This Gluten Free Carrot Cake with Coconut & Cream Cheese Frosting is sweet, moist, and the perfect dessert to serve your guests! Sweet pineapple and coconut flakes combined with the traditional shredded carrots, walnuts, and sugar just bring this cake to a whole new level of delicious.

Gluten Free Carrot Cake Recipe

I cannot say enough good things about this carrot cake. It’s sweet. It’s moist. It’s indulgent. It’s everything you could ever want in a gluten free cake, and you won’t even be able to tell it’s gluten free!

 I’m a firm believer that carrot cake should be celebrated all year long, instead of once a year on Easter. I make this gluten free carrot cake for all kinds of reasons. Birthdays. Holidays. Fridays (Hey, Friday is a holiday, isn’t it?) Seriously, next time the baking mood strikes, this is definitely going to be one of your go-to recipes any day of the year.

Gluten Free Carrot Cake Recipe

I’ve definitely been in a baking mood lately. Maybe it’s because of how well my last post did, Gluten Free Strawberry Cake. Or, maybe it’s new newfound love of deliciously sweet gluten free baked goods. Or, maybe I just love cake. Who knows? Either way, you get super-awesome gluten free cake recipes, and I get actual cake.

It’s a win-win, right?

I like to think so.

Gluten Free Carrot Cake Recipe

I’m writing this post from a hotel room in Columbus, Ohio today. Don’t ask me how I got here from Tampa, because I probably don’t remember. We had a few drinks, played a few rounds of Cards Against Humanity. It was just one of those crazy nights, you know? I know you do!

Just kidding

I’m actually here on a business trip for my day job. I’m learning all kinds of magical food science things. So while I’m stuffing knowledge into my head, you can rest assured that I’m also day dreaming about eating this gluten free carrot cake.

Glorious, glorious gluten free carrot cake. 

Gluten Free Carrot Cake Recipe

I love the coconut on (and in!) this cake. I bought coconut flakes, and when they’re straight out of the bag they have a slightly sweet and chewy texture. They add a lot of extra flavor to the frosting, and a really nice texture to the cake itself.

Seriously, I probably ate about three handfuls before they actually made it onto the cake.

This may or may not have happened with the walnuts as well.

Who’s counting?

Also, let’s not forget the cream cheese frosting here. It’s probably the easiest frosting you’ll ever make in your life. You literally throw all of the ingredients into a bowl (or stand mixer), mix it together, and voila! Sweet, sweet cream cheese frosting. It really doesn’t get any easier than that.

Gluten Free Carrot Cake Recipe

This is just too beautiful to not take pictures of. Look at that piece! I want to eat the computer screen.

But I won’t.

Or maybe I will.

Who knows?

Gluten Free Carrot Cake Recipe

Another “secret” ingredient here is the pineapple. Which isn’t really a secret anymore, since I just told you about it. I’m counting on you to keep this secret now… forever. It’s what gives this cake a little extra something. A little bit more sweetness, without the added sugar. A little bit more moisture, to counter the lack of gluten. It’s pretty much what makes this cake so great.

Don’t tell the coconut I said that.

I still love you, coconut. 

Gluten Free Carrot Cake Recipe

gluten free carrot cake recipe

Gluten Free Carrot Cake

Gluten Free Carrot Cake is rich and moist, made with crushed pineapple, coconut flakes, shredded carrots, and walnuts topped with a rich cream cheese frosting, perfect for springtime!
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Author: Jacqui
Yield: 16 servings


For the Cake

  • 2 1/2 cups gluten free all purpose flour, 1:1
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder, double-acting
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup crushed pineapple, drained
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups shredded carrots
  • 1 cup coconut flakes
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts

For the Frosting

  • 4 cups confectioners sugar
  • 16 ounces cream cheese, softened (2 packages)
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

For decorating

  • 1 cup coconut flakes
  • 1 cup walnuts, whole or chopped


  • 2 9-inch round cake pans


  • Preheat oven to 350°F. In a medium bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In a measuring cup, combine the lemon juice and milk, stirring together.
  • Whisk in the vegetable oil, eggs, milk, pineapple, and vanilla extract, mixing until well-combined. Stir the coconut flakes, walnuts, and shredded carrots into the cake batter. You can also use an electric mixer for this.
  • Grease two 9-inch round cake pans with butter. Pour cake batter evenly into the two prepared baking pans and place onto the middle rack of the preheated oven.
  • Bake cake for 35-40 minutes, or until cakes are golden brown on top and a toothpick comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool completely before frosting. Placing the pans on a wire rack will help them cool more quickly.
  • In a stand mixer or with a handheld mixer, combine cream cheese and butter on medium mixing speed. Mix until there are no lumps and the cream cheese is smooth, but don't over-mix.
  • Add vanilla extract and salt to the mixing bowl. Still mixing, slowly add confectioners sugar, a little at a time until all sugar is completely mixed in. At this point, test your frosting to make sure you like the consistency. You can add some powdered sugar to thicken it more if desired.
  • Stop the stand mixer and use to decorate the carrot cake. Keep anything you didn't use (or if you made the frosting in advance)  refrigerated in an airtight container. This recipe should give you enough for a layer cake.


Click on the time in the instructions to start a timer!
Refrigerate for about a week in an air-tight container or wrapped in plastic wrap. The frosting for this cake is dairy based, so it will need to be refrigerated. 
Freeze for 2-3 months in a freezer-safe container. If you've already frosted the cake, freeze the cake carefully first before wrapping it in plastic wrap. Once the frosting is frozen, it won't be messed up. 
Cooking Tips
  • I use a food processor with a shredding attachment to shred the carrots. If you don't have this, you can also shred the carrots by hand.
  • Place your cake on the rack in the center of oven for even cooking.
  • The baking time can vary if you live at a higher elevation.


Calories: 667kcal (33%)Carbohydrates: 73g (24%)Protein: 8g (16%)Fat: 41g (63%)Saturated Fat: 15g (94%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 14gMonounsaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0.3gCholesterol: 80mg (27%)Sodium: 369mg (16%)Potassium: 277mg (8%)Fiber: 5g (21%)Sugar: 55g (61%)Vitamin A: 3312IU (66%)Vitamin C: 3mg (4%)Calcium: 109mg (11%)Iron: 2mg (11%)
Did you make this recipe?Share it on Instagram @Jacqui_DishingDelish and tag #dishingdelish!


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