Gluten Free Carrot Sheet Cake

My Gluten Free Carrot Sheet Cake is tried and tested by my chief coeliac taste tester. This is a gluten free version of my most popular cakes. 
Since before I started my blog, my carrot cake has been my most popular cake. I get asked to make it time and time again and I am yet to find someone who doesn’t like it. I have wanted to make a gluten free version of my carrot cake for quite a while now. 

My first attempt at adapting my recipe to being gluten free naively involved switching the plain flour to gluten free flour. Although the taste was there, the texture was not. It was too crumbly which isn’t ideal in a cake. 

It was the wonderful Zoe that suggested using xanthan gum; something I hadn’t heard of before. Xanthan gum helps act as a binding agent which gluten free flour lacks. So the next time I saw Zoe, we made gluten free carrot cake take two with much more success resulting in my Gluten Free Carrot Sheet Cake. 

The texture was much better and too dissimilar to my usual recipe including gluten. Zoe who has coeliac disease was very happy with the finished cake and it didn’t take too much to convince her to take most of the cake home with her. That’s a trick of mine – giving cake to people; having it in the house is too dangerous!

One tip I have for all of my carrot cake variations is to try and break up the sugar the best you can before adding the rest of the wet ingredients. My brown sugars always seen to get lumps in them and while small lumps will melt into the cake, it is easier to try and break up the larger lumps before the other ingredients are added. 

This recipe doesn’t have to be used for a sheet cake, it can easily be made into cupcakes too. Depending on the size o the cupcake cases you use, they should take around 20 minutes to bake. These quantities should make between 10-12 cupcakes. 

Although this recipe is intended to be gluten free, if you do not follow a gluten free diet you can use standard plain flour and omit the xanthan gum. 

Serves 9

For the cake
100g light brown sugar
100g dark brown sugar
2 eggs
200ml sunflower oil
¼ tsp xanthan gum

200g gluten free plain flour
¼ tsp salt

¾ tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon

¾ tsp gluten free baking powder
¼ tsp vanilla extract
200g carrot, grated

For the frosting
35g unsalted butter, softened 
225g icing sugar
100g cream cheese 

  1. Preheat the oven to 170ºC (fan assisted 190ºC non fan) and line a 20cm² cake tin
  2. Grate the carrots using the attachment on your food processor if you have one, or by hand and set aside
  3. Add the sugars to a jug and break up as many lumps as possible. Add in the eggs, oil and vanilla extract and whisk together
  4. In a large bowl, mix the flour, xanthan gum, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt together

  1. Gradually add the wet mix to the dry mix stirring as you go

  1. Add the carrots and keep stirring until thoroughly mixed
  2. Pour the mix into the prepared tin and spread out

  1. Bake in the oven for 45 minutes or until a cocktail stick comes out clean 
  2. Allow to cool slightly in the tin before turning out and allowing to cool completely on a wire rack

  1. Add the softened butter to your bowl and beat for a minute or so before adding the icing sugar and cream cheese. Beat until smooth

  1. Spread the frosting evenly over the cooled cake 
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