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Gluten-Free Carrot Cake

This image may contain Plant Food Vegetable Produce Pollen Lentil and Bean
Photo by Alex Lau, food styling by Chris Morocco, prop styling by Emily Eisen

Almond flour is a wonderfully sweet, nutty complement for fresh carrots, walnuts, and raisins. If you can’t find it, though, here’s a trick: Use 2¼ cups whole almonds and pulse them in a food processor along with salt, baking powder, all three spices, and baking soda until very, very finely ground.


8–12 servings



cup virgin coconut oil, melted, plus more for pans


cups almond flour, plus more for dusting pans

tsp. kosher salt


tsp. baking powder


tsp. ground cardamom


tsp. ground cinnamon


tsp. ground ginger


tsp. baking soda


large eggs

cups (packed) dark brown sugar


tsp. vanilla extract


oz. carrots, peeled, coarsely shredded, squeezed firmly to expel excess water


cup shredded unsweetened coconut


cup walnuts, finely chopped


cup golden raisins

Frosting and Assembly


oz. cream cheese, room temperature


cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature

cups gluten-free powdered sugar

cup Greek yogurt


tsp. vanilla extract

Pinch of kosher salt


  1. Cake

    Step 1

    Preheat oven to 350°. Grease two 8" parchment-lined round cake pans with oil, then dust with almond flour, tapping out excess.

    Step 2

    Whisk salt, baking powder, cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, baking soda, and remaining 3 cups flour in a medium bowl.

    Step 3

    Using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat eggs and brown sugar in a large bowl until more than tripled in volume and mixture holds a ribbon for several seconds when drizzled over itself, 5–7 minutes. (Beating the eggs thoroughly in this stage goes a long way toward creating an aerated, light crumb, which is critical when using gluten-free ingredients.) Beat in vanilla.

    Step 4

    Toss carrots, coconut, walnuts, raisins, and remaining ½ cup oil in another medium bowl.

    Step 5

    Reduce mixer speed to low. Add flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with carrot mixture in 3 additions, to egg mixture, beating well after each addition.

    Step 6

    Divide batter between prepared pans. Bake cake until lightly browned across the top, a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, and the top springs back when gently poked, 33–36 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes. Carefully run a knife around edges of pans to release cake, then invert onto a wire rack. Let cool completely.

  2. Frosting and Assembly

    Step 7

    Using electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat cream cheese and butter in a large bowl, scraping down as needed, until very smooth, about 2 minutes. Reduce mixer speed to low and add powdered sugar. Beat until combined. Add yogurt, vanilla, and salt and increase speed to medium-high. Beat, scraping down occasionally, until light and airy, about 4 minutes. Chill 10 minutes if needed to stiffen slightly to a spreadable consistently.

    Step 8

    Arrange one cake round domed side down on a large plate or platter. Cover top and sides with one-third of frosting. Top with remaining cake layer, domed side up. Coat top and sides with remaining frosting.

    Step 9

    Do Ahead: Cake can be made 3 days ahead. Cover with a cake dome and chill.

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Reviews (155)

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  • The cake was fantastic. It was very moist and held together well. The icing was far too runny, and the flavor was good but had a horrible consistency. I will add the cake to my list of recipes but not the icing.

    • Ruth B

    • Canada

    • 11/7/2022

  • all my picky-ass new yorker friends agree (even those who eat gluten!) that this is the very best carrot cake they have ever eaten. so there's that.

    • jen z

    • Brooklyn, NY

    • 8/10/2022

  • WAY too eggy. Why do recipe writers insist on using so many eggs in cakes lately? Tastes like a carrot quiche. Total bust.

    • Anonymous

    • 4/17/2022

  • This cake is divine. Absolute perfection. Tremendously moist, and fabulous flavor. I never got around to making frosting but instead popped one layer in the freezer and sliced the other to eat unadorned.

    • Jody Symula

    • Richmond, VA

    • 3/4/2022

  • If you, like me, forget the oil--don't despair! How could it be more perfect than it is without it? The coconut oil I found was ten years past its best-by. date, and, distracted, I just forgot about finding an alternative (though a nagging feeling thatI'd missed something finally blossomed, after the quite beautiful cake was out and cool, into realization I'd left out oil). It really is the best carrot cake I've ever made.

    • Anonymous

    • Portland, Orefon

    • 1/21/2022

  • To the reviewer below— Sharon! Never fear, love! This is the One True Carrot Cake—a masterpiece. It is in no way dry—for me it is totally moist. I will be eternally obsessed with this recipe, I can’t believe how perfectly it comes out. Try using finely chopped dried cherries instead of golden raisins! It’s become my gold standard.

    • Chris Zane

    • Louisville, KY

    • 12/23/2021

  • Have not made this yet. The picture looks bone dry! It hardly seems like 10 ounces of carrots is enough… Is this just a spice cake really with a few carrots in it? My other recipe has 3 1/2 cups of carrots.

    • Sharon

    • Denver

    • 12/12/2021

  • I've made a lot of carrot cakes - including Claire's. And I must say, as surprisingly as it is considering this is gluten free and doesn't really require any sort of carrot soak or anything to soften the carrots...this is the best carrot cake recipe I've ever made, and the one I go back to the well to each and every time now. Even the frosting - don't skip it. The greek yogurt gives it this airy, whipped, light texture and is instantly a hit with anyone whose tried it. This recipe does great as cupcakes.

    • erika

    • Austin, TX

    • 12/5/2021

  • I made them into cupcakes - phenomenal recipe!

    • Claire

    • Seattle, WA

    • 11/17/2021

  • Can I use almond meal instead of almond flour....and honey instead of sugar??

    • Ekta

    • Australia

    • 9/27/2021

  • Most amazing carrot cake I’ve ever made! As good as any from a high-end bakery, too. I swapped out canola for coconut oil because I just don’t like coconut oil. I used spray to grease the pans and the parchment. I didn’t dust them with almond flour, and cakes released beautifully. I also had to use regular raisins because the store was out of golden raisins (supply chain issues?). I followed others’ advice to refrigerate the frosting before use and it was perfect — thin, but easy to work with and fully covered the cake.

    • Jill

    • Chicago, IL

    • 9/6/2021

  • I loved this cake and so did the rest of my family. It is such a favourite that it is our chosen cake for my moms 85th birthday, tomorrow. I haven't done a lot of baking since I was a child so the video of Chris making the cake was a life saver. The cake turned out perfect the first time! This GF recipe is good for people with gluten allergies , because gluten is bad for them:(

    • Anonymous

    • Sundre Alberta

    • 7/31/2021

  • The best carrot cake I ever made 😋

    • Natalia

    • 08081

    • 7/20/2021

  • The flavor is good and the cake is moist but I too had a disaster because coconut oil and almond flour are NOT the best way to prepare a pan. the cake stuck to the pan. I would HIGHLY recommend oil then a round of parchment paper. The cake has to be handled delicately. 4 stars because of the pan. Somehow I cannot deselect the fifth star.

    • Raaya

    • New York

    • 6/11/2021

  • I LOVE this recipe! I made it a couple years ago for Easter for my family. Being gluten free, I miss a good carrot cake (my gram made the best one!). This was the closest to her recipe and it was just perfect. I did not make the frosting, as I love my grandma's. I think a simple, traditional cream cheese frosting is perfect with this carrot cake. No need to get all fancy adding extra ingredients. I'm excited to make it again for this easter. This time I am trying it in individual bundt cakes!

    • Anonymous

    • Va Beach

    • 3/30/2021