Thursday, 6 November 2014

BAKING: Gluten Free Carrot Cake


When I'm at university and baking for my housemates, I try to do things gluten free as often as possible so that everyone can eat what I've made. I've done a few flourless cakes, usually almond based, and they've worked well, but cakes using a gluten-free flour substitute are often a lot trickier to get right. 

My parents came to visit me in Bath recently and on their way had found a packet mix for a gluten free carrot cake from Glebe Farm. This was ideal for a quick and easy gluten free cake- no messing around trying to get everything just right because it's already done for you. The mix contains xantham gum which is something I've come across a lot when looking for gluten free bakes but haven't ever used myself. 



Making the cake was really simple. The packet comes with instructions- all I had to do was melt some margarine, whisk two eggs and grate two carrots. I then mixed everything together with the packet mix and put it in the oven for 25 minutes at 170°c. I used a slightly larger tin than recommended which is why my cake looks a bit shallow, but texture-wise it was perfect. Gluten free cakes can be a bit dry and crumbly, but this was exactly like a normal carrot cake- moist and ever so slightly sticky.



To make the icing, I followed the instructions on the packet but doubled all the ingredients because I like icing, and also because my cake had a larger surface than if I'd used the recommended tin size. So I used 70g margarine, 70g cream cheese and 350g of icing sugar. I whisked these together and then spread over the cake.

I also used some ready-to-roll royal icing to make the carrots to go on top. The packet doesn't have orange icing, but I rolled together the red and yellow to make orange. I started off with equal parts of red and yellow, but it ended up needing to be more like one part red to two parts yellow. I then used green icing as the leafy bit on top. I didn't mean to make quite so many carrots, but because of the amount of icing it took me to get the colour right, I had rather a lot to use up!



The cake tastes good as it is, but I think if I was to use this again I'd probably up the flavours a little bit with a bit more spice. The recipe also suggested adding in dried fruit and walnuts, which is something I would do next time too. Using this mix has inspired me to give baking a cake with gluten-free flour another chance- just so long as I add in a bit of xantham gum because I think this is what probably makes the biggest difference. I'd also think about trying some of their other mixes in future because this worked so well and was really quick as easy to make- sometimes a bit of cheating is ok!




Have you tried any cake mixes, gluten-free or otherwise? Any other tips for gluten free baking?

Jennifer
xXx

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25 comments

  1. This looks SO yummy, I love the little carrots you've made too- so cute!
    I'll definitely have to try this soon! :) x

    Megan | Room With a Bloom

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    1. Thanks! I think I got a bit over excited with the carrots- but it is a carrot cake after all! x

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  2. OMG your little carrot decorations make this! They're so cute.

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  3. This looks so good! I've never tried gluten free cake but this one does sound really nice. Your decorations are so cute too. I'm glad you're still carrying on sharing bakes with us :)
    Hannah / www.hannahbakesthings.co.uk

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    1. I'm really enjoying having an excuse to share all the photos I take of my bakes! I would say that gluten free cake using flour is a bit of an unnecessary difficulty if you don't need to make it gluten free, but I really like flourless cakes and make them even when I'm not catering for specific diets :)

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  4. Oh it looks so cute! I really like the little carrots. I made carrot cake recently and it was so good even though my scales broke half way through hah. I don't often bake gluten free, more dairy free as dairy isn't my best friend! x

    Jasmin Charlotte | UK Lifestyle Blog

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    1. Haha, scales breaking halfway keeps happening to me too actually! I've just got a copy of magazine with over a hundred gluten and dairy free recipes, so I might give some of the dairy free things a go too :) x

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  5. Carrot cake is my favourite! Although I've never tried Gluten Free. I have made a GF banana loaf which was really good and nice an moist. I found adding extra dried fruit to that really made it nice and flavourful :)

    Heather x
    http://heatherrrrm.blogspot.co.uk/

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    1. I forgot how good carrot cake is! I haven't ever made banana bread, but I keep saying I will- so soon perhaps! Extra dried fruit sounds like a good tip, thanks :) x

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  6. Ahhh, the design is precious! I'm never that adventurous when I bake. Great post!

    xo, Rachel
    babblingloon.blogspot.com

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    1. I don't often do much decorating on my cakes either- I'm usually rather childlike with them and don't know when to stop! This is probably still a prime example haha x

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  7. I saw this post the other day and didn't comment and I definitely should have! This literally looks incredible! I don't think I could ever make anything like this! I love the little carrots on it and you can see how much hard work was put in! Keep it up and I cannot wait to see more ♥
    Sharing The Love ♥

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    1. Ah thank you! Haha- anyone could make this- really! The carrots were a little bit fiddly, but not too hard. Thanks for coming back and commenting, and for you post getting everyone to share links, I'm going to go back to it to find new blogs :)
      Jennifer x

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  8. Those look so yummy!!!

    check me out

    xx
    Tyana
    theluxedition.blogspot.com
    bloglovin.com/theluxedition

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  10. I found your blog from your comment on Neesha's blog! :) really like the look of this recipe! Love a carrot cake with no raisins haha! :)
    Levi x
    LeviJade

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    1. p.s. I really hope this comment worked as the computer I'm using it playing up!! :/ x

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    2. Haha, actually I'm not a huge raisin fan either in carrot cakes- I much prefer the walnuts if there are some! X

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    3. Glad I'm not alone! haha x

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  11. Love this! Great blog xx

    www.roseandmuse.com
    www.roseandmuse.com

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  12. This looks so good, I have to admit that gluten free recipes don't always appeal to me but I may give this a go! Plus the little carrots are adorable!
    www.ablogbygeena.blogspot.com

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  13. My boyfriend is gluten free and I often bake things for him!! This is a definite try!!! xxx

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    1. This is such an easy way to guarantee a good gluten free bake :) xxx

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  14. Oh my goodness your decorations are so well done, this looks awesome. I've actually never tried a carrot cake before either.

    Julia // The Sunday Mode

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