter between the three 8-inch pans. They'll only be about 1/4 full, and that's okay. Use a spatula to flatten them on top. 
  • Cook the cakes for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Rotate the cakes halfway through. 
  • Let the cakes cool for 15 minutes in the pan. Then remove them from the pan and continue cooling on a cooling rack. 
  • While the cakes are cooling, make the cream cheese frosting. Combine all frosting ingredients together and blend in a stand mixer or large bowl with a hand mixer on medium speed. 
  • Divide the frosting between the layers and add a thin layer of frosting, which is then scraped off, from the outside edge. Top with chopped pecans. 

Nutrition

Calories: 630kcal, Carbohydrates: 58g, Protein: 10g, Fat: 42g, Saturated Fat: 13g, Cholesterol: 119mg, Sodium: 537mg, Potassium: 329mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 43g, Vitamin A: 121.4%, Vitamin C: 2.4%, Calcium: 11.8%, Iron: 9.7%
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Gluten Free Carrot Cake, Paleo Carrot Cake
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