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Gluten Free Spiced Carrot Cake Recipe with Cardamom Cream Cheese Frosting -- Filled with warm spices, sweet carrots and golden raisins, this is the perfect celebration cake for fall.

Spiced Carrot Cake with CardamomFrosting

This cake is filled with warming spices, sweet carrots and golden raisins. This is the perfect celebration cake for any occasion.

**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.

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword gluten-free birthday cake, birthday cakes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 12
Calories 517 kcal
Author Valentina K. Wein


For the cake

  • ¾ cup plus 1 teaspoon olive oil, divided
  • 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar, divided
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • ½ 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
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • cups finely grated carrots
  • 1 cup golden raisins

For the frosting

  • 12 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 4 ounces unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1⅓ cup powdered sugar
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons ground cardamom


For the cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and adjust a rack to the center.

  2. Us a pastry brush to coat the bottom and sides of 2 round (9 x 3-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.

  3. 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.

  4. In another large mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, cloves and salt. Mix to blend.
  5. Use a large rubber spatula to fold the dry ingredients into the bowl with the wet ingredients.
  6. 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°F oven.

  7. 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.

  8. 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 you frost and serve it.)

For the frosting

  1. 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.)
  2. 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.)

To assemble the cake

  1. Once the cakes are 100% cooled, invert one of them from the cooling rack onto a serving platter.

  2. 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.

  3. Refrigerate the frosted cake for about 30 minutes before slicing.