I love Carrot Cake!!! Do you? I love it so much that it was actually our wedding cake - yes, inside all that fondant is this moist and scrumptious carrot cake.... I preferred it over the chocolate cake that was suggested by our cake maker. Truth be told I don't remember anymore, what the taste was like during the wedding....I am sure it was good as I loved it when I had a taste test but I was too excited about everything that was going on during the wedding day that I probably just got one bite of it - perhaps even done for the sake of having a wedding photo showing I was eating the cake....or something like that. Nonetheless, my love for the Carrot cake didn't end with my wedding cake. I still often order it when I am in Starbucks or other cafes. I did attempt once to make it but I can't remember now how it fared 'cause this was nearly 10 years ago, just after we were married. Perhaps it was bad that I never made another one.
Well, it's been 10 years since we had gotten married - Nov. 22, 2003 so I thought it was time to make some delicious Carrot Cake. However, since hubby is doing gluten-free, I decided to try a gluten-free version of Carrot Cake, with trepidation as I was totally unsure of how it will turn out. Oh, am I so glad that I made it. To be honest, I think it's even better than the regular white flour version. It is so moist and flavorful and the cake even after a day or two - retains the moisture - and, in fact, improves its flavor as it ages. Wow! I added some spices for extra flavor and they were a perfect complement to the creamy, cheesy frosting! I honestly think this is the best Carrot Cake I've had in years, I surprised even myself. The only comment hubby had (apart from totally enjoying it, too!) was to add some raisins next time. Since this was a first time experiment I thought I'll do it plain and basic first though after the first trial I fully agree that adding raisins would totally put this over the top. Since it's already made of almond flour - I didn't add any more nuts but feel free to do so when you make this - some extra crunch in there certainly can only make it better, right? So, please enjoy this gluten-free Almond Carrot Cake! I sure hope that you will enjoy this as much the whole family did. :-)
1/2 cup gluten-free Flour* (like King Arthur's)
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 teaspoon ground Cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground Nutmeg
4 eggs, separated
1 1/4 cups Sugar
1-2 Tablespoons Maple syrup
Grated zest of 1 lemon
2 cups grated Carrots
2 cups ground Almonds
For the frosting:
8 oz (1 block) Cream Cheese, softened
1 stick butter, softened
1 cup Confectioner's (Icing) Sugar
2 teaspoons fresh Lemon juice
Handy Tools: mixing bowls, electric mixer
Preheat the oven to 325 F. Butter an 8 x 8 square baking pan/dish. Line it with parchment paper.
In a bowl, combine the gluten-free flour, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg. Set aside.
Beat the egg yolks, sugar and maple syrup until thick and creamy. You may occasionally have to scrape the sides of the bowl. Stir in the lemon zest.
Transfer the egg mixture to another large bowl. Stir in the grated carrots, ground almonds and gluten-free flour mixture.
Beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. In two batches, fold in the egg whites into the carrot mixture.
Pour the mixture into the prepared pan/dish.
Bake the cake for about 1 hour or until top is golden and springs back when you press it lightly.
Let the cake stand for about 10-15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.
In the meantime, make the frosting.
For the frosting:
Beat the cream cheese and butter in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Gradually stir in the icing/confectioner's sugar and the lemon juice. Mix just until everything is combined and has reached a smooth consistency.
When the cake has fully cooled, frost it. Generously spread the frosting all over the cake. You may have a few tablespoons left-over. The photo shows quite a thick frosting and I took the liberty of making it that way since the cake is pretty thick and since it's also gluten-free - quite dense. The light and fluffy, creamy frosting provides a great contrast of textures and flavors and so the cake warranted a thicker frosting, at least in our opinion. Feel free to halve the recipe if you prefer a slightly thinner frosting.
The cake is great to eat on the first day but it gets even better as the days pass so I suggest make this at least a day ahead. Once you have iced the cake, store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It will keep for up to 4 days, assuming it lasts that long...I seriously doubt it. :-D Please enjoy.
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