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Gluten Free Carrot Cake

Gluten Free Carrot Cake

Total Time: 02h 30m
Hands-on Time: 01h 00m
Makes: 12 servings

This gluten-free carrot cake is sweetened with maple syrup and applesauce, then perfectly spiced with organic ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon and allspice, and adorned with a velvety orange-zest-infused frosting made with homemade powdered sugar*, and finished with toasted pecans and coconut.

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Ingredients

  • For the Cake:
  • 1½ cups finely grated organic carrots
  • 2 cups gluten-free, organic oat flour**
  • 1 cup organic almond meal
  • ½ cup + 2 tablespoons organic coconut sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons Simply Organic Cinnamon
  • 1½ teaspoon Simply Organic Ginger
  • ¾ teaspoon Simply Organic Nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon sea or pink Himalayan salt
  • ¼ teaspoon Simply Organic Allspice
  • 4 large eggs
  • ½ cup + 2 tablespoons organic unsweetened almond, soy or 2% milk
  • ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 3 tablespoons organic pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon Simply Organic Pure Vanilla Extract
  • ⅓ cup organic unrefined coconut oil, melted and slightly cooled
  • Optional toppings: toasted coconut, toasted chopped pecans or walnuts
  • For the Homemade Powdered Sugar:
  • ¾ cup cane sugar
  • ¾ cup organic coconut sugar or sucanat
  • 1½ teaspoon arrowroot powder or cornstarch
  • For The Orange-infused Cream Cheese Frosting:
  • 16 ounces organic Neufchatel cream cheese
  • 3 tablespoons full-fat organic Greek yogurt
  • 1½ cups homemade organic powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons fresh orange zest or 1 to 2 teaspoons powdered orange peel
  • ¾ teaspoon Simply Organic Orange Flavor
  • ½ teaspoon Simply Organic Pure Vanilla Extract

Directions

We suggest making the frosting first so it can be chilled while the cake is being made and cooled.
To Make the Powdered Sugar:
  1. In a blender, combine cane sugar, coconut sugar and arrowroot or cornstarch, starting on low speed and increasing to the highest setting until sugar is fully powdered. Blend in 2 batches if necessary.
  2. Measure 1½ cups for cream cheese frosting and store remainder in a sealed container for other uses.
To Make the Frosting:
  1. In a large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and Greek yogurt on medium-high speed until completely smooth.
  2. Add homemade powdered sugar and beat on low, working up to medium until fully combined and smooth, scraping sides of bowl as needed.
  3. Beat in orange zest or powder, orange flavoring and vanilla extract until fully combined. If using orange powder, start with 1 teaspoon and add more as needed, to desired taste.
  4. Cover in a bowl and refrigerate for at least 2 hours (or overnight) before frosting cake.
To Make the Cake:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease two 8-inch round pans thoroughly with coconut oil or butter.
  2. Spread finely grated carrots over a few paper towels. Place more paper towels overtop and lightly blot.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together oat flour, almond meal, coconut sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, salt and allspice until combined. In another bowl, whisk eggs together, then whisk in milk, applesauce, maple syrup and vanilla extract until thoroughly mixed. Whisk in coconut oil. Pour wet mixture into dry ingredient bowl and whisk until just combined (when you no longer see dry flour). Scrape bowl if needed and whisk again. Fold in grated carrots, then pour equal amounts of batter into cake pans. Spread batter to level out.
  4. Place on middle rack of oven and bake for 36 to 42 minutes. Test each cake with a toothpick for doneness. Toothpick should come out moist but not gooey.
  5. Place on cooling racks and cool for about 1 hour. Slide a knife around edge of pan to loosen, then place one hand on top of cake and carefully flip pan over, allowing cake to drop to your hand; place on cooling rack. Repeat with other pan and allow cakes to fully cool before frosting.
To Frost the Cake:
  1. Line outer edge of plate or cake stand with pieces of wax or parchment paper (wax paper should stick out a few inches from under cake all the way around to leave a clean plate upon removal).
  2. Center first cake layer on the plate. Evenly spread frosting on top of first layer then place next layer on top and adjust to level top if needed. Frost top and the sides.
  3. Carefully pull wax paper from under cake. Top with toasted coconut and nuts if desired. Store in refrigerator and remove about 1 hour prior to serving.
Recipe Notes:
  1. *This homemade powdered sugar lends a caramel-like flavor from the coconut sugar (no coconut taste!) and is less refined than traditional powdered sugar. This can be made using all pure cane sugar if needed.
  2. 1½ cups of traditional organic powdered sugar can be used instead of the homemade variety.
  3. Oat flour can be ground in a blender or food processor from organic and gluten-free oat groats, steel cut oats or rolled oats (not quick oats) until flour-like in texture. Almond meal can similarly be ground from organic raw almonds (skin on) until flour-like in texture. For both flours, sift out any hard pieces if necessary. Best ground in 1 cup batches.
  4. **If you cannot tolerate gluten-free oat flour, substitute with a high-quality all-purpose gluten-free flour for the oat flour only (outcome will vary slightly from original).
  5. Frosting will be very spreadable and soft. For a stiffer frosting use full-fat cream cheese and omit the Greek yogurt.