Gluten-Free Orange Carrot Cake

Ryan’s favorite cake is carrot cake, and for his birthday in March, I found this recipe. We immediately adapted it to reduce sugar and boost flavor. The changes are minor (reduce sugar and salt, add orange zest), but I wanted to publish our version of Bon Appétite’s Gluten-Free Carrot Cake. The best part of this cake is that it is made with nothing but almond flour!

Gluten-Free Orange Carrot Cake

  • Servings: Makes 8-10
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print


  • 1/2 cup virgin coconut oil, melted, plus more for pans
  • 3 cups almond flour, plus more for dusting pans
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 5 large eggs
  • 3/4 cups (packed) dark brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 10 oz carrots, peeled, coarsely shredded, squeezed firmly to expel excess water
  • 3/4 c shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 3/4 c walnuts, finely chopped
  • 3/4 c golden raisins
  • Zest from 1 orange


  • 8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cups gluten-free powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • Zest from 1 orange


  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Add 5º if above 4,000 ft. elevation.
  2. Grease two 8″ parchment-lined square or round cake pans with coconut oil, then dust with almond flour, tapping out excess.
  3. Whisk salt, baking powder, cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, baking soda, and remaining 3 cups flour in a medium bowl.
  4. 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.
  5. Beat in vanilla.
  6. Toss carrots, coconut, walnuts, raisins, orange zest, and remaining 1/2 cup oil in another medium bowl.
  7. Carefully fold together the flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with carrot mixture in 3 additions, to egg mixture, mixing well after each addition.
  8. Divide batter between prepared pans. Don’t hesitate to use a scale.
  9. 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 for circular pans, and 30-33 minutes for square pans.
  10. Let cool 20 minutes.
  11. Carefully run a knife around edges of pans to release the cake, then invert onto a wire rack. Let cool completely.
  12. Using an 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.
  13. Reduce mixer speed to low and add powdered sugar. Beat until combined.
  14. Add yogurt, vanilla, orange zest, and salt and increase speed to medium-high.
  15. Beat, scraping down occasionally, until light and airy, about 4 minutes.
  16. Arrange one cake round domed side down on a large plate or platter.
  17. Cover top with one-half of frosting.
  18. Top with remaining cake layer, domed side up. Coat top with remaining frosting.

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