Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Icing

Serves 10 - 12

for the Cake
125g gluten free plain flour
125g gluten-free oat flour
3 teaspoons gluten-free baking powder
2 teaspoons mixed spice
pinch salt
350g carrot, grated
85g raisins
215ml sunflower oil
4 large eggs
250g soft light brown sugar
a few drops of vanilla extract

for the Topping
50g dairy-free margarine
60g icing sugar
200g dairy-free cream cheese
zest of 1 – 2 oranges


150g dairy-free margarine
600g icing sugar
zest 1 – 2 oranges

Preheat oven to 180°c/ 160°c fan oven / 350°f / gas mark 4.
Grease and line an 8in round cake tin with greaseproof paper.

Weigh the gluten-free plain flour, gluten-free oat flour and baking powder into a large mixing bowl. Stir together then sift at least twice to fully distribute the baking powder. Alternatively blend together in a food processor.

Add the grated carrot and raisins to the flour and stir together.

Measure the sunflower oil, eggs, brown sugar and vanilla into a large mixing bowl. Whisk together until paler in colour then stir in the dry ingredients.

Pour into the prepared cake tin and bake for 40 to 50 minutes until a knife inserted comes out clean.
Leave to cool in the tin for 15 minutes before turning out onto a plate. Now turn this onto the cooling wire so the cake cools the right way up or it could break in half.

For the topping – when the cake has cooled, beat the dairy-free margarine together with the icing sugar. This is easier if you use a food mixer with a beater attachment or use a hand held mixer. Add the dairy-free cream cheese and beat until smooth. Mix in the orange zest. Use a palette knife to spread over the cake. Store the finished cake in the fridge.

If using the alternative recipe –
Mix the icing sugar into the dairy-free margarine, a little at a time. Do not overbeat the mixture or it may split. Stir in a few drops of cooled boiled water until it reaches the required consistency. Add the orange zest.
This is a lot of icing sugar. If you use less icing sugar to margarine, the mixture may split. Add a little extra flavouring to this buttercream. *see note.
Spread onto the top and sides of the cake with a pallet knife.

In all recipes requiring self-raising gluten-free flour, I advise stirring the flours together with the gluten-free baking powder then sift at least twice to fully distribute the baking powder. Alternatively blend together in a food processor.

Gluten free cakes are crumblier than other cakes but taste just as good. To cut neat slices, dip a serrated knife in hot water and wipe clean between slices.

You can make your own gluten-free oat flour by blending gluten-free oats in a food processor until fine. This may not turn out as fine as shop bought but is not as expensive.

For dairy-free buttercream: Most dairy-free margarine is quite soft. You will need to add four times as much icing sugar to the dairy-free margarine or it will split. I like to use Naturli block margarine as it is a firmer margarine. You only need twice as much icing sugar to this block margarine. It is a lot tastier and doesn’t contain palm oil.

Tip: whenever someone in my household eats an orange, first I finely grate the zest into a tub that I keep in my freezer. I then use this for recipes such as this buttercream.