Earthy oat flour gives this ultramoist cinnamon- and ginger-spiked gluten free carrot cake a healthy, whole-wheat vibe, while the luscious cream cheese frosting keeps it tasting like a treat.
Carrot Cake with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting
MAKES 1 (8-INCH) SQUARE CAKE For this gluten-free carrot cake, be sure to use the correct amount of carrots and grate them on the small holes of a box grater, measuring about 1/8 inch in diameter, to help the cake bake up on time and possess a light and springy crumb. The cake will keep at cool room temperature for 8 hours or refrigerated airtight up to 3 days.
FOR THE CAKE:
- 8 ounces carrots, finely grated (about 4 medium carrots or 1-1/4 cups packed)
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup sunflower oil or other neutral-flavored vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup gluten-free oat flour
- 1/2 cup sweet white rice flour
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons millet flour
- 2 tablespoons tapioca flour
- 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 cup chopped toasted walnuts or pecans, plus more for sprinkling
FOR THE FROSTING:
- 6 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup, plus more for drizzling
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350ºF. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with 2 crisscrossing pieces of parchment paper, leaving an overhang on each side. (Alternatively, grease the pan with 1 teaspoon softened unsalted butter.)
Make the cake: In a large bowl, stir together the grated carrots, eggs, sugar, and oil until combined. Place a medium-mesh strainer over the bowl and add the oat flour, sweet rice flour, millet flour, tapioca flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and ginger to the strainer. Sift the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, stirring until combined. Stir in the walnuts.
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth into an even layer. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 25 to 35 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool 20 minutes in the pan. Turn the cake out onto a serving board to cool completely.
Make the frosting: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the cream cheese, butter, and powdered sugar and mix on medium speed until smooth, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the maple syrup, lemon juice, and salt and mix on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes longer.
Spread the cream cheese frosting over the cooled cake and sprinkle with toasted walnuts and a drizzle of maple syrup. Cut into squares and serve.
Photography Alanna Taylor-Tobin