Gluten-Free Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

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gluten free
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Hands-on time:
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Yield: 16 to 24 servings

Recipe photo

Moist, delicious, and full of tasty ingredients, this cake — made from our easy mix — doubles as formal dessert or casually delicious afternoon pick-me-up.

Gluten-Free Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

star rating (8) rate this recipe »
gluten free
Hands-on time:
Baking time:
Total time:
Yield: 16 to 24 servings
Published: 01/17/2013



  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 large eggs
  • 4 1/2 cups (1 pound) shredded carrots
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 box King Arthur Flour Gluten-Free Yellow Cake Mix
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 1/2 cups finely chopped pecans or walnuts
  • 20-ounce can crushed pineapple, drained, optional*
  • *Or substitute pineapple rings or chunks, drained and chopped


  • 1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter
  • 8-ounce package cream cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla OR 1/2 teaspoon Fiori di Sicilia
  • 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 cups glazing sugar or confectioners' sugar
  • milk or cream to adjust frosting's consistency, if necessary


1) Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease two parchment-lined 8" round cake pans; one 9" x 13" rectangular pan; or the wells of one muffin tin (12 muffin cups). Or line the muffin tins with papers, and spray the insides of the papers.

2) Beat together the oil, eggs, carrots, and spices.

3) Whisk the cake mix with the baking soda; stir into the bowl with the wet ingredients.

4) Add the raisins, nuts, and pineapple (if you're using it). Mix until blended.

5) Spoon (or pour) the batter into the prepared pan(s).

6) Bake the cake layers for 60 minutes; the 9" x 13" pan for 50 minutes; or cupcakes for 30 minutes. The cake should be brown and firm on top, with an internal temperature of 212°F.

7) Remove the cake(s) or cupcakes from the oven, and allow to rest for 5 minutes before turning out of the pan onto a rack to cool. Frost when completely cool.

8) To make the frosting: Beat the butter and cream cheese together until smooth.

9) Add the salt and vanilla; beat in the sugar.

10) Beat in an additional teaspoon of milk or cream if the frosting is too stiff to spread; beat in more sugar if it's too thin.

11) Spread the frosting over the cake layers and stack them, then frost to cover; or spread frosting onto the 9" x 13" cake, or onto the cupcakes.

Yield: two 8" rounds; one 9" x 13" cake; or 24 cupcakes.


  • star rating 05/02/2015
  • Patrice from Commack, New York
  • This cake tasted amazing! It was moist and delicious and you would not even know it was gluten free.
  • star rating 02/07/2015
  • dianefreeman from KAF Community
  • I baked this cake just as directed - we consumed one layer and I carefully wrapped and froze the other layer for another time. My spouse has recently been diagnosed as wheat/gluten sensitive and he has been feeling very "deprived". This cake hit the spot! So tasty and the addition of the crushed pineapple keeps it very moist. I also served to to friends but did not tell them it was GF. They did not know the difference and they raved about how good the cake was. This is a keeper for sure!
  • star rating 02/04/2015
  • Diane from Fayetteville, NY
  • 1 week before I was to make my brother's carrot wedding cake I was asked if I could make a gluten free layer; I called the baker's hotline in a panic and was referred to this recipe. Not only was the hotline representative wonderful (sorry I don't remember her name I called last November) but, I received MULTIPLE compliments on the cake. I made the cake exactly as written, minus the nuts, in case anyone had an allergy. THANK YOU !!!
  • star rating 10/31/2014
  • Courtney from Richmond, Virginia
  • This cake is amazing, whether made as carrot cake or as plain yellow cake - I'd say even better than its glutenous counterpart! A question I was not sure where to post - does anyone think this cake might be made with apple in place of the carrot? I am desperate for a good gf apple layer cake to serve at Thanksgiving this year and KAF always seems like the best place to turn for help!
  • star rating 07/25/2014
  • from
  • This is my new favorite carrot cake. I made it with the pineapple, light raisins soaked in pineapple juice, and no nuts. Decorated with your little pre-made sugar carrots. Brilliant. The lightest, moistest, most delicious carrot cake I've ever baked. Even better than my homemade with wheat. Unfortunately for KAF, better even than their own boxed mix. Sorry, KAF.
  • star rating 05/05/2014
  • John from Raleigh, NC
  • I made this for my wife's birthday. Neither she, nor I are celiacs, but our 12 year old daughter is and we try to keep the birthday cakes gluten free so she can join in. We used the pineapple and omitted the raisins, because my wife does not like raisins. We all loved this cake and it was just as good as some of the best gluten based cakes we have made.
  • star rating 04/21/2014
  • Cassi from Portland, OR
  • Made this recipe for Easter, turned out amazing! Cooked in about 40-45 min in my oven in a 9x13 though, so be aware of your oven and how it cooks. Totally recommend this recipe!
  • star rating 09/23/2013
  • Paula_G from KAF Community
  • I have now made this cake twice. The star rating is for the last time. The first try was made using the raisins and the cake seemed dry. This time I left off the raisins and it was amazing. It was moist and delicious. I made it in a 9 x 13 cake pan, cut it into 20 pieces and each piece garnished with a pecan half. It was taken to church for a potluck and not one piece remained. If I were to use raisins again, I might cut the quantity down and plump them first in some of the pineapple juice that is drained off from the pineapple.

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