Gluten-Free Carrot Cake


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


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.

Comments (11)

Yes, xanthan and guar gum are pretty much interchangeable.

Posted by: Elgie | November 12, 2013 12:25 PM    Report this comment

I was so excited to try this today however it was a big flop. I did not use eggs since my husband is allergic to those, but I did use the substitution suggested. Normally I would have used a chia egg but thought I should go with the tested and true substitution. Can you tell me why the cake only baked on the outside, leaving the inside completely uncooked?

Posted by: Unknown | March 16, 2013 10:05 PM    Report this comment

This turned out really tasty. I replaced the oat flour with a sorgum flour and almond meal mix. The dates were a nice surprise and reminded of having raisins in carrot cake :)

Posted by: Asha B | August 17, 2012 1:44 AM    Report this comment

Carrot muffins that have pineapple and coconut as well as nuts and or raisins are called morning glory muffins.

You can swap the oat flour with 2/3 c white rice flour.
Use applesauce of more dates to sub out the bananas the bananas are there to make the recipe lower in fat you could use 3/4 veg oil instead.

Posted by: Unknown | August 11, 2012 12:01 PM    Report this comment

Can xanthan gum be used instead of guar gum? Marg

Posted by: Margaret M | August 11, 2012 7:58 AM    Report this comment

If you were replacing oatmeal, you could use quinoa flakes. But since this recipe calls for oat flour, you could use quinoa flour, although I think I'd like sorghum flour better.

Posted by: Elgie | August 10, 2012 1:52 PM    Report this comment

In place of bananas Could try crushed pineapple drained. My carrot cake turns out great with carrot/pineapple/cocunut combo.

Posted by: Pam M | August 10, 2012 12:59 PM    Report this comment

I can't have the GF oats. Anyone have a suggestion on what to use in place of oats?

Posted by: Angela S | August 9, 2012 8:06 PM    Report this comment

try applesauce!

Posted by: Lesleyann W | August 9, 2012 7:43 PM    Report this comment

applesauce works great!

Posted by: H H | August 9, 2012 2:33 PM    Report this comment

I can't eat bananas! I'd love to try this recipe. Anyone have a suggestion for what to substitute in for the bananas?

Posted by: JEANNE A | August 9, 2012 1:39 PM    Report this comment

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