One-Bowl Gluten-Free Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Serves 12

This is the easiest gluten-free carrot cake you’ll ever make. The cake bakes up dense, spicy and loaded with carrots. It’s perfect topped with the accompanying Cream Cheese Frosting recipe or, if you prefer, simply dusted with powdered sugar.


  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 2 cups gluten-free flour blend with xanthan gum (I used Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free 1 to 1 Baking Flour)
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¾ cup canola or other vegetable oil
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups grated carrots (about 5 to 6 large carrots)
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped pecans, optional
  • ½ cup raisins, optional
  • 1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
  • ¼ cup butter, softened
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 cups powdered sugar, sifted


For the carrot cake, preheat oven to 350° F. Grease two 8-inch round cake pans* with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.

Whisk together the flour, sugars, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. Add the oil, eggs and vanilla extract. Whisk until smooth. Stir in the carrots, pecans and raisins, if using.

Divide the batter evenly between the two prepared pans.

Bake until golden brown. A toothpick inserted into the center of the cake should come out clean, about 35 minutes.

Allow cakes to cool in the pan for 5 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the Cream Cheese Frosting, combine cream cheese, butter and vanilla extract in a large bowl. Cream until light and smooth. Add powdered sugar. Mix until smooth.

When cool, frost with Cream Cheese Frosting.

*This cake can be baked in one 9 x 13-inch baking pan; increase baking time to 45 to 50 minutes.

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Elizabeth Barbone, author of the cookbooks Easy Gluten-Free Baking and How to Cook Gluten-Free, is a regular contributor to Gluten-Free Living. She also blogs at

Nutrition Analysis: 580 cal 26 g fat, 90 mg chol, 440 mg sodium, 82 g carbs, 1 g fiber, 59 g sugar, 5 g protein