This is a cheater post because I've made and posted this recipe before, but this time there's a twist (insert that Law & Order noise). It's a great option for those who have a long list of allergies; it's wheat, dairy, and nut free, but it doesn't have frosting, and we all know that frosting is one of the best part of the cake. Especially cream cheese frosting. Cream cheese frosting is my absolute favorite; I eat it by the spoonful when I make it and then proceed to get very sick from eating too much. NO REGRETS!
I had a request to make this cake for my special little allergy guy (and a special birthday gal), but half of the cake needed to have the cream cheese frosting. This way, everyone can have their cake...AND EAT IT, TOO. Win/win for everyone.
Updated Allergy Free Carrot Cake Recipe (with FROSTING)
adapted from Mrs. Fields Cookie Book
2 1/2 c Gluten Free Flour Mix (I like Natural Directions best, but Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour is fine. Do not use Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free flour with garbanzo beans in it unless you like garbanzo bean cake)
2 t baking soda
2 t cinnamon
1 c light brown sugar, packed*
1 c white sugar
1 1/2 c Extra Virgin Olive Oil (plus 1-2 T extra for greasing pans)
3 large eggs
1 T vanilla extract
3 c grated carrots (about 4 medium to large carrots, washed)
1 medium zucchini, washed and grated
Cream Cheese Frosting
16 oz Cream Cheese (full fat only), softened
1/2 c butter, softened
Juice of 1 large lemon
1 T vanilla extract
3 c powdered sugar / confectioner's sugar
Directions for Cake
1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease your baking pans (rectangle or two 9 inch cake pans) with olive oil and set aside. In a large bowl, mix together dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and both sugars). Add olive oil, 1 egg, and vanilla. Beat very well for a few minutes. The batter will be stiff and a bit lumpy. Add remaining eggs, one at a time, beating very well after each addition.
2. Mix in grated carrots and zucchini. The moisture from the vegetables will loosen up the batter and it will start to look like a "normal" carrot cake batter.
3. Pour batter in prepared pans (if using the two 9 inch cake pans, divide batter equally between each pan). Bake in oven for approximately 1 hour. Check cake starting around 50-55 minutes. I thought the cake would take much longer, but it was actually done at 55 minutes. A knife or toothpick inserted in center should come out clean, although a few crumbs are ok.
4. Let cake cool while you are making your frosting.
Directions for Frosting
1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and butter till smooth and lump free. You absolutely have to have room temperature cream cheese and butter, otherwise you will end up with hard little lumps that are impossible to get out. I have ruined many a cheesecake this way.
2. Beat in lemon juice and vanilla. Slowly add powdered sugar, about 1/2 c at a time. Beat until fully combined and frosting has soft peaks. Lick spatula and secretly eat spoonfuls of frosting when no one is looking.
To Assemble Cake
After cake is completely cool (do not frost a warm cake, you will end up with a goopy glaze), turn out on a serving platter. If the cake Gods are smiling on you, your cake will pop out nicely. If not, use frosting to glue it back together.
Frost cake liberally with cream cheese frosting. Lick spatula again and reserve remaining frosting in a secret place in the fridge where only you can find it.
For my little allergy guy, I cut the cake in half and left one half naked and frosted the other.
*I forgot that I had used the last of the brown sugar! If you find yourself in the same predicament, have no fear. Simply beat together 1 T blackstrap molasses with 1 c white sugar and you have a good brown sugar substitute. I love to make sugar dipped molasses cookies, so we always have a big bottle hanging out in the fridge.