This is the best Carrot Cake recipe (in my opinion) and two husbands have agreed with me. There’s one secret ingredient. Can you guess what it is?
My Best Carrot Cake makes a scrumptious muffin, too.
I post this Carrot Cake recipe a couple of times a year because it is a requested birthday cake at our house. This is truly The Best Carrot Cake I’ve ever had. One special ingredient makes it unique and amazing. The cake is moist, full of carrots, walnuts and (wait for it) cherries. And so tasty with or without Cream Cheese Frosting.
Step By Step Directions
Gather all the ingredients. Peel and shred the carrots, using a food processor for the shredding if you have one.
In a small bowl, mix the baking soda and a couple tablespoons of oil until the soda dissolves. Dump it in a mixing bowl and add the eggs, sugar, and remaining oil. Beat to combine. Add the flour, sprinkle the xanthan gum over top, and mix until everything is nice and smooth.
Place the remaining ingredients in a mixing bowl. I used a separate bowl simply to show you the ingredients. If your batter bowl is big enough, you can dump these things on top of the batter and stir to combine. For purposes of a better picture, I did these two steps separately, adding the batter to the carrots, nuts, cherries and spices.
Dump the batter into the carrots mixture and mix to combine.
Use cupcake liners that you have sprayed with a little oil. The recipe makes 24 cupcakes. If you prefer to make a layered cake, use three round cake pans instead. I never make a layer cake anymore. Cupcakes are so much easier.
Fill each cupcake liner about three-quarters full, dividing the batter evenly between 24 cupcakes.
Bake in a preheated 350°F oven for about 25 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean when you check for doneness. Cool on a cooling rack.
Frost and eat!
My Best Carrot Cake freezes well, especially if you make it as cupcakes (and you can also freeze it whole or sliced into serving size pieces if you make a whole cake). Wrap the pieces or cupcakes in plastic wrap and put them in a freezer bag to freeze.
But I think cupcakes are the way to go on these. Cupcakes don’t get messy and they thaw in about 15 minutes, so you can keep some in your freezer all the time, and you don’t have to wait for a birthday to have them! The recipe makes 24 cupcakes or 12 slices of cake, so if you eat cupcakes, you will eat fewer calories.
The Story Behind the Cake
My first husband LOVED my carrot cakes. He shouldn’t have been eating them, however, because I didn’t make them gluten free at that time, and he had celiac disease. Back then, I had never heard of celiac disease, and when Hubby #1 told me about it, he led me to believe that he had grown out of it.
Of course, now we know that people don’t grow out of it (and he probably knew it at the time). Hubby #1 ate tons of calories—mostly sugar—and could never gain weight. In fact, one time I bought him a case of beer; he drank it in a week and he lost 5 pounds! But that’s another story.
A Cake Worth Fighting For
When Hubby #1 and I divorced, he tried to negotiate requiring me to give him 6 carrot cakes a year until he no longer had to pay child support (he had a good sense of humor).
Don (Hubby #2) loves My Best Carrot Cake just as much. I make it for him for his birthday every year, and he doesn’t have to fight for it. I now make it gluten free and I can eat it, too. I use Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Flour (affiliate link) instead of wheat flour.
I seldom make it as a layer cake. Now I make cupcakes most of the time. Don is happy no matter how I make it. The best frosting for carrot cake, of course, is Cream Cheese Frosting.
What You Need
For this recipe you need a full sized food processor with a shredding blade (or you can make do with a box shredder (affiliate link), but it takes forever). You also need measuring cups and spoons, a knife, 3 round cake pans or cupcake pans for 24, and of course, gluten free flour. But what you really want is a good coffeemaker (affiliate link) so you can have excellent coffee with your carrot cakes. Right?
My Best Carrot Cake Recipe
My Best Carrot Cake Recipe
Moist, delicious gluten free carrot cake
- 4 eggs
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 1/4 cups salad oil (canola)
- 2 cups Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Baking Mix (flour)
- 1 teaspoon Bob's Red Mill Xanthan Gum
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 teaspoons ground Cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg (freshly-ground)
- 3 cups grated carrots (about 1 lb.)
- 1 10-oz jar maraschino cherries (drained and cut in quarters)
- 1 cup walnuts chopped
- In a small bowl or measuring cup, mix the baking powder and baking soda with 2 tablespoons of oil until blended.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs, sugar, and remaining oil until blended.
Add the spices and baking powder/baking soda mixture.
- Mix thoroughly.
- Add the Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Baking Mix (flour) and the Bob's Red Mill Xanthan Gum and mix.
- Add carrots, cherries and nuts and mix to combine.
Grease and line the bottom of 3 round cake pans with wax paper or line 2 12-cupcake pans with cupcake papers.
- Pour the cake batter into the cupcake pans or cake pans and bake at 350F degrees for 25-30 (20 minutes for cupcakes) minutes until done.
- Remove from oven and let the cakes cool 5 minutes.
- With a table knife, loosen the cakes from the sides and dump them out of the pans.
- Carefully remove the wax paper.
When completely cool, frost with Cream Cheese Frosting.
- Store the cake in the refrigerator or freeze in serving-size pieces.
Affiliate Disclosure: This website may contain affiliate marketing links, which means we may get paid commission on sales of those products or services we write about, including Amazon. Editorial content is not influenced by advertisers or affiliate partnerships. This disclosure is provided in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR § 255.5: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
Cream Cheese Frosting Nutrition
I have added the nutrition here because we usually eat it with Cream Cheese Frosting. Check out the recipe and enjoy (but not too often; it’s very high in calories and fat)!
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GF = Gluten free | DF = Dairy free | NF = Nut free | SF = Soy free | EF = Egg free | CF = Corn free | V = Vegetarian | VG = Vegan
Note: If you have serious allergies or sensitivities, to be considered free of these allergens, you need to use products specifically marked “gluten free,” etc. There can be cross-contamination in facilities.
This recipe was originally posted on Recipe Idea Shop December 17, 2015 and updated March 10, 2021.