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Gluten-Free Carrot Cake Cupcakes

Gluten-Free Carrot Cake Cupcakes

Gluten free carrot cake cupcakes, loaded with fresh carrots and topped with cinnamon cream cheese frosting. Perfect for Easter, or any time!

Gluten free carrot cake baked into cupcakes, loaded with fresh carrots and topped with cinnamon cream cheese frosting. Perfect for Easter, or any time! http://glutenfreeonashoestring.com/gluten-free-carrot-cake-cupcakes/

Especially as springtime approaches and Easter is around the corner, a spot on recipe for gluten free carrot cake is a must. This recipe is for gluten free carrot cake cupcakes instead of a full carrot cake, and for good reason. Cupcakes are easier to store, easier to force just a few on friends and neighbors (and my husband’s coworkers), easier to have on hand at a moment’s notice (birthday in school tomorrow!), easier to pare down a recipe, and way easier to make cute without spending a ton of time on them. Plus, we do already have a recipe for secret-ingredient gluten free iced carrot cake right here on the blog that is as moist and tender as can be.

Gluten free carrot cake baked into cupcakes, loaded with fresh carrots and topped with cinnamon cream cheese frosting. Perfect for Easter, or any time! http://glutenfreeonashoestring.com/gluten-free-carrot-cake-cupcakes/

The secret to making these truly stand-out little carrot cakes? You beat the oil with the eggs and milk until very well-combined and frothy before adding them to the dry ingredients. This way, the cupcakes are light and fluffy, moist and tender—but never ever oily. Cakes made with oil instead of butter can be very moist, but can become oily if the ingredient proportions aren’t just right, or if the method isn’t proper. Not this time.

Gluten free carrot cake baked into cupcakes, loaded with fresh carrots and topped with cinnamon cream cheese frosting. Perfect for Easter, or any time! http://glutenfreeonashoestring.com/gluten-free-carrot-cake-cupcakes/

Plus, making carrot cake with oil instead of butter makes these carrot cake cupcakes quite easy to convert to dairy free as well as gluten free just by using a nondairy milk, like almond milk. And a nondairy cream cheese alternative plus shortening in place of the butter should work quite well for the frosting. If the frosting seems too soft, just add a bit confectioners’ sugar until it reaches the proper consistency.

Gluten free carrot cake baked into cupcakes, loaded with fresh carrots and topped with cinnamon cream cheese frosting. Perfect for Easter, or any time! http://glutenfreeonashoestring.com/gluten-free-carrot-cake-cupcakes/
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Prep time: Cook time: Yield: 24 cupcakes

Ingredients

For the Cupcakes
2 cups (280 g) all purpose gluten free flour (I have used Better Batter and Better Than Cup4Cup with great results)

1 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

3/4 cup (150 g) granulated sugar

1/2 cup (109 g) packed light brown sugar

3 cups (270 g) peeled and grated carrots

1 cup (110 g) chopped macadamia nuts

1/2 cup (112 g) neutral oil (like vegetable or canola oil)

4 eggs (200 g, weighed out of shell) at room temperature, beaten

1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

1/2 cup (4 fluid ounces) milk (any kind), at room temperature

For The Cream Cheese Frosting
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature

2 tablespoons (28 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

2 1/2 cups (288 g) confectioners’ sugar, plus more as necessary

Directions

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F. Grease or line two standard 12-cup muffin tins, and set them aside.

  • Make the cupcake batter. In a large bowl, place the flour, xanthan gum, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and granulated sugar. Whisk to combine well. Add the brown sugar, and whisk again to combine, working to break up any lumps in the brown sugar. Add the grated carrots and chopped nuts to the dry ingredients, and mix to combine.

  • In a separate, medium-sized bowl, place the oil, eggs, vinegar and milk, and whisk to combine very well. The mixture should be become pale and frothy. Working quickly, create a well in the center of the bowl of dry ingredients, and pour in the oil and eggs mixture. Mix to combine. The batter will be thick, but soft.

  • Bake the cupcakes. Fill the wells of the prepared muffin tins about 3/4 of the way full with batter, and shake the pan back and forth to distribute the batter evenly in each well. One at a time, place the muffin tins in the center of the preheated oven and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcakes comes out with no more than a few moist crumbs attached (about 20 minutes). Remove the tin from the oven from the oven and allow the cupcakes to cool in the pan for at least 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with the remaining muffin tin.

  • Make the frosting. While the muffins are cooling, make the frosting. In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or a large bowl with a handheld mixer), place the cream cheese and butter. Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the salt, and 2 cups of confectioners’ sugar. Mix on low speed until the sugar is absorbed. Then, turn the mixer to high speed and beat until the frosting is thickened and fluffy. Add more confectioners’ sugar as necessary to thicken the frosting enough to hold its shape when scooped with a spoon. Spoon or pipe the frosting onto the cooled cupcakes.

