carrot cake + cream cheese frosting (gluten free)

This post is brought to you by Woolworths

Congratulations to Marie Napoli who won the Woolworths gift voucher!

It was Sunday and retro daddy was taking the twins to another birthday party on the party circuit and it felt like a cake baking kind of afternoon. Has to be gluten free these days but I knew that I could take off a side of the cake and do some cream cheese frosting on the rest. I love cream cheese frosting and it’s so easy to make and take a plain cake to a wow cake.

It might look like a few ingredients for this cake but you could make a few cakes out of these or double the recipe and tin size and make a nice big carrot cake to feed a crowd.

You don’t need a food processor to make this recipe although it does help with the carrots and if you’re going to go old school and use a grater then just watch those knuckles of yours.

And I have a $100 Woolworths gift card to give away to one lucky reader this week. All you need to do is tell me your all time favourite cake and why.

{Giveaway is open to Australian residents only, entries close 24th July 2014 and full terms of my giveaways can be found here}

5.0 from 3 reviews
carrot cake + cream cheese frosting (gluten free)
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Baking
Serves: 8-12
What you'll need
  • 250g Homebrand raw sugar (or caster sugar)
  • 1 lemon
  • ⅔ cup (or 150g) Woolworths Select vegetable oil
  • 2 Woolworths Select Free Range eggs
  • 6 small carrots or 3 large
  • ½ cup pecans (chopped)
  • 1¼ cup (250g) Macro Free From Gluten Self raising flour
  • pinch Allspice/Mixed Spice
  • pinch Baking Powder (gluten free)
  • 1 tub Woolworths Select Cream Cheese
  • 2 -3 cups Icing Sugar (always read the label for gluten free)
  1. Grate carrots. I did mine in the thermomix on closed lid setting and pressing turbo about 3-5 times. Don't over process. Set carrots aside.
  2. Place raw sugar and lemon rind in TM bowl and process 10 seconds speed 9. Alternatively combine your caster sugar and lemon rind together
  3. Add in oil and eggs and combine well until nice and creamy. I did this for 20 seconds on speed 4.
  4. Add in carrots and pecans and combine. 10 seconds on speed 4
  5. Measure in flour and a pinch of baking powder and gently combine through the wet ingredients. Gluten free flour is quite forgiving but you don't want to overmix but you also don't want to have a pocket of flour in your finished cake. I did this for 20 seconds on speed 4.
  6. Pour into a lined cake tin (I love my square 20cm -ish tin) and bake in a 180 degrees oven for about 40-50 minutes until a knife comes out clean.
  7. To make icing sugar blend together 3 Tablespoons of cream cheese with a dash of lemon juice. Gradually add in the icing sugar and keep adding until you have a nice spreadable frosting. If your icing is too thick just a dash more lemon juice or milk will fix it up.
  8. Spread icing nice and thickly all over your cake and top with some pecan pieces if you like.
  9. To make this cake dairy free just leave off the frosting.
  10. Happy cake eating.



  1. It has to be a Mars Bar cake. My hubby made this for me and it was delicious!! But I am a chocoholic so it could be any chocolate cake really.

  2. Cheryl Hayes says:

    I have a recipe for a Carrot and Zucchini cake and it is scrumdiddlyumptious! It is very moist and the Philly Cheese frosting finishes it off perfectly…always a hit too!

  3. My all time favourite cake would have to be my mums sponge cake with jam & cream, it always perfectly and was the first recipe I learnt to make as a child, setting me up for a love of baking! Having recently been diagnosed with coeliacs though I’m quite overwhelmed about how it will affect my love of baking… Your carrot cake looks like a winner though so THANKYOU & I can’t wait to try it out this weekend!

  4. Dianne Whittle says:

    I love a yummy carrot cake with cream cheese frosting but my all time favourite cake has to be chocolate cake! I make a mouthwatering cake called Death by Chocolate – the name alone should give you an indication of how it goes. The cake is so moist and is covered in chocolate ganache and served with the most divine chocolate fudge sauce – the fudge sauce is heaven in a pot!!!!! Unfortunately I only make it for special occasions, can’t have too much of a good thing. For every day in have an easy, throw all the ingredients in one bowl chocolate cake that is my go to cake.

  5. For me it would have to be a good orange and poppyseed cake. I love the slight crunch from the poppyseeds, the sweetness of the syrup yet still fresh and zesty from the orange juice and rind. Mmmm yum 😉

  6. My favourite cake is blueberry sour cream cake with cream cheese frosting. Yum

  7. My favourite recipe is for a chocolate, sour cherry and almond cake. It is just divine – rich, moist, tasty and so simple to make. Plus it has many memories attached to it as my mum used to make it for special occasions.

