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carrot cake on a cake stand

Lightened-Up Gluten Free Carrot Cake with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

A lightened up gluten free carrot cake made from a mixture of almond and oat flour. Topped with a lovely, thick cinnamon cream cheese frosting! Perfect for parties, Easter, or any holiday!
Course Cake, Dessert, Easter, Gluten Free
Keyword gluten free carrot cake
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 12 slices
Calories 284 kcal
Author Monique of AmbitiousKitchen.com


  • 2 cups oat flour (I used store-bought)
  • 1 3/4 cup almond meal or almond flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 cups finely shredded carrots (from about 3 large carrots)
  • 3 eggs, slightly beaten
  • ½ cup pure maple syrup or organic coconut palm syrup
  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (coconut milk also works)
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • Optional stir-ins:
  • ½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • ½ cup raisins
  • ½ cup chopped pecans or walnuts
  • ½ cup finely chopped fresh pineapple (or drained pineapple tidbits)
  • For the cream cheese frosting:
  • 8 oz reduced fat cream cheese or vegan cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup organic powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • Extra pecans and shredded coconut, for garnish


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two 9-inch cake pans with parchment paper and generously spray with nonstick cooking spray. The parchment paper makes it easy to remove the cakes from the pan. Tip: I recommend turning the pans upside down and placing parchment paper on top. Use a pencil to trace the cake pan, then cut out the outline with a scissors and place parchment in each pan. Spray with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together oat flour, almond meal, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer (or you can mix by hand), add in carrots, eggs, maple syrup, almond milk, vanilla extract, coconut oil and apple cider vinegar. Beat on medium low speed until ingredients are well combined and smooth. 
  4. Add in half of the dry ingredients and mix on low speed until combined. 
  5. Add in the other half of the dry ingredients and mix on low speed again until just combined. If desired, fold in any of the following with a wooden spoon: raisins, coconut, nuts or chopped pineapple.
  6. Divide batter evenly among the two prepared cake pans and smooth top with a rubber spatula. Bake for 23-27 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean with just a few crumbs attached. 
  7. Cool cake in the pans for 30 minutes, then invert cakes on a wire rack, removing from the pans and allowing to cool completely. At this point you can remove and discard the parchment paper.
  8. Once cakes have cooled completely (about 2 hours), you can prepare the frosting. In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth and creamy. Slowly add in powdered sugar, vanilla and cinnamon and mix on low speed until well combined. 
  9. Divide frosting in half and spread over each cake. Once frosted, place one cake on top of the other and sprinkle with extra pecans and coconut, if desired. Serves 12 (12 large slices).

Recipe Notes

Nutrition information does not include pecans, coconut, pineapple or raisins.

To make the cake vegan: I have not tested this, but I think flax eggs would work very well in this recipe. (It would be 3 tablespoons of flaxseed meal + 9 tablespoons of water.)

To make vegan: If you want to make vegan frosting you could try using a vegan cream cheese in place of the regular cream cheese.

I have not tested this cake with homemade oat flour, only the store-bought version. If you decided to make it with homemade oat flour, please make sure that it is very finely ground.

Cake should be kept covered in the fridge for optimal freshness and will stay good for 4-5 days.

This cake also works well when baked in a 9x13 inch pan. You may need to bake slightly longer, but I would still check it at the suggested time. It’s a great party cake!

You can also make these into carrot cake cupcakes (or muffins without the frosting). They will make about 16 cupcakes as you should only fill the cupcake pan 3/4 of the way full.

The frosting isn’t excessive at all, but if you want to make this for a special occasion or a birthday, feel free to double the frosting!

Nutrition Facts
Lightened-Up Gluten Free Carrot Cake with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
Amount Per Serving (1 slice)
Calories 284 Calories from Fat 131
% Daily Value*
Fat 14.5g22%
Saturated Fat 4.2g26%
Carbohydrates 28g9%
Fiber 4g17%
Sugar 13.2g15%
Protein 6.2g12%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.