Carrot Cake. Correction: The BEST Carrot Cake. Ever. [Recipe]

Carrot cake. Make that, LOADED carrot cake.

carrot cake whole

Oh, and did I mention – LOADED GLUTEN-FREE carrot cake?!

carrot cake icing

With cream cheese icing. Done.

I found this recipe for carrot cake on Pinterest a few months ago, and it quickly got saved to my “Make Again Meals” board. A seriously amazing recipe. I made it as cupcakes for my Penguin’s first birthday party, and my guests couldn’t believe they were homemade.

carrot cake cupcakes

So, there was really no contest when planning a cake for my hubby’s birthday. I didn’t even have to get his request. (OK, maybe I just didn’t want to ask in case he didn’t request this recipe! Forgive me dear! <3).

carrot cake slice

It’s loaded with 3 cups of shredded carrots, which I love as a dietitian. However, I accepted a personal challenge to see if I could up the nutrition factor even more without compromising this fantastic recipe.

carrot cake loaded with carrots

Challenge accepted: Replace half the eggs with flaxseed (did you know it can serve as an egg substitute?!), replace half the sugar with mashed bananas, replace some oil with applesauce, and add raisins.

carrot cake additional ingredients


You. can’t. even. tell. the. difference.

I swear.

Do I think there’s anything wrong with full-fledged recipes? Not in the least. I subscribe to the Intuitive Eating philosophy and believe that when you want the real deal, go for it. But, I like to experiment in the kitchen, and if I can up the ante with my nutrition and not lose taste, that’s a win-win for me. So, with the added fiber, omega-3’s, and reduced sugar and fat, I’m hoping I can call this a muffin and eat it as breakfast. Or lunch. Or dinner. No? 😉

carrot cake wet ingredients

My version of carrot cake must include raisins. I looove the combination. And I have found the Great Value brand of raisins from Wal-Mart (here) to be the most moist and gooey raisin out there. I do not like my raisins dry!

This cake is so incredibly moist (thanks bananas, applesauce, and carrots!). It just glides right out of the pan, leaving virtually no residue behind. Especially if you use the parchment paper trick, there won’t be any dishes to scrub. Praise!

carrot cake so moist

I want to point out that while this cake is a gluten-free recipe, and you will see many recipes on my blog labeled as gluten-free, that does not mean that I promote a gluten-free diet. In the case of celiac disease, food allergies, or gluten intolerance, a gluten-free diet has it’s place. But the research still supports whole grains, so that’s what I side with. In our case, our household has to eat gluten-free. But for our family members that don’t, I buy 100% whole wheat/whole grains. No matter what you choose to follow, just make sure any choice is packing a nutrition punch with fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Many gluten-free substitutes do not, and they are not a magic weight loss cure. Nothing is.

OK, enough talking. If you’re still reading, that means you aren’t baking, and I totally think you need to get in the kitchen STAT to try out this recipe. I’ll be sticking with this version from now on, because there is just NO difference to me, other than the added nutrition! How can you lose?!

I would love to hear your thoughts! Create it, capture it, then tag me to show me your #createandcapture masterpiece! That is, if you can stop for 2 seconds to snap a pic!


Print Recipe
THE BEST Carrot Cake - Lightened Up & Full of Flavor!
This is THE BEST carrot cake, and no one will ever know that it's gluten-free or that it contains healthy ingredients! Made over by a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, this cake has removed some fat and calories, leaving more room for FLAVOR - not to mention beta-carotene, omega-3's, and fiber!
Prep Time 15-20 minutes
Cook Time 60 minutes
Cream Cheese Frosting
Prep Time 15-20 minutes
Cook Time 60 minutes
Cream Cheese Frosting
  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Set aside two round 9-inch cake pans, one 13x9-inch pan, or 24 muffin cups. If using round cake pans, lightly grease and place a circle of parchment paper (cut to the size of the bottom of the pan) and place inside. Line inside of muffin cups with cupcake papers.
  3. In a small bowl, combine 2 Tbsp flax seed with 3 Tbsp water. Mix together and set aside for 5 minutes.
  4. In a large bowl, cream together eggs and sugar with an electric beater or stand mixer. Add mashed bananas and flaxseed mixture and mix. Add oil, applesauce, and 2 tsp vanilla and beat just until smooth.
  5. In a separate mixing bowl, combine gluten-free flour mix, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Whisk to combine. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and beat just until blended, taking caution not to overmix.
  6. Stir in grated carrots, walnuts, and raisins. Pour the batter into your designated pans.
  7. For a cake, bake for 45-55 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. For muffins, bake for 30-35 minutes or until the toothpick is clean. Cool on a wire rack.
Frosting Recipe
  1. Place butter, cream cheese, and 1 tsp vanilla in a large mixing bowl and beat on high until smooth. Add powdered sugar and beat until smooth. Apply to cake or muffins once they are cool.
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  1. Amber

    October 9, 2017 at 12:48 pm

    Alyssa! These are so tasty and moist and loaded with nutrition! I used white all-purpose flour and they are perfect. Next time I will try whole wheat flour. Thanks for the recipe!

    1. Alyssa

      October 9, 2017 at 9:08 pm

      Thanks Amber! So glad you like them. Aren’t they wonderful?!?! Let me know how the whole wheat flour is!

  2. Tieah

    August 24, 2017 at 6:49 am

    Will I need to change the amount of flour if I am using other type of flour?

    1. Alyssa

      August 24, 2017 at 8:30 pm

      Tieah, that’s a good question. The original recipe called for gluten-free flour, so I didn’t modify that. I think it should work cup-for-cup with all-purpose flour. Let me know if you try it! <3

  3. Trish Hoitt

    August 21, 2017 at 3:56 pm

    Having been there during the grating, mixing, and baking, I can attest to the fact that my boy’s birthday cake was delicious! Moist, rich-tasting, and yummy! I do think this would be a great breakfast. 😉

    1. Alyssa

      August 22, 2017 at 8:43 pm

      It was worth all the work! So yum!

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