Gluten-Free Pineapple Carrot Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

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It’s time I started baking again. I love the comfort in baking – the precise ingredients, the blending of flavors, and oh! the aromas wafting through the house. Baking brings everyone to the kitchen. Carrot cake has that earthiness and grounding quality that warms the soul this time of year.  I’ve updated my recipe with gluten-free flour (better for you if you have any inflammation in your body or are celiac) using Cup4Cup, and substituting coconut oil for organic canola oil (coconut oil is miraculous). I use less cinnamon and sugar than most carrot cake recipes because I want to taste the individual ingredients and not be overpowered by the strong taste of cinnamon and sugar.

Gluten-Free Pineapple Carrot Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

Makes one 9″

cake Ingredients:

  • 1¾C Cup4Cup gluten-free flour
  • 1½C turbinado sugar
  • 2t baking soda
  • 1½t cinnamon
  • 1t salt
  • 1C flaked, unsweetened coconut ( I use Bob’s Mill brand)
  • ½C currants
  • 1C chopped pecans
  • 4 free range eggs, beaten
  • 1C melted organic coconut oil, cooled
  • 2t vanilla  (I like Nielsen-Massey Madagascar vanilla)
  • 2C shredded carrots (about 4, depending on their size)
  • 1C crushed pineapple, drained (1 can)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350°. Butter and dust with flour (or use Baker’s Joy spray) a 9″ round springform pan. In a large bowl, combine all dry ingredients: flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, flaked coconut, currants, and pecans. Stir to combine.

In another bowl, combine all the wet ingredients: beaten eggs, melted and cooled coconut oil, vanilla, shredded carrots, and pineapple. Stir to combine. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.

Pour into the prepared springform pan and bake for one hour. Remove from oven, cool for 3-5 minutes and release the cake. Invert cake on a cooling rack or your cake dish. Cool completely before frosting the cake.
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Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients:

  • 4C confectioner’s sugar
  • 1# cream cheese (two bricks), softened at room temperature
  • 8oz. of unsalted butter (two sticks), softened at room temperature
  • 1t vanilla extract (I like Nielsen-Massey Madagascar vanilla)
  • 1t natural lemon flavoring

Directions: Set your mixer to high and cream the softened butter and cream cheese in a mixer until smooth and creamy with no visible butter lumps, about 5 minutes. Stop the motor to add the vanilla extract and lemon flavoring. Whip to combine. Stop motor and add two cups of the confectioner’s sugar, cover the bowl with a towel (to keep sugar from dusting your entire kitchen), turn the motor to high, and whip the confectioner’s sugar into the butter and cream cheese until completely incorporated. Stop the motor again, add the remaining two cups of confectioner’s sugar, and whip until smooth and creamy and completely incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl if you need to. Refrigerate until ready to use. If it’s too hard to spread when it’s chilled, let it rest on the counter for fifteen minutes and then frost the cake.

Sprinkle the top with a little shredded coconut and lemon zest.

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