Carrot cake is definitely my cake of choice. At a certain age, I stopped liking the super sweet flavors in cakes and cupcakes, but I have always loved carrot cake.
My family grew up with carrot cake as the cake of choice for birthdays. At one point, my mom even made our cakes and shaped them into our favorite tv characters! I’ll never forget the Barney cake I got for my 3rd birthday (I think). No laughing, it was totally cool when I was that age.
Due to some family allergies, we always make our carrot cakes plain. And by plain I mean no nuts, no coconut, and no raisons. No added flavors like pineapple either. Just carrots and cinnamon. But trust me on this, you won’t miss any of those with this recipe!
I’ve said this in a few of my recipes, but when it comes to my flour of choice I use Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 Gluten Free Baking Flour. It just seems to work with every recipe I make! It also has some xanthan gum in it, so no need to guess how much to use. I’ve hear you can make pretty much everything without the use of gums, but I haven’t been that adventurous yet.
This carrot cake is actually adapted from the same recipe my mom used for years to make our cakes. And honestly, I think it turned out even better than imagined by making it gluten free. Because this cake has some serious moisture and flavor to it! I substituted a chunk of the oil for plain yogurt, which not only adds moisture to gluten free goods… but it’s WAY healthier than the full amount of oil the recipe called for. I also added in some brown sugar, extra cinnamon and vanilla. Gotta amp up those flavors, right?!
The frosting is what brings this cake all together. It’s silky, smooth, and simply sweet. The addition of citrus from the marmalade and orange zest really compliments the cinnamon and carrot flavor in the cake. It takes what would be an excellent carrot cake and makes it elegant. Now, it’s not a super thick frosting by adding in the marmalade, but trust me on this – it’s still so delicious!
I say that this cake serves 12 people, but honestly… not everyone has a regular slice of cake. If you have a few that would rather take a sliver, you might get 14-16 slices out of it instead. Just remember, that’s the number of servings… not the number of people it will feed. Because really, you know you are going to have 3 pieces all to yourself. With ice cream. And extra frosting on the side.
I’m seriously dreaming of this cake right now. Try this recipe for your next birthday party or family gathering… I’m pretty sure you will be dreaming about it too.
Adapted from “Prospect’s Carrot Cake” in the book Beyond Parsley.
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