  8. Baked cheese cake. Mum has made this every Christmas for me since I can remember as I cannot stand boiled fruit cake. I have tried baked cheese cake made by others but there is nothing like the one your mum makes for you! I think because I only get it at Christmas, it makes it that more special!!!

  9. My favourite is a chocolate cake recipe that has been passed down the generations, from my great granny to my gran, then to my mum and finally to me. It’s oil based so it’s easy to make dairy free if need be, and works well with GF flour too. We make it for celebrations, sad times and for an everyday treat.

  10. Vanessa Plummer says:

    It’s hard to pick a favourite BUT carrot cake is it because of that frosting!! It’s my birthday today – 42 years young! so I’ll definitely be baking up a storm with the kids after school today :)

  11. My favourite cake recipe is so special to me yet it is the most simplest, basic cake ever and lots of other variations and names out there exist as well…it is my Nanny’s 3 Minute Chocolate Cake recipe. She used to make it and give to us and donate to various cake stalls around the place, her church and retirement village were just some, together with the myriad of other cooking and baking she did. What was special about this was that Mum could easily make a cake (and did plenty of baking herself as a Mother) but there is something extra special about being delivered a tupperware container of moist choc cake covered in rich choc icing with 100’s and 1000’s on top for your grandkids after school for no particular reason! The best arvo tea after school ever. We all make Nanny’s 3 minute chocolate cake now, my Mum, me, my Aunties and cousins, and now the next generation, even my daughter Lilly is making it. It is our go to recipe for a quick and delicious birthday cake, double the recipe and make a big baking dish size for a big group. And every time we look at the hand written recipe I think of my beautiful Nanny- Shirley May and think of her whipping up a few slabs to give away to her family. Miss her so much.

  12. I think my favourite dates from the time Sydney County Council used to enclose a glossy brochure with tips and recipes with electricity bill.

    It is called Jamaica Spice Cake. All ingredients go together in bowl and are mixed at one time. I cook it in a ring tin for 35 minutes and it turns out perfectly every time. Moist and delicious and I vary the spices. Sometimes it turns into a chocolate cake!

  13. I just love cheesecake/lemon meringue pie, any cake would do me as I am a sweet tooth!!

  14. Cheesecake, carrot cake, banana cake. My kids would pick chocolate cake with cream though. 😉

  15. Our family favourite would have to be the Hummingbird Cake with cream cheese frosting. The recipe has been passed down from generation to generation and it has become our families celebration cake. It is made many times throughout the year for each persons Birthday.

  16. This is difficult but ultimately I would have to say a great fruit cake.

  17. Olivia Fraker says:

    It has to be Against All Grain’s Strawberry shortcake cupcakes. This is the first really good gluten, dairy & refined sugar free cake I’ve made since starting this journey. They are delicious regardless of whether you are on an intolerance diet or not. YUMMY!!!

  18. I have a gorgeous Amish carrot cake recipe, which is AMAZING. It’s similar to this but includes crushed pineapple… Oh yum. I’ve never met anyone who hasn’t liked my Amish carrot cake. It’s a winner.

  19. Melissa Curtin says:

    I actually really like the Magic bean cake (sadly done in my food processor. Yes I have TMX envy). It is super moist and yummy and I like that its healthy plus its GF for my daughter

  20. Yum your carrot cake looks great! My all time favourite cake is a rich moist white choc mud cake, brings back memories of childhood birthdays :)

  21. Carolyn Penington says:

    My favourite cake is Carrot and Pineapple cake with cream cheese icing-we lived in Washington DC for a few years and a dear friend parted with her `Family recipe`!

  22. Definitely a ‘secret ingredients’ chocolate cake recipe – it’s so delicious, moist and rich….and no-one can believe that it’s made with grated potato and sour cream. It’s amazing- yum! :-)

  23. This looks yummy! My favourite cake of all time is a banana caramel cake from an old Women’s Weekly cookbook. It’s been my go-to recipe for all our birthday cakes for the last 18 years. I feel it’s a little bit healthy because of the banana, and I especially like to lick the caramel saucepan clean!!