  • This recipe was originally published on the blog in 2013. The photos and text were updated. Recipe and method remain unchanged. 

Love,
Nicole

 

  • http://www.facebook.com/melody.erez Melody White Erez

    On behalf of my dairy intolerant, gluten free husband who loves carrot cake, I thank you! I was going to pin this as soon as I saw it, and then realized that the category “great art” which it defaulted to first, might actually be appropriate! : ) Thanks! I love your humor and your great ideas on this site.

    • gfshoestring

      You are very welcome, Melody! The cream cheese frosting can definitely be made with a dairy-free cream cheese substitute, I’m sure, but the cupcake itself is in fact all ready for your husband indeed!
      xoxo Nicole

  • Jennifer S

    Yes. I am compelled to have GF cupcakes in the freezer at all times. You never know when there is going to be a class treat or a birthday party pop up. I need to make some tomorrow to replenish our stash.
    I do have a question for you as I’m having some issues with the cupcakes and cakes. I’ve noticed that they puff up really nicely in the oven and then I take them out and they fall. What is happening here? Any advice you have will be greatly appreciated!

    • gfshoestring

      Hey, Jennifer, that is usually caused by a too-hot oven. It happens with bread, too. It activates the leavening agents quickly, and creates a baked-looking outside, but there isn’t enough structure inside to support the cupcake as it cools. You are better off with a low and slow approach to baking cupcakes, and make sure you are using your oven thermometer. Most ovens run quite hot (mine is 50°F over temp).
      Nicole

      • Jennifer S.

        I do have an oven thermometer but keep it on the rack under the rack I bake on. Maybe that is the problem. But then I find if I put on the rack I’m baking on it always gets pushed around and sometimes falls when I put the pan/pans in. Oh the problems we have!! :) Thanks for the advice!

        • gfshoestring

          Every oven has “hot spots,” Jennifer. If you place your oven thermometer in one spot and bake in another, the reading isn’t accurate. I’d check that. If all else fails, try just lowering the oven temp and bake low and slow.
          Nicole

  • Amber

    What would you recommend to make this tree-nut free?

    • gfshoestring

      Hi, Amber,
      If you want to leave out the nuts, you’ll need something else to take its place. Raisins or another small, dried fruit would work if substituted in equal amount by weight.
      Nicole

  • http://www.debistangeland.com/ Debi Stangeland

    I’m totally making these for our family dinner tonight! Thank you!!!!

    • gfshoestring

      Pleasure, Debi. :)
      xoxo Nicole

  • Susan

    Nicole, do you think these would work using the same amount of butter instead of oil?

    • gfshoestring

      I haven’t tested the recipe with any substitutions, Susan. Butter contains water, and oil is only fat, so they are not generally 1:1 substitutions. Feel free to experiment!
      Nicole

  • Jenny

    These look wonderful! Can I leave out the macadamias? I am allergic to nuts!

    • gfshoestring

      Hi, Jenny,
      If you want to leave out the nuts, you’ll need something else to take its place. Raisins or another small, dried fruit would work if substituted in equal amount by weight.

      Nicole

  • Hannah

    Do you have advice on storing cupcakes in the freezer? I have not had great luck with retaining good flavor after they thaw.

    • gfshoestring

      Hi, Hannah, It is all about sealing them in an airtight container. If you leave any air in the container, they will get freezer-burn. And only freeze and defrost once!
      xoxo Nicole

  • Carrie

    Do they freeze well with the icing or best to make the icing as you need? Thanks!! Btw what’s the release date for your new cookbook?? Can’t wait to get my hands on it!!!

    • gfshoestring

      Hi, Carrie,
      I would definitely recommend freezing them before frosting them, then making the frosting soon before you serve them.
      I just found out that the new book should have a release date right before Thanksgiving! That is a really nice surprise for me, since the original estimate was into December! Thanks so much for your enthusiasm!
      xoxo Nicole

  • Leticia

    Does anyone know how this recipe compares to the Aug. 31 cupcake recipe post ?

    • gfshoestring

      Leticia, there is a recipe for pumpkin carrot cupcakes on the blog, but these are simply carrot cupcakes. No pumpkin. The recipes are substantially different, but feel free to use whichever you prefer.
      Nicole

  • Julie Simmons

    I made these today — yummy! Even the non-GF folks enjoyed these.

  • Norma Dowd

    These turned out so good! Thank you

  • wanda

    The cupcakes were excellent. Great flavor, great texture. Everyone, even the gluten consumers loved them.

  • William

    Can you keep the frosting in the refrigerator for 2 or 3 days?

    • http://glutenfreeonashoestring.com/ Nicole Hunn

      Definitely, William. You’ll need to let it warm up a bit at room temperature before you can use it, though.

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