I was craving some carrot cake, but I didn’t want to bake a huge multi-tiered cake for our drive out to Palm Springs for the weekend. Imagine that in the trunk on a 3 hour car ride! Being a family with food allergies, I cook and bake everything. We always stay at a hotel with a kitchen, when available, or stow our food in the hotel kitchen (yep, lots of planning). So I thought a simple carrot cake, still in it’s pan, and frosting on the side should be just fine. And it was the perfect traveler. I don’t know if I can say that about my kids, well I guess they were for 2 out of the 3 hour car ride.
After dinner we had some of this delightful cake, frosted as thick as can be. This frosting beats any bottled stuff, thanks to Daiya cream cheese! When you try this stuff you will pile it on too. This cake is as moist as it gets.
Who the heck said gluten free, dairy free, and egg free can’t taste this good?? I challenge them to a carrot cake duel.
Serves about 12 large squares
2 cups evaporated cane sugar
1 1/2 cups plus 2 teaspoons sunflower or vegetable oil
1/4 cup coconut oil
3 tablespoons ground flax meal
2 tablespoons hot water
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons aluminum free baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 cup chopped pecans
1 pound carrots, grated (4 heaping cups)
1/2 cup diced fresh pineapple or canned crushed pineapple, drained
1 1/2 cups gluten free oat flour (I use Bob’s Red Mill for all)
3/4 cup white rice flour PLUS 1 tablespoon, divided
1/2 cup potato starch
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/4 cup flaxseed meal
8 ounces Daiya cream cheese
2 tablespoons palm shortening (I use Spectrum), at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
For the Cake:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F
Grease a 9×13 inch baking dish. Line with parchment paper, then grease and flour the pans. I use Earth Balance Soy Free Spread. Coconut oil or palm shortening work well too.
In a medium bowl, sift together 3 1/4 cups gluten free flour blend, 1/4 cup flaxseed meal, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
In another small bowl toss the pecans with the 1 tablespoon white rice flour.
Beat the sugar and oil in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment for 2-3 minutes. It will appear shiny and sugar granules have been well incorporated into the oil. In a small bowl combine 3 tablespoons of the flaxseed meal with 2 tablespoons of hot water and 2 teaspoons of the oil. Stir well. It will appear like a thick gooey paste. Add the the mixer and continue to mix. Add the vanilla.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Fold in the carrots and pineapple. Add to the batter and mix well. Reduce the mixer to low and add the floured pecans, mix until combined.
Transfer batter into the baking dish. Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool in the baking dish for 15-20 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.
Here it is before baking…
And here it is out of the oven, do you see those lovely specks of pineapple and carrot? Yum!
For the frosting:
Mix the cream cheese, shortening and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer on medium high speed fitted with the paddle attachment until just combined. Reduce to low, add sifted powdered sugar. When combined increase speed to medium, and mix until smooth.
With an offset spatula or knife, spread the cake with frosting. Cake can be made up to 2 days in advance sealed in plastic wrap and refrigerated, frost before serving. Frosting will refrigerate well for 2 weeks in an airtight container.
Don't miss a recipe! Subscribe here.