carrotcakeCarrot cake is a treat that most children avidly avoid, because what kid wants vegetables in their dessert? I say we grown-ups keep the deception up, because that means there are extra slices for those of us who know that the carrots are the secret to this cake’s moisture and flavor! And it is easily turned gluten-free because the added density and moisture of gluten-free cakes works to carrot cake’s advantage. Here’s a few recipes if you want to try your hand at making gluten-free carrot cake from scratch (also see Sarah’s roundup of gluten-free carrot cake recipes):

  1. About.com has this recipe for Gluten-Free Carrot Cake With Cream Cheese Frosting.
  2. Gluten-Free Goddess has this recipe for Carrot Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting.
  3. Wasabimon has this recipe for Easy Gluten-Free Carrot Cake.

If you want to make carrot cake without the fuss, you can try a baking mix. Simply Organic sent us their gluten-free carrot cake baking mix, which I eagerly volunteered to test out. The directions were easy enough: I combined 2 eggs, ½ cup of water, and 1 cup of grated carrots to the mix, and then baked in a round 9” pan at 350°. The only change I made was that, although the recipe called for baking 45 to 50 minutes, my cake looked done at 40 minutes, brown at the top and pulling away from the sides of the pan and my test knife came out clean. That might have just been my oven, but you might want to watch your cake so it doesn’t get overcooked.

I then topped my cake with Betty Crocker’s Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting, which has been identified as gluten-free by General Mills on their gluten-free <www.liveglutenfreely.com> website. I also sprinkled some cinnamon on top and decorated the edges with some thinly grated carrots for a finishing touch. You can also try adding raisins, chopped nuts, coconut, apples, or pumpkin to your cake for a little something extra.

The spicy scent of the baking cake wafting from the oven had my sister and our other roommate hovering in the kitchen, persistently asking when the cake would be done, and they both eagerly downed the slices I gave them. The verdict? Delicious. If you can’t tell from the photo, the cake was spicy and moist and absolutely scrumptious! (And it goes well with a glass of cold milk!)

The box also has directions to make a vegan apple carrot cake, a spice cake, and pumpkin cake which all sound equally yummy. The prepared carrot cake is not that unhealthy as far as desserts go, being low in fat and high in iron, fiber, and Vitamin A (because of the carrots). The mix ingredients are sugar, brown rice flour, maple granules, cinnamon, sea salt, xanthan gum, cornstarch, and baking soda. The product is Fair Trade Certified.

Got a favorite gluten-free carrot cake recipe? Tell us about it!