Carrot Cake (gluten free)

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OMG!  If I ever see a carrot cake with a boring plain cream cheese frosting I may cry.  After tasting this carrot cake with a maple pecan buttercream, I can NEVER go back to boring.  I owe all my inspiration for this combination of a nutty frosting combined with carrot cake to The Vegan Muffin Woman.  See her recipe  I would have tried her recipe, but I didn’t have the necessary ingredients on hand.  Instead, I used a Maple Pecan Buttercream Frosting recipe from The Food Charlatan.  (Recipe below)

The actual carrot cake was a spectacular surprise.  I had been craving carrot cake for 3 months now, but I kept getting side tracked in the kitchen.  Since I’m gluten free, it makes finding a good recipe difficult.  In the past, I’ve used rice flour to substitute in other recipes but the cake turned out way too dense.  By just tasting this cake you would never imagine that not only is it gluten free, but sugar free, as well.  It is based on a combination of almond and coconut flour.  The sweetness comes from crushed pineapple and honey.  It was light and fluffy … amazing for a gluten free cake.  I found the recipe on the site Gluten Free Mix (although a bake mix was not necessary for this recipe).

Even if you’re not gluten free, I really suggest trying this cake!

Gluten Free Carrot Cake

  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup finely grated carrots
  • 1/2 cup crushed pineapple (canned is fine)
  • 1/2 cup almond flour, packed
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour, packed
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Whisk together oil, honey and eggs.
  3. Stir in carrots and pineapple.
  4. Whisk in dry ingredients, making sure you get out all the clumps.
  5. Stir in pecans.
  6. Pour batter into greased baking dish.
  7. Bake for 25-30 minutes.
  8. Cool completely before icing.
  9. Top with my creamy vanilla yogurt frosting or your favorite cream cheese frosting.

* Some notes on this recipe.  If you have an oven that tends to turn things dark quickly, lower temperature to 325.  This recipe is perfect for an 8×8 glass dish, pie plate or 12 cupcakes.  For a layered cake or 9×13, double the recipe 🙂

Maple Pecan Frosting
 Yield: Makes enough to frost 1 double layer cake, or 24 cupcakes
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped pecans, toasted
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) salted butte
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup real maple syrup (I used Grade A)
  • 1 teaspoon maple extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt, or to taste


  1. Chop up the pecans. You can chop them with a knife or in a food processor. See photos to see what level of choppiness we’re talking.
  2. Set a frying pan over medium heat. Add the pecans and stir occasionally until they start to smell delicious, or until they barely start to brown. Set aside to cool.
  3. In a large mixing bowl or stand mixer, cream the butter to within an inch of its life. Just kidding, beat it for a couple minutes until it’s high and fluffy.
  4. Add 2 cups of powdered sugar and maple syrup. Beat well.
  5. Add 1 cup powdered sugar, maple extract, and salt. Beat well.
  6. Add the chopped pecans when they are completely cooled and beat it. Try not to eat it all with a spoon.


I used regular syrup and substituted vanilla extract for the maple extract and it tasted amazing!

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