• Sonia

Carrot Cake, Gluten & Lactose-Free

A good gluten-free cake is hard to come by, even more so when you need it to also be lactose-free. Tasty free-from cakes seem to have an abundance of sugar in them. It has been a long journey of sugar highs and lows to find my favorite sweet treat of all time - this fabulous gluten and lactose-free carrot cake. Now I'm not saying its sugar-free, but it's got a lot less than most gluten-free bakes, and is super filling! Let's get baking!


A Little Introduction

This was a recipe I was given to me by one of my friends who's other half is celiac, after a couple of bakes, it has been slightly adapted from it's original, its just divine, moist, full of flavor, and the perfect dessert for those craving a cake that's edible for gluten intolerances.


The butter and cream can be changed to include dairy if you are not lactose intolerant and tastes just as good. I always cater to both purely because I have a mixed group of intolerances in my friendship group. This recipe is for a single tier. You can make two sponges and double the icing so that it also covers a middle-sandwiched layer between the two (which I always do and it gets eaten very quickly!)

If you're making two tiers, I recommend making the two sponges separately so that you have the same sized cake. Make sure you double the icing quantity and add a generous layer between the two. You can also use a marmalade for an extra-luxe taste. 

For The Sponge (One layer)

  • unsalted lactose-free butter, for greasing the cake tin 

  • 225g gluten-free self-raising flour, plus extra for dusting

  • 2 large free-range eggs

  • 125g soft brown sugar

  • 125ml sunflower oil

  • 1½ tsp finely cut stem ginger or ground ginger 

  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon 

  • ½ tsp ground allspice

  • 1 eating apple

  • 200g carrots

  • 1 orange, zest, and juice

  • 1 handful of sultanas

  • 50g walnuts (optional)


For The Icing (Enough for 1 tier)

  • 75g unsalted lactose-free butter (softened)

  • 100g icing sugar

  • 1 orange, zest only

  • 75g lactose-free cream cheese

  • 30g crumbled walnuts (optional)

Baking The Free-from Cake!

  1. Preheat the oven to 190ºC/375ºF/gas 5. Grease your cake tin with butter, line base with greaseproof paper, then dust the sides with gluten-free flour. I find that a 20cm cake tin is best

  2. Beat the eggs in a large bowl, then add the sugar and oil, mix to combine

  3. Sieve in the flour and spices, then fold through the mixture

  4. Peel and grate the apple and carrots, then stir into the mixture along with the orange zest, juice, and sultanas. Roughly chop and add the walnuts, if using.

  5. Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tin, then place on the middle shelf of the oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until golden. Test it is thoroughly cooked by inserting a skewer in several places, it should come out clean.  

  6. Leave the cake to cool in the tin for around 5 minutes, before turning it out onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely.

  7. To make the icing, beat the butter, icing sugar, and most of the orange zest until pale and smooth, then stir in the cream cheese until just combined.

  8. Once the cake is cooled, decorate the cake with the icing. Finish with a grating of orange zest, and some crumbled nuts if you like. 


When decorating the cake, sandwich the two layers together with a generous heap of icing. Make sure you line the layers up evenly, as your cake will be wonky otherwise. Once assembled, spread the remainder of the icing all over the cake. Use a cake knife around the cake for a naked cake look. I like to top the cake off with flowers as it gives it a rustic look. You can add the chopped nuts and orange zest on the top, as you please.


If you didn't want a rustic looking cake, make more icing to decorate the sides of the cake with. You can then roll the cake in the diced walnuts, and have them completely coating the edge.

This cake is a hit, especially as it caters to such a large amount of people. It's simple, delicious, and there are so many ways you can decorate it. If you're looking for an inclusive treat, this is the cake for you! Will you be digging into some gluten-free carrot cake this weekend? If you make this delight, make sure you send me your creations! I'd love to see how you decorate it!


My recipe can originally be found on Love Em, Blog.


How about another gluten-free recipe? These are by far the BEST gluten-free brownies I've ever eaten.



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