GF Carrot Cake Redux

After my successful Carrot Cake BakeOff in March, I decided to combine the best of the two recipes and made a “new and improved” two-layer carrot cake for my birthday.

Gluten-Free Carrot Cake

Full Batch = two 9″ rounds; Half Batch = one 9″ round


Full Batch Ingredient Half Batch
2-1/2 cups Cake & Pastry Blend (see below) 1-1/4 cups
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda 3/4 teaspoon
1 teaspoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon
1-1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 3/4 teaspoon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg 1/8 teaspoon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves 1/8 teaspoon
1-3/4 cups sugar 7/8 cup
1 cup vegetable oil 1/2 cup
3 eggs eggs 2 eggs [my modification to avoid 1/2 egg]
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 1/2 teaspoon
8 oz. can crushed pineapple, drained with juice reserved 4 oz. (1/2 can)
4 Tablespoons reserved pineapple juice 1 Tablespoon [modified due to additional egg noted above]
2 cups peeled & grated carrots 1 cup
3/4 cup raisins 3/8 cup
1/2 cup chopped walnuts 1/4 cup
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut, rehydrated with 1-2 tablespoons of water 1/4 cup


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.  Grease 8- or 9-inch round cake pan(s).  Line with bottom of the pan with parchment. Lightly grease the parchment. [I buy 9″ round  parchment sheets rather than cutting my own.]
  2. Combine the flour blend, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves in a bowl; set aside.
  3. Prepare all the add-ins: carrots, raisins, walnuts, coconut, pineapple.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, beat the sugar, vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla at low speed until smooth, then beat at high speed for 3 minutes.  Add the flour mixture and beat on low speed to blend.  Add the reserved pineapple juice and beat until smooth.  Stir in the carrots, pineapple, raisins, walnuts, and coconut.  (I do these additions by hand with a wooden spoon, rather than with the mixer.)
  5. Divide the batter between the cake pans.  Bake on the center rack for 40-45 minutes, until the cake begins to pull away from the sides of the pan and a toothpick inserted in the center comes away clean. [Do make sure the center seems “solid” or the whole thing is likely to collapse as it cools.]  Remove to a wire rack and cool for 15 minutes.  Turn the cake out onto a rack to cool completely.  [You may need to run a knife around the edge of the pan.  I also put a sheet of parchment over the rack so the cake doesn’t stick to the rack.]
  6. Frost with non-dairy Coconut Powdered Sugar Frosting (see below) or your favorite frosting.


  • I use these velcro cake pan insulating strips to keep the cake from doming.  They work great!  However, it’s possible that without them your cake will be done sooner . . . so remember to start checking after 30 minutes of baking.  Better safe than sorry!


Cake & Pastry Blend

(adapted from Hillson, Gluten-Free Makeovers)

  • 1-1/4 cup sorghum flour
  • 1 cup superfine brown rice flour
  • 1/2 cup tapioca starch
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons guar gum
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Whisk all the ingredients together in a bowl.  Store in a plastic zipper bag in the refrigerator until needed.

Notes on Flour Blends:

  • DO NOT use the old “scoop and level” method of measuring with GF flours.  You will get too much flour.  Spoon the flour into your measuring cup, then level off excess with a knife.
  • Obviously, this recipe makes more than the 2-1/2 cups needed for the carrot cake recipe.  Remember to mix the blend, then measure for the recipe.  Save the leftovers for other baking.
  • If you use any other flour blend you will need to add gum and salt to the carrot cake recipe.

Lucinda’s Non-Dairy Coconut Powdered Sugar Frosting

(Update 10/6/2014: I no longer use these proportions in my frosting.  Please see my current recipe at )

  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening (I use Spectrum Organics Palm Oil Shortening)
  • 2 Tablespoons Coconut Manna (I use Nutiva brand;
  • 2-3 cups confectioners sugar; sifted if lumpy
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
  • dashes of lemon juice or water or “milk” substitute as needed to thin the frosting
  1. Beat the shortening and coconut manna until light and fluffy.  Add extracts and beat again.
  2. Gradually add confectioners’ sugar and mix at low-medium speed until combined.
  3. Add liquid, one teaspoon at a time, to thin the frosting enough to use.


  • The coconut manna provides some richness to make up for not using the butter and cream cheese that would be in the traditional version of my powdered sugar frosting.
  • For some reason this recipe wasn’t quite enough to frost the cake today.  Haven’t gotten the proportions correct after years of making cream cheese frosting.  I think this needs more shortening, so next time I’ll try 3/4 cup shortening and maybe an extra spoon of coconut manna.



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