Triple-Layer Wheat-free Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese-Lemon Zest Frosting


I am co-hosting a bridal shower in about a month for my good friend, Lauren, who is allergic to wheat. So today I attempted to make over a Carrot Cake recipe so that it would be delicious and allergen-free for my friend!

There is a little bit of prep work that I took care of in advance.

I used Glutenfreegirl, Shauna Ahern’s recommendations to create an All-Purpose Gluten-Free Flour Mix. 

Add the following ingredients to a tupperware container, and shake to mix.

  • 250 grams brown rice flour
  • 150 grams Bob’s Red Mill Amaranth flour
  • 150 grams Bob’s Red Mill Sweet White Sorghum flour
  • 150 grams Bob’s Red Mill Teff flour
  • 200 grams potato starch
  • 100 grams tapioca flour

Next, I loofa’d (not a word) the carrots which consists of using the rough side of a new dish sponge to exfoliate the carrots. You can also grate them if you wish. Here they are freshly exfoliated, with ends trimmed.

I had planned to use my food processor to “finely shred” the carrots, as the recipe recommended, but I only had a medium shredding disc so I used my manual grater to shred the carrots. I find that this method works best when you don’t grate your fingers off. I ‘mostly’ was successful here. Yes!

Prep work – Finished!

A few notes: The frosting recipe below makes more frosting than what you will need. Unless you are planning on frosting your breakfast toast for the next week in addition to this cake (which I would totally respect), I would adjust the quantities to make 3/4 of the frosting recipe. Also, while I thought this frosting was wonderful, I felt the lemon flavor may have overwhelmed the delicate flavor of the carrot cake. I may choose a different cream cheese recipe when I make this again for Lauren’s shower. However, it is important to note that my opinion on the frosting was not shared by all. My sister,  thought the frosting was great and did not at all overwhelm the cake’s flavor at all.

Now let’s bake.

Adapted from Bon Appétit Recipe for Triple-Layer Carrot Cake

yield: Serves 10



  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 cups Gluten-free all purpose flour mix (recipe above)
  • 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3 cups finely grated scrubbed or peeled carrots, (about 1 pound)
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans (about 1/2 ounce)

Here is a yearbook photo of the ingredients for the cake.

From Left to Right: Salt, Carrots, Chopped Pecans, Vegetable Oil, Eggs, Sugar, Aluminum-Free Baking Powder, GF Flour Mix, Baking Soda, Nutmeg, Cinnamon, Xanthan Gum (not pictured). 

Epicurious Recipe for Cream Cheese-Lemon Zest Frosting


  • Three 8-ounce packages organic cream cheese, softened
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) organic unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon grated organic lemon zest
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh organic lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon organic vanilla extract
  • 2 3/4 cups organic powdered sugar

For cake:
Preheat oven to 325°F. Lightly grease three 9-inch-diameter cake pans with 1 1/2-inch-high sides. Line bottom of pans with parchment paper*. Lightly grease paper.

Add gluten-free flour mix, xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg to a medium bowl and whisk together.

Meanwhile, using electric mixer, beat sugar and vegetable oil in bowl until combined. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Sift flour mixture into sugar and oil mixture. Stir until just combined. Stir in carrots and chopped pecans.

Pour batter into prepared pans, dividing equally. Bake until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean and cakes begin to pull away from sides of pans, about 45 minutes. Cool in pans on racks 15 minutes. Turn out cakes onto racks and cool completely. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Wrap tightly in plastic and store at room temperature.)

* Trim parchment paper for pans by turning a pan upside down and using it as a guide when trimming paper.

For frosting:

In a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the cream cheese and butter on medium-high speed until combined and airy, about 2 minutes. Mix in the lemon zest, lemon juice, and vanilla.

Sift the powdered sugar onto a piece of parchment or wax paper. With the mixer on low speed, slowly pour the sifted powdered sugar into the frosting (use both hands to bend the paper so the sugar pours slowly into the bowl).

Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. If the frosting seems too soft to spread, allow it to chill for 15 minutes in the refrigerator.

Place 1 cake layer on platter. Spread with 3/4 cup frosting. Top with another cake layer. Spread with 3/4 cup frosting. Top with remaining cake layer. Using icing spatula, spread remaining frosting in decorative swirls over sides and top of cake. (Can be prepared 2 days ahead. Cover with cake dome and refrigerate.) Serve cake cold or at room temperature.

Verdict: Wow. We LOVED this cake! I thought the different flours added a complexity of flavor to the carrot cake that was wonderful. I would definitely make this again (and will in about a month for Lauren’s shower).


About savvycookie

I love cooking. I think we can have healthy food that also tastes good.
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3 Responses to Triple-Layer Wheat-free Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese-Lemon Zest Frosting

  1. Leah Tucker says:

    As unofficial taste tester, this carrot cake was thoroughly awesome. The best carrot cake I’ve ever had!

  2. Lauren says:

    I am SO excited! This looks amazing! Thank you so much dear. I love the idea of mixing in the lemon flavor with the carrot cake. Looking forward to trying it.

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