Recipe: Gluten Free Carrot Cake

GlutenFreeCarrotCake-1I have been on the hunt for a great tasting, moist, gluten free carrot cake recipe.  With plans to visit my family over Easter, and knowing my Mom was on a special diet, I had to come up with a semi-healthy dessert.

The results of my search were a little disappointing and I ended up trying out a recipe I found on   Though, I found a couple of flaws with it when I tested the recipe, such as the amount of cream cheese and oil suggested.  Using only 3 ounces of cream cheese doesn’t produce enough frosting to cover the top of the cake, let alone the whole thing.  From reading the comments on the recipe, I could tell that one and a half cups of oil would probably leave the center a sticky mess no matter how long it baked for.

After making some adjustments, and testing the recipe three times, we finally indulged in a slice of heaven.  Honestly, I couldn’t even tell that this was gluten free!  Recipe Below …


Recipe: Gluten Free Carrot Cake
Recipe type: Desserts
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 8
A healthy gluten free carrot cake recipe.
  • CAKE
  • 1 cup Splenda
  • 4 eggs
  • 1½ cups unsweetened apple sauce
  • 2 cups gluten-free all purpose flour mix
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 2 cups freshly grated carrots
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 8 ounces of low fat cream cheese (it's one box)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup Splenda
  • Optional: 1½ cups of chopped walnuts and 1 tbsp cinnamon for decorating.
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Use two 9 inch cake pans or one 9x13 pan. Grease your baking pans with butter. I typically rub down the inside of the pan with a quarter of a cold stick of butter, making sure to cover all the surface area.
  2. To start, measure out all your ingredients. It helps to add the baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, and xanthan gum to one small bowl.
  3. Peel 8 - 10 carrots, then chop into one inch chunks and add to a food processor. Blend them until they're finely grated. This should yield about two cups of grated carrots.
  4. Cream the sugar and eggs in a large mixing bowl with an electric beater or stand mixer. Next add the apple sauce and vanilla and blend until smooth.
  5. In a separate bowl, combine all your dry ingredients and mix them together using a whisk. This includes your gluten-free flour, baking soda, baking powder, xanthan gum, cinnamon, and salt.
  6. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and beat until well blended. Next, stir in the grated carrots and nuts using a fork.
  7. Pour the batter into greased baking pans and bake for 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.
  8. To make the frosting, add the butter, cream cheese, vanilla extract, and Splenda to a large mixing bowl and beat until smooth and creamy. It will take an extra minute or two for the sugar granules to dissolve, but if you continue beating the graininess with smooth out. Chill frosting in the refrigerator for at least one hour before frosting.
  9. For best results wrap the cakes in plastic wrap and cool them (as well as the icing) overnight in the refrigerator before frosting.
  10. For decorating the sides with nuts, I add 1½ cup of walnuts and a tablespoon of cinnamon to a freezer bag and shake until the nuts are well coated. Then, I take a handful at a time and press along the sides of the cake.



About Rachelle Lucas

Rachelle is a writer, spokesperson, and travel videographer. She believes the best way to learn about a destination is through its flavors and collects recipes from her trips to recreate them here on The Travel Bite. She’s currently the Food and Dining Insider for Visit Florida and was recently named by KRED as one of the Top 50 Travel Bloggers in the world.

As much as Rachelle enjoys traveling and tasting new foods, she also loves to run. She’s completed the New York City Marathon and the Marine Corps Marathon as well at 5 half marathons.


  1. This looks really good, but II see that the recipe uses Splenda. Have you tried it with sugar instead? Just wondering if I substitute sugar, will it change the consistency/lightness?

    • Hello Diane!

      I think you could substitute the splenda for regular sugar for the cake just fine. You might want to add a half cup more since Splenda is sweeter (more concentrated) then sugar.

      For the icing, I’d use powdered sugar instead of Splenda. Regular sugar just doesn’t dissolve well so you might get a grainy texture. Since it’s also less dense, I’d start with a cup, and then add more in 1/4 cup increments until it’s the smooth and tastes the way you like it.


  2. Marian says:

    Absolutely loved this cake!

  3. Kamchaska says:

    What can I substitute xanthan gum for? I have no idea where I could even find it..

    • Look for Bob’s Red Mills brand (that’s the only one I’ve seen in the consumer market). A lot of health food stores carry it and you can also find it online and can search around for the best price. If you can use a “gluten-free all purpose flour” then you can probably safely omit the xanthan gum as the all purpose flour usually has some mixed in.

      Happy baking!


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