Cardamom Cream Cheese Frosting is out of this world, and puts this gluten-free Spiced Carrot Cake over-the-top! Filled with warming spices, sweet carrots and golden raisins, this is a lovely celebration cake for any occasion!My husband had just two food wishes for his birthday last week — Smoky Sweet and Spicy Pork Ribs and carrot cake.
I’ve made the ribs a dozen times now, so that was easy. I also whipped up a super delicious Asian-Style Slaw that was perfect with them.
And it’s a good thing I started working on this gluten-free Spiced Carrot Cake a couple of days ahead of time, because I wasn’t happy with the first two versions.
The Cardamom Cream Cheese Frosting was perfect on the first try, however.
Since both my husband and son are gluten-free, there was no question the cake had to be also.
So yep, it took three tries for this delicious masterpiece. The first one was too dry and the second one wasn’t spiced enough.
The third one however, was just right. Is it me, or do I sound just like Goldilocks? 😉
I usually expect this when I try new baking recipes — especially gluten-free cakes. It usually takes at least three tries before I love it.
Cardamom Cream Cheese Frosting
This is truly “the icing on the cake!” Ha!
Seriously, it’s what seals the deal.
Everyone knows that a cream cheese frosting is a classic match for a carrot cake. And for good reason — the two are lovely together.
I added the cardamom to make it more interesting and to carry the spices all the way through the cake. And it took it from great to amazing.
What’s in Cardamom Cream Cheese Frosting?
- cream cheese
- unsalted butter
- powdered sugar
What’s in gluten-free Spiced Carrot Cake?
- olive oil
- sour cream
- gluten-free flour
- baking soda
- golden raisins
And if you’re more into chocolate, below is my favorite gluten-free chocolate cake — I perfected it after three times, too.
And as you know, I won’t publish it here unless I love it.
That’s a rule I never break!
Enjoy every last morsel of this oh-so-delicious, three-times-a charm, gluten-free Spiced Carrot Cake with Cardamom Cream Cheese Frosting!
**Please note that the total prep time of 1 hour does NOT include the time it takes the cake to cool, which is a few hours. It must be cool before you frost it. Ideally, you should bake the cake the night before you want to frost and serve it.
- 3/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon olive oil, divided
- 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar, divided
- 4 large eggs
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose gluten-free flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons ground cardamom
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 1/2 cups finely grated carrots
- 1 cup golden raisins
- 12 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- 4 ounces unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 1 1/3 cup powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup milk
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons ground cardamom
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and adjust a rack to the center.
Us a pastry brush to coat the bottom and sides of 2 (9 x 32-inch) cake pans with 1 teaspoon of the olive oil. Then sprinkle each oil-coated pan evenly with about 1/2 tablespoon of the sugar.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the remaining 3/4 cup of oil with the remaining 1 cup of sugar. Whisk in the eggs and egg yolk and blend until it's smooth. Add the sour cream and vanilla and again, whisk until smooth.
In another large mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, cloves and salt. Mix to blend.
Use a large rubber spatula to fold the dry ingredients into the bowl with the wet ingredients.
Fold in the carrots and raisins and then pour the batter into the prepared cake pans. Place the cake pans on a baking sheets (for easier transportation), and into the preheated 350 degree F oven.
Bake just until they're set and no longer jiggle. The tops will begin to crack a bit and become golden when they're done, about 45 minutes.
Let them cool in the cake pans for about 10 minutes, then go along the edges with a dull knife to loosen the cakes. Invert each cake onto a cooling rack and let them cool completely to room temperature -- this could take a couple of hours. (Ideally you should bake the cakes the night before your frost and serve it.)
Add the cream cheese and butter to a medium-sized mixing bowl and use an electric mixer with the whisk attachment to blend on high until smooth. (If you don't have a whisk attachment, that's okay -- it might just take longer to become smooth.)
Add the powdered sugar, about half at a time, and mix to blend. Then add the milk, vanilla and cardamom and mix one last time to blend everything together. (The frosting should be at room temperature when you're ready to use it.)
Once the cakes are 100% cooled, invert one of them from the cooling rack onto a serving platter.
Spread about 1/3 of the frosting on the top of the inverted cake, then very carefully, place the other cake on top. (It will help to use the large, flat spatula.) Add the remaining frosting to the top and sides of the cake, using only gentle pressure. It doesn't have to be perfectly smooth -- as you can see from my pictures above, I like a rustic look.
Refrigerate the frosted cake for about 30 minutes before slicing.