Secret Ingredient Gluten Free Carrot Cake

secret ingredient gluten free carrot cake

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I thought I had a great gluten free carrot cake recipe. In fact, I thought I had two great gluten free carrot cake recipes! But then I developed this fruit-filled delectable concoction, and I realized I’d created an instant hit!

mustardThe cool part is that it has a secret ingredient that adds even more flavor without adding all the oil that most carrot cakes seem to have, rendering this treat not only easier on the hips, but delightful to the lips!

Would you believe whole grain Dijon mustard could do that? (I’m not talking bright yellow hot dog mustard — I used the real deal!)

I wouldn’t have believed it either, until this cake was declared the best carrot cake several (non-GF) friends and family had ever had. And they never guessed my mustard secret!

secret ingredient gluten free carrot cake with mustard

One more note on mustard. Not only did it add moisture in this recipe without adding fat, mustard seeds are also high in selenium and magnesium which have been shown to reduce inflammation, as well as niacin which can lower cholesterol.

They may even contribute to a faster metabolism and they boast anti-inflammatories and phytonutrients. What’s not to love? It can be our little secret (ingredient)!

Yield: Serves 10

Secret Ingredient Gluten Free Carrot Cake

secret ingredient gluten free carrot cake

Moist, decadent gluten free carrot cake with a secret, healthier ingredient!

Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes

Ingredients

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350°F (static) or 325°F (convection).

Shred carrots using a large food processor or grater. Measure and set aside. Purée 1 cup fresh pineapple or measure out crushed, undrained pineapple from a can, then set aside.

Whip eggs, sugar, mustard, oil and sour cream together until integrated. In a separate bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients, then slowly stir into the liquid mixture.

Fold in carrots, pineapple, coconut and raisins and beat just until fully incorporated.

Oil two 7 or 8-inch round cake pans, one 9×13 sheet cake pan or one bundt pan. Pour batter into pan(s) and smooth tops.

Bake time depends on the pan(s) used: approximately 25 minutes for 2 round cake pans; 35 minutes for 9×13 pan; 40-50 minutes for bundt pan.

Test with a toothpick before removing. If the toothpick still has wet crumbs on it, add more time in 5 minute intervals and test again until the cake no longer sinks when pressed gently with your finger and no longer has wet crumbs stuck to a toothpick inserted into the center.

Remove when done cooking and allow to cool on a wire rack. Invert to remove from pan after 10 minutes of cooling. When fully cooled, frost with cream cheese frosting.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment (and maybe even a picture!) below or share a photo on Instagram! Be sure to tag me! @gfJules

I hope you love this recipe as much as we do!

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Looking for a great carrot cake recipe? You'll love this fruit-filled, moist and flavorful, secret ingredient gluten free carrot cake.

Looking for a great carrot cake recipe? You'll love this fruit-filled delectable concoction, Gluten Free Carrot Cake. ~GfJules.com

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  1. Hi. I would like to try this Carrot Cake recipe; however, I was thinking of making cupcakes for a kids party. Is this doable and what would the cooking time be. Thanks. Grace

    Reply
    • Hi Diane, for this recipe I think you could skip those add-ins, yes. If the batter seems dry though, you’ll need to add a bit more pineapple juice or your milk of choice to thin the batter a bit to compensate for the moisture lost from not adding those two ingredients. Enjoy!
      ~jules

      Reply
  2. We made this cake with egg substitutes and it was delicious! My daughter has to avoid gluten, dairy and eggs. This was her request for her birthday cake! Thank you so much for the recipe!

    Reply
    • Oh I’m so very glad to hear it, Joyce!!! Happy birthday to your daughter — she has excellent taste in cakes! 😉
      ~jules

      Reply
  3. I made this cake today, I never would have guessed the secret ingredient. I used Swerve instead of sugar, my husband is diabetic. It came out great! Thank you for your awesome flour and recipes!

    Reply
    • Wonderful to hear, Nancy! I’m so glad that the Swerve worked well for you in this Secret Ingredient Gluten Free Carrot Cake, as well, too! Now it’s a double secret ingredient recipe for you!!!
      ~jules

      Reply
  4. Thank you so much for all you do for the GF community, as well as so many others, Jules. I wouldn’t waste my time or money baking with any flour mixture other than yours. In fact, people don’t believe my baked goods are GF and they have even asked me to eat it in front of them to prove it (since I have CD and they know I would never eat anything other than GF intentionally). Thanks again, Jules!
    Mary

    Reply
    • Aw, thank you so much, Mary! What a nice note!!! I’m thrilled that you are enjoying my gfJules Flour and that you are sharing with others and showing them how great gluten free can (and should) be!!! Happy baking, Mary!
      ~jules

      Reply
  5. Wow it sounds amazing, I’m gonna give it a try, what I do want to know though, is how you found out about using Dijon mustard in the first place!
    Also, is there anything I can use instead of sour cream or cottage cheese as I don’t like them?

