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Gluten-free carrot cake recipe - BEST EVER! (dairy-free option)

Gluten-free carrot cake recipe - all you need is a 2lb loaf tin, no baking experience required! Coeliac-friendly and wheat-free too. See the FAQ for advice on making this recipe dairy-free.
Keyword gluten-free baking, gluten-free carrot cake, gluten-free carrot cake recipe
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 12 slices
Calories 520kcal
Author Becky Excell


For the cake

  • 150 ml vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 175 g light brown sugar
  • 200 g gluten-free self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 175 g – 200g grated carrot
  • 50 g chopped pecans walnuts or raisins (optional)

For the cream cheese frosting (use dairy-free buttercream in FAQ section if necessary)

  • 150 g butter softened
  • 150 g icing sugar
  • 300 g full-fat cream cheese
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Green and orange food colouring paste optional
  • 25 g walnuts chopped (for the top of the cake)


  • Preheat your oven to 160C Fan / 180C and prepare a 2lb loaf tin with non-stick baking paper.
  • To a large mixing bowl add your oil, light brown sugar and eggs. Mix together (I use an electric hand whisk) until well combined.
  • Add your flour, bicarbonate of soda, cinnamon and ginger. Gently fold these into the mixture.
  • Next, add your orange zest and grated carrot (at this stage you could add walnuts, pecans or raisins if you like. Fold them into the mixture so they're evenly dispersed.
  • Spoon your mixture into your prepared loaf tin and place in the oven for about 50-55 minutes until well risen and golden. Check that the cake is cooked by sticking a skewer into the centre – if it comes out clean, then it’s done. Allow to cool in the tin for around 15 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely.
  • To make your cream cheese frosting, mix your softened butter in a stand mixer or with an electric hand mixer on a medium speed for 5 minutes or until pale. Add your icing sugar in two stages and beat for about 3 minutes between each.
  • Add in your cream cheese and vanilla and beat for 2–3 more minutes until well combined and the icing is light and fluffy, without lumps. Place in the fridge to chill briefly until you need it.
  • Once your cake has cooled cover the top in the cream cheese frosting. If creating the carrot decorations on top, ensure that you leave 3 tablespoons-worth in one bowl and 1.5 tablespoons-worth in another bowl.
  • Add green food colouring to the smaller amount of cream cheese frosting and orange to the other, then mix in. Transfer your coloured cream cheese frosting into two separate piping bags and snip the ends off to leave a 6mm hole in the orange bag and a 3mm hole in the green bag.
  • Pipe the orange frosting on top of your cake first - pipe a thick line and as it nears 2-3cm long, stop piping and pull the bag away to create a pointy end to the carrot decoration. Repeat to create as many carrot will fit. Use the green frosting to pipe three lines coming out of the top of each carrot for the leaves.
  • Finish with chopped walnuts and enjoy!


  • Remember to keep this cake in the fridge due to the cream cheese frosting.
  • You can always make this cake with buttercream icing if you prefer.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 520kcal | Carbohydrates: 49g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 35g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 19g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 99mg | Sodium: 392mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 33g