I love this recipe – probably because I am slightly obsessed with carrot cake and could eat an entire pan if you let me. This recipe is moist, flavourful and makes a perfect amount for a party (or a really hungry celiac!). This recipe was originally created to address my gluten allergy but as I explore the world of vegan baking, I decided to experiment with a vegan version as well. Since there were just a few ingredients to substitute for a vegan alternative, I was pleasantly surprised with the result and definitely cannot tell the difference from my original recipe.
Gluten free baking requires a fine balance of gluten free flours. You cannot simply use one type of flour and hope for the same result as the gluten version. Unless you like to eat bricks, it’s important to vary the flours you use while understanding the purpose of each flour and how it helps to create a delicious gluten free result. You will notice in this recipe that I describe the purpose of each flour with the hopes it can help you decide what combination of flours to use in other recipes.
Ingredients (makes a 9″ x 13″ cake)
- 1/2 cup sorghum flour (neutral flavour, absorbs other flavours well, the most wheat-like of all gluten free flours)
- 1/4 cup brown rice flour (mild flavour, but creates a drier product – this is why we use less for this recipe)
- 1/2 cup tapioca starch (no flavour, lightens the texture and adds chewiness)
- 1/4 cup sweet rice flour (also called glutinous rice flour, common in Asian dishes – this flour helps to bind ingredients together and adds moisture)
- 1/4 cup quinoa flour (strong, nutty flavour, so I use less – creates a moist product)
- 1/4 cup almond meal (adds moisture, flavour and texture)
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 1/4 tsp allspice
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp xantham gum (helps to bind the cake together)
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 4 flax eggs (4 tbsp ground flax seed mixed with 6 tbsp water – let set for about 10 minutes in the fridge)
- 1/2 cup applesauce
- 3/4 cup olive oil
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup white sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 3 cups grated carrots
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1 8oz can crushed pineapple, drained
- 1/2 cup walnuts (optional)
- 1/2 cup vegan margarine
- 1 cup vegan cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup icing sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut a piece of parchment paper to line the bottom of the 9” x 13” baking pan. Grease parchment paper and sides of pan with oil.
- In a mixing bowl, mix flax eggs, oil, applesauce, sugar and vanilla together.
- In a separate bowl, combine flours (sorghum, brown rice, tapioca, sweet rice, almond meal and quinoa), spices, xantham gum, baking powder and baking soda. Add to wet mixture and mix with an electric mixer until smooth.
- Stir in carrots, pineapple, raisins and walnuts (if desired).
- Transfer mixture to the baking pan.
- Bake for 40 – 50 minutes in preheated oven until done (insert a toothpick into the center of the cake to check for doneness).
- While the cake is cooking, mix icing ingredients together until smooth. Wait for the cake to completely cool before icing.
Tip: I froze half of the cake (without icing) to use for a later time. You can also freeze the icing in separate container.