    Reply
    • haha – yes, it’s an odd combo but it works together so well! I don’t honestly remember why I thought of adding it. Sometimes I get hit by little inspirations like this while lying in bed. It was probably one of those moments! As for a sub for sour cream (not cottage cheese!!), it’s only 1/4 cup so you could either use your favorite yogurt (dairy or non-dairy) or you could probably get away with milk (not skim). Let me know what you try!
      ~jules

      Reply
  6. Your recipe sounds lovely and I’m planning to try it!

    I wanted you and your readers to know that I unintentionally clicked on the star while scrollling, and it seemed to give this a one-star review — NOT TRUE! It won’t let me go back and fix it, can you help?

    Reply
    • Hi Lily, thanks so much – I don’t understand that star review system very well, but I don’t think there’s any way for me to un-do a review. If you go onto the recipe from another device (like mobile) it will let you review it again though. I sincerely appreciate you leaving a comment so other readers know you didn’t hate the recipe! 🙂
      ~jules

      Reply
  7. Good morning!
    We aren’t fans of the pineapple in some carrot cakes.
    Do you have a recipe for moist carrot cake without the pineapple?

    Thanks!

    Reply
  8. Jules, can this be made successfully as egg free? I need to bake egg free for allergies.

    If yes, which egg free sub would you recommend for ultimate best taste and texture?

    Some dry, ground up flax seed meal added to the batter? ( how much? )

    Flax+ water “eggs” for 3 eggs?

    or EnerG egg replaces powder for 3 eggs?

    or extra baking powder/ soda? ( how much would you increase..? )

    Help?

    🙂

    Thx!!

    Reply
    • Hi Ali,
      To sub for eggs in this recipe, I’d use the flax “egg” sub of 1 Tbs. flaxseed meal + 3 Tbs. water per egg. I think that will provide the best structure here. Let me know how it goes!
      ~jules

      Reply
  9. I’m wanting to make this for a baby shower but cannot get gluten free flour. (In Malaysia) Can I use almond flour or brown rice flour instead?

    Reply
    • Hi Alison, I would not recommend using just almond flour or brown rice flour for this cake. Review my notes in this article on making your own blend. You should be able to find these flours if you’re in K.L. or another larger town, but I bet you can find most of them either way. Just know that corn starch in the US is the fine white powder that is only the starch, and corn flour is the whole grain, ground fine, not coursely. I used to live in Malaysia and some of the names of flours differ somewhat, but if you know what you’re looking for, you should be able to find it. Good luck and all the best!
      ~jules

      Reply
  10. Just made this for Father’s Day for 2 Dads. They both raved. It is a dense and flavorful cake. No one guessed the secret ingredient. So glad I could provide them with their favorite cake and make it gluten-free so I could eat it too.
    I didn’t have sour cream so I put cottage cheese in the food processor and it worked great. Thanks Jules

    Reply
    • Great substitution, Sandy! I bet it was delicious — so glad it made Father’s Day tasty for everyone!!!
      ~jules

      Reply
      • Jules, I was wondering if you have ever tried making carrot cake with a jar of Baby food carrots. It gives it added flavor and it’s extra moist. I have a recipe but it’s not gluten free. You don’t even have to add carrots. Try it sometime. I would love to hear what u think. ( :

        Reply
  11. How ingenius!  Dijon mustard!!  Sounds like a wonderful addition.  Can’t wait to try it!  Thanks, Jules for  all you have done and are continuing to do!!!

    Reply
    • Thank you, Vicki! I’m glad you’re intrigued! I’d love to know if you get a chance to make this cake, what you think! And thanks for your kind words! I’m happy to have a platform again, where I can share with my gluten-free friends! :)
      ~jules

      Reply
  12. Wow! How brilliant is this cake recipe? I honestly love Dijon (but am not so crazy about basic mustard) so I could see it working beautifully in carrot cake or even spice cake. I’m one who also made tomato soup cake back in the day. ;-) I’ve added this to my epic carrot cake recipe roundup over at All Gluten-Free Desserts. I know folks will LOVE it!

    Thanks, Jules! xo,

    Shirley

    Reply
    • I know, Brenda! It’s odd, but it worked! And you’d never know there was any mustard in this cake – it just adds to the yummy spices!
      ~jules
       

      Reply
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