  24. Monique says:

    Have to be Devils Food Cake….learned to make it as a child & it just never fails me, dense, yet somehow light & fluffy & always a winner with the kids. I have to say though that a new favourite go to cake (kids are not fans so I make it for guests mostly) is a Lemon Yoghurt Cake by Donna Hay. Simply divine!

  25. My favourite cake is tiramisu. Traditional tiramisu. It takes me to Italy. Reminds me of my honeymoon. Is soft, creamy & a hint of coffee for the bang!
    It reminds me of love & travel. Too important aspects of my life.

  26. Heidi t says:

    I love old fashioned cakes and one of my favourites is a banana cake with caramel icing. It’s very naughty, definitely a special occasion cake but the decadent caramel icing takes this from a lunchbox cake to a celebration cake!

  27. Katherine lang says:

    Lemon lime cheesecake. Yum. My husband makes it and it always works. I am not an icing fan so cheesecake is always my first choice.

  28. Jeanette tranberg says:

    Blow away sponge, just so light and scrumptious! And it is gluten free!

  29. That cake looks awesome. Most of the time my carrot ones come out dark and I’ve no idea why. I really love black forest cake. When it’s made properly it tastes divine.

  30. Thankyou, thank you, thank you for this recipe!!! I miss carrot cake so much and haven’t baked one since hubby was diagnosed coeliac back in 2012. I agree, the cream cheese frosting is a must for this cake. Another favourite of mine is gluten free banana cake, It is also topped with cream cheese icing (there’s a trend here) I love it because its so moist, and good for the kids too.

  31. My favourite would have to be black forest – chocolate, cherries and cream tick all the boxes for me! I also love lemon meringue pie but that doesn’t really count as cake!

    That cake looks yum!

  32. Nyomi Davidson says:

    My all time favourite cake is Hummingbird cake! Yum. Will be giving your gf carrot cake a red hot go for my gf Mr 9, so thanks.

  33. My all time favourite cake would be the Woolies mud cake. Cheap, delicious, so moist. Unfortunately it doesn’t last long, if there is anything left after a simple birthday celebration, I always find a really good reason to have ‘just another sliver!’

  34. Marie Napoli says:

    My all time favourite cake is Yoghurt cake with passionfruit pulp. This cake is so delicious, moist and tastes very healthy. It is wonderful to freeze, and toast for breakfast. I make several at a time and freeze them for when guests come around.

  35. I just love cake! Can you use any other kind of oil instead of vegetable? Looks delicious!

  36. Tracy P says:

    Chocolate Mud Cake! Soft and moist, with a thin chocolately icing. So completely decadent!

  37. Jasmine says:

    Carrot for sure…mainly for the cream cheese icing! I’m a total sucker for it!

  38. Yum, cake! Flourless orange cake is my absolute fave. Having recently been diagnosed with fructose malabsorption, I am now wheat and lactose free. I am thrilled to find that my favourite cake can still be good for me.

  39. Kaylene says:

    My all time favourite cake would have to be a boiled fruit cake using Mum’s recipe and it is extra nice whilst still warm fresh out of the oven!

  40. Yumm!! All time fave is chocolate cherry cake- it’s a recipe from the abc and uses tinned cherries and good choc. And it won most moist at a work cake competition a few years ago.

  41. This cake looks so yummy! At the moment my favourite kind of cake is any kind of packet mix cake :-) I only have one 13 month old daughter but I find it soooo much quicker and easier at the moment to just make cakes from a packet. The pre-baby me would shudder at not making it from scratch but it works for now and I love cake too much to give it up! Woolies sells some good dairy free mixes that have been delicious.

  42. I love do many cakes it’s hard to pick but I would have to go with my mum’s Christmas cake which we all love! Lots of plump fruit and sloshings of brandy make it nice and moist and I always make one for when we go on holiday because it lasts well, it’s filling and it’s part of our family tradition :)

  43. Sarah Fleming says:

    My all time favourite cake recipe is just a basic old ‘easy butter cake’ recipe that I jotted down from my Mums old Women’s Weekly (I think) recipe cards before I moved out of home.

    It’s such a winner of a recipe that I’ve made quite a name for myself amongst family and friends for making the best cupcakes! And with my three children’s birthdays all coming up within a fortnight of each other I would LOVE to win this Woolworths voucher to buy the ingredients needed to make the 3 birthday cakes and 150+ cupcakes I will be required to make :)

  44. Emma Mapley says:

    Red velvet for sure there is nothing more delicious as that smooth, chocolately, velvet sensation and it’s even better with a silky smooth cream cheese frosting. Yumo, think I need to start baking stat!

