To be honest, I don’t tend to gravitate toward recipes that contain the words gluten-free, vegetarian, or vegan. Luckily I don’t have any medical dietary restrictions and I certainly possess no moral opposition to eating a good slab of red meat. So when I heard we were going to be baking a gluten-free carrot cake for our Thanksgiving dessert shoot, my honest initial reaction was “meh.” That is, until I took a bite! O.M.G.
Trust me, this recipe is AMAZING. I think the ingredient that helps it stand out from other carrot cakes is the pineapple. (I loved this version so much that I made a special order from Chef Michelle for my mother’s birthday last month!)
As you do with any cake or cookie recipe, Chef Michelle Brown says the first step is to mix the dry ingredients, including all those delicious spices to get you in the holiday spirit.
Then, you add your oil and eggs. Next up, add your carrots and pecans because let’s be honest, a carrot cake isn’t a carrot cake without these two staples.
Finally, add your cup of crushed pineapple. Just make sure you squeeze out the water first!
Pour your batter (which is a little thick) into your pan and pat it down.
It should come up about 3/4 of the way. Bake for roughly 30 minutes at 350.
Once you remove the cake from the oven, allow it to cool completely. Then trim the top of the “dome” off the cake to make it level for frosting.
After that, you’ll carefully cut your cake into two even layers (well, as even as you can make them). And then frost using your favorite cream cheese frosting recipe.
Michelle had yet another cool trick I’d never thought of. She used crushed pecans to decorate the side of the cake. A nice, classy (and super easy) finishing touch.
Final step, cut your slices and serve! You can tell in this picture, every bite contains your seasonal flavors of cinnamon and nutmeg plus the added carrots, nuts, and pineapple. It doesn’t get much better than that…
- CARROT CAKE
- 1 1/2 cups Sugar
- 1 3/4 tsp. Baking soda
- 3/4 tsp. salt
- 2 cups Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free Bread Flour
- 1 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp Nutmeg
- 3/4 cup (plus 2 Tbsp) Vegetable Oil
- 4 Eggs
- 8 oz Shredded Carrots
- 1 cup Pecans
- 1 cup Crushed Pineapple (squeeze out the water)
- CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
- 8 oz cream cheese
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 16 oz package powdered sugar
- Preheat oven to 350
- Prepare 10″ pan with grease and parchment circles.
- Add dry ingredients to 5-qt bowl and mix with paddle
- Add oil and eggs; mix
- Add carrots and pecans; mix
- Add pineapple; mix
- Bake for 45 minutes
- Beat cheese and butter together until smooth.
- Slowly add in the powered sugar, scraping bowl in between each additions until all sugar is added.
- Beat in vanilla.
All photo credit goes to the super talented Tom Green!
STILL TO COME…
Be sure to check back tomorrow when we’ll mix up a couple holiday cocktails. Who’s down for an Autumn Cobbler—featuring a homemade pumpkin pie syrup?