Make gluten free carrot cake, or cupcakes, that’s loaded with fresh carrots and topped with traditional cream cheese frosting. Perfect for Easter, or any time!
Cake or Cupcakes?
This batter makes cake or cupcakes that are light and fluffy, moist and tender, and never ever oily. Cakes made with oil instead of butter can be very moist but can also become oily if the ingredient proportions aren’t just right.
Although it’s often assumed that a recipe for a cake can be used to make cupcakes, and vice versa, it isn’t always the case. Since each cupcake is its own portion, there’s a much larger surface area that is exposed to the heat of the oven.
When I baked the original cupcake recipe as a cake, it was just too fragile. It tasted great, but the cake cracked when I frosted and layered it. Adding 1/4 cup more flour to the recipe before baking it as a layer cake was the perfect fix.
Given the choice, I generally prefer to make cupcakes rather than a full cake. Cupcakes are easier to store, easier to force just a few on friends and neighbors (and my husband’s coworkers), and easier to have on hand at a moment’s notice (birthday in school tomorrow!).
I had always assumed that my kids would also prefer cupcakes, but I finally asked all 3 of them and it turns out that I was dead wrong! They said that they prefer cake for a very unoriginal, uninspiring reason…
When you are served a piece of cake, it’s almost always more generous than when you’re served a cupcake. That’s their whole reason. I thought about poking some holes in that logic but decided to just nod and smile. 🙂
If you love carrot cake and were hoping for a copycat of the famous Entenmann’s iced carrot cake, you’re in luck! I have a recipe for that secret-ingredient gluten free iced carrot cake that’s as moist and tender as can be. Be sure to check that one out, too.
Ingredients and substitutions
Dairy-Free: Making carrot cake with oil instead of butter makes these carrot cake cupcakes quite easy to convert to dairy free as well as gluten free. Just use a nondairy milk, like almond milk, and either replace the white chocolate chips with more nuts, or use nondairy semi-sweet chocolate chips.
I’ve successfully made cream cheese-style frosting dairy free by using 4 ounces Daiya nondairy cream cheese, 8 tablespoons (96 g) nonhydrogenated shortening, and 6 tablespoons (84 g) Earth Balance nondairy butter in place of the butter and cream cheese.
I find that nondairy cream cheese has a strong taste that can become unpleasant if used in large amounts, so I don’t use a whole 8 ounces of it in place of 8 ounces of conventional cream cheese.
Egg-Free: I don’t believe that this recipe can be made egg-free, I’m afraid. It just calls for too many eggs. Sorry!
Watch this 90-second video to see me make gluten free carrot cake.
Just push play below and then make your own! Please note that I edited out (by mistake!) the addition of apple cider vinegar in the video. It’s in there, though, I promise! Please don’t leave it out of the recipe when you bake. 🙂