Gluten-free carrot cake

2 cups gluten free all-purpose flour

1 1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup brown sugar (light or dark)

1 1/2 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. salt

4 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg

1/8 tsp. ground cloves

1/4 tsp. ground ginger

2 cups peeled and finely grated carrots

1 cup coconut flakes, sweetened

1 cup raisins (optional)

1 8 oz. can crushed pineapple, drained (reserve 1 tsp. of drained pineapple juice)

1 1/2 cup walnuts or pecans, chopped; 1 cup finely chopped for decorating

1 cup vegetable oil (may substitute 1 cup unsweetened apple sauce)

2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

1 tsp. finely grated fresh orange zest

3 extra-large eggs

Vegetable nonstick cooking spray, parchment paper

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare two 9-inch round pans by spraying with nonstick cooking spray. Line bottoms with parchment paper and spray.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugars, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger.

3. In a medium bowl, add carrots, orange peel, drained pineapple, raisins, coconut flakes and nuts, mix well. Add vegetable oil, vanilla and eggs (one at a time). Mix well and add 1 teaspoon of pineapple juice.

4. Slowly incorporate dry ingredients into wet ingredients until combined.

5. Pour into prepared cake pans, dividing evenly.


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Bake for 35 to 40 minutes until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.

6. Cool in pans for 15 minutes. Run a knife around edges of cake to loosen, turn out and let cool completely. Frost generously with cream cheese frosting, decorate with finely chopped nuts.

Cream cheese frosting

2 8-ounce packages Neufchatel cream cheese, softened to room temperature

1/4 cup butter, softened

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted

Directions

1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, on medium speed, beat cream cheese and butter until light and creamy, about 2 minutes. Reduce speed to low, add vanilla and gradually add confectioners' sugar until incorporated. Store, covered, in refrigerator up to three days.

Thanks to my mom who baked the cake for the photo at her house in New York on Thursday.