  45. Sarah Boyle says:

    With Finnish parents, My favourite cake would have to be a Finnish “filled” sponge cake as it reminds me of big family gatherings and celebrations. Light fluffy sponge cake layers are filled with a sprinkling of juice, cream, berries, soft fruits, jam and custard. Then the cake is covered in more cream and decorated with fruits and shaved chocolate. It is left in the fridge over night and tastes moist and amazing the next day!

  46. My kids were asking about carrot cake just this week! Might have to try this recipe on them! Our family’s favourite cake is a Tunisian Orange Syrup cake, it was a recipe sent in by a reader to Family Circle mag and I have been using it for years, it’s the cake the kids request, the husband requests for work birthdays, and most people who try it want the recipe. The great thing about it, apart from the amazing taste, is that you don’t need a mixer (so good for late night baking once kids are asleep and you don’t want to wake them) and it goes into a cold oven!

  47. I love the good old fashioned throw it all in butter chocolate cake. I grew up with a brother who couldn’t eat egg so this cake was mums staple ‘go to’ birthday, holiday and just because cake. It was the only one that was forgiving when you left out the eggs. Now that I’m a mum and thank goodness my kids are not allergic to eggs I put them back in. Every time I make it, it’s a trip down memory lane of my own childhood. I hope my kids think the same when they are all grown up. :)

  48. Yum! I’ve been meaning to try a carrot cake in my new thermie…
    The favourite cake in our household is the retro coffee cake from Kate Bracks’s recipe book. It is made with real coffee (also I put an extra shot of coffee in the icing in place of the shot of alcohol…), perhaps not so kid friendly but it’s always a hit with the adults! My husband wistfully suggests I make it every so often in the hope that I’ll make it!

  49. My favourite cake is a quick chocolate cake recipe – everything goes into the mixing bowl at once. It makes up a delicious cake! It also holds special childhood memories – this is my aunty’s recipe and she and my own mother used to make it all the time as we were growing up. It was one of the first recipes I learned to bake on my own!

  50. I really love hummingbird cake, the combination of banana, pineapple and cream cheese frosting, yum! It feels more like a dessert than a simple piece of cake.

  51. I love my mum’s banana cake. She makes it for my birthday almost every year and makes it with yummy, white, lemon icing. Delicious! I can never replicate it.

  52. Angela Moore says:

    My grandma always made an awesome sponge cake, filled it with homemade raspberry jam, iced it in butter cream icing and decorated it with smarties or 100’s and 1000’s. That was my birthday cake every year until I left home! I’ve never been able to make it the same – I think the secret ingredient must have been “grandma germs”!

  53. I just discovered how to bake orange cakes and I quite love it… and the family loves it too.

  54. LOL always the carrot cake,Im well known at work and people always ask me to bring one in,otherwise it used to be that throw in a bowl all together and mix chocolate cake,my FIL would call me and I knew I could get that cake rolling and itd be out and iced just as he called in for smoko,I always beat him with scones too

  55. I absolutely love Willie Harcourt Cooze’s cloud chocolate forest cake. It is my hubby’s favourite cake. It’s also made from almond meal so I believe it is gluten free. It is my favourite because it is decadent, moist and tastes like a brownie. It is covered in a dark chocolate ganache too. It is superb with fresh strawberries.

  56. Jackie Allen says:

    Sticky date pudding. It keeps for ages and 30 seconds in the microwave is all it takes for a delicious dessert.

  57. For special occasions I like to make plum and white chocolate cake. It looks and sounds fancy but is super quick and easy. For everyday coffee and cake I love banana and walnut.

  58. Susan west says:

    We’ll as I had a birthday last week I baked the carrot cake recipe from The Monday.Morning Cooking Club cookbook to take to work and every one who had a piece said how much they enjoyed it. So I made another cake to take to a friends house within the same week. Absolutely divine cake and so easy to make. The secret is in the glaze that is between the cake and the lucious heart stopping cream cheese frosting.

  59. That cake looks soo good…. Just a quick question, could i use normal self raising flour, or would the other quantities be out of wack??

  60. Oooh tha cake looks stunning. I love a good carrot cake – they are so full of flavour but still light on the inside. And they’re good for you aren’t they?! 😉

  61. Hi Corrie your cake looks so yummy and fluffy I’ve never had cream cheese frosting so I’m looking forward to trying this. Well the cake I love making which hasn’t been for quite some time it’s a rich chocolate orange cake I was once asked if the cake was bought it put the biggest smile on my face!

  62. Mine is carrot cake. Really soft texture & moist. Can last for days in an air tight container, but it doesn’t, cause it gets eaten within 2 days. I love the nuts in it & especially the cream cheese icing. But due to nut & dairy allergy in my house, the nuts & icing get omitted. Oh we’ll, still tastes great.

  63. I love a home-made Black Forest Cake on my birthday. Of course I have to make it. The cherries, the kirsch, the cream and all that chocolate. Heaven!

  64. Emma Lampard says:

    My favourite cake is my mum’s carrot cake, but only when she makes it. I think she has the magic touch, and the heap of cream cheese icing doesn’t hurt!

  65. Marble cake or the layers of chocolate, vanilla and strawberry. Both look classic and taste great without too much effort.

  66. Rachel Kriss-Newell says:

    I’m hoping that this cake will become my all time favourite cake. It sounds so moreish, healthy and exactly what I am looking for. I have recently been put on a Gluten Free diet, so sadly any previous delicacies no longer count as my favourites. I am not a baker or cook so need some enthusiasm to create a cake. I’ve made one packet Gluten Free cake mix which was very yummy, by the way – I added pureed fruit to it for some extra flavour. I’m about to print off this recipe and am very keen to give it a whirl.

    P.S: The $100 Woolies card would go a long way to putting together an ensemble of Gluten Free food. It is by comparison very expensive compared to run of the mill food. I continue to experiment with the choices available.

  67. Zara Stevens says:

    Apart from carrot cake, I adore Devil’s Food Cake! Rich, chocolatey & moist, with a hint of coffee – divine! (Or should that be, sinful?)

  68. Charmaine says:

    It would have to be carrot cake!!! I Have loved it forever…..

  69. Brooke smith says:

    Mississippi Mud Cake!!! A super muddy chocolate mud cake with some Jack Daniels (or whiskey/spirit of your choice). We used to make it all the time for special occasions growing up, but my mum has lost the recipe & every recipe I’ve found online just doesn’t quite cut it… I think it originally came from an aunt so I will have to see if she remembers it! Another new favourite is carrot, peanut butter and honey cake with cream cheese frosting. Cream cheese frosting is the best :-)

  70. Sarah V says:

    It’s a tie between carrot cake and orange flourless cake! Because they are both so moist and delicious.
    Carrot cake is all time fav, orange flourless cake is new discovery with hubby!

  71. Caitlin Babos says:

    Sour cream, Layered Apple Tea Cake, with cinnamon sugar.

    My all time favorite cake would be a childhood favorite that I recall mum making frequently when we had surprise guests rock up or needed something delicious for a weekend afternoon tea treat! The most amazing cake, and everytime I make it everyone loves it! Amazing served hot out of the oven and also just as amazing cold the next day, if it lasts that long! The added bonus is that you don’t need to ice it, once it’s made and in the cake tin and into the oven all your hard works done!! I have just recently converted the recipe to a thermomix recipe and it takes no time at all to create!!! I’m happy to share if you would like :) you could also easily substitute for GF flour! And instead of sour cream I have also used natural thick Greek yoghurt.

    I’d really love to win the $100 voucher so I can restock all those extra little baking goodies we all run out of at some stage or another!

  72. My favourite, it’s hard to choose but I have narrowed it down & have two.
    My Aunty Val’s Tea Cake because I grew up watching mum making it and usually
    half of it was eaten while it was still warm out of the oven. And the second is the Simplicity Chocolate Cake, a light chocolate cake that is split and filled with vanilla sweetened whipped cream and iced with chocolate icing. I can never have just one
    piece of this one so I don’t make it often ☺️

  73. Christie says:

    Our all time favourite cake is a good old fashioned banana cake made from my high school cookery book. It’s based on a butter cake and banana is one of the recipe versions. It takes 3-4 ripe to over ripe bananas and usually I have them in the freezer ready when we met the banana quota for the recipe. It’s a lovely fluffy, softy moist cake and we enjoy it hot from the oven as is or with a simple vanilla butter cream frosting. We love fruit based cakes and deserts and this one is not doubt going to be handed down through the family it’s such a favourite :)

  74. Loved this cake. Easy to make. I used macadamia oil, and added extra flour as my mixture was far too runny

  75. I made this to take to Easter lunch with my family today and it was delicious & moist! I made it the night before & iced it when we got there. I didn’t have pecans so used walnuts & we are not GF so used normal flour. Thanks will definitely make it again.

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