With warm spices and shredded carrot, these gluten-free carrot cake cupcakes are moist, fluffy, delicious and dairy-free! Gluten-free flour mix tips included.
Here’s how to mix up these easy cupcakes:
More Gluten-Free Cupcake Recipes
Be sure to check out my full list of gluten-free cupcakes including my gluten-free, dairy-free chocolate cupcakes, gluten-free ginger cupcakes and my gluten-free fresh strawberry cupcakes, and gluten-free red velvet cupcakes.
Gluten-Free Flour Mix
There are so many new options for gluten-free flour for baking. You can choose the option that will work best for you, whether you mix your own or buy a ready-made one. This recipe will work will all of these options!
Store-Bought Gluten-Free Flour Mix
If you prefer a store bought blend, I prefer King Arthur Gluten-Free Measure for Measure Flour which contains xanthan gum binder. This works very well in this recipe and most all of my cakes, cookies, muffins and quick breads. Be sure to check out my collection of King Arthur Gluten-Free Flour recipes.
Cup4Cup and Pamela’s Artisan Flour Blend are also good, certified gluten-free options. If you use a flour blend like these, that contain xanthan gum, guar gum or inulin, omit the xanthan gum called for in the recipe.
DIY Gluten-Free Flour
My custom blend of sorghum, millet and brown rice flours is my favorite gluten-free baking flour. The combination of flours has much better flavor than your average rice flour blend.
Here is the recipe for my special flour blend
- 1 c sweet white sorghum flour
- 3/4 c millet flour
- ¼ c brown rice flour
- 2/3 c potato starch
- 1/3 c tapioca starch
Combine all of the ingredients in a large container. Dunk a whisk in and out to combine the flours. Put a lid on and shake, spin, flip . . . then use the whisk again to be sure the mixture is uniform.
See the notes in the recipe for a more simple DIY gluten-free flour blend or my post on gluten-free flour mixes and blends.
Carrot Cupcake Ingredients
Shredded Carrot – I like time-saving tips. so store bought shredded carrots can save a lot of time for this impatient chef. But store-bought shredded carrots are thick and somewhat dry . . . my guess is that they remove some of the moisture to keep them fresh longer. And the thick, long shreds . . . not good for a delicate cake. So two options-either chop the store-bought shredded carrots a little before adding them or shred your own.
Applesauce – The applesauce does a couple of things for these cupcakes. First it adds moisture without making them heavy. Second, the the hint of apple flavor is a great combination with the carrot and cinnamon.
Spices – Of course these cupcakes have a good helping of cinnamon. I also add some ground ginger and a pinch or two of ground clove. If you want to use fresh ginger, that is a fantastic addition. Add 2 tsps freshly grated ginger, grated on a microplane, with the wet ingredients. Really, any of the warm spices will work in this recipe so add or replace with your favorite. Ground nutmeg, allspice and pumpkin pie spice blends will all work. The best source for certified, gluten-free spices is Spicely Organics. You may have seen them at your market in the little green boxes.
This cupcake recipe makes 12 standard size cupcakes (I love this cupcake pan with a lid) and can be mixed by hand (no electricity needed) in just 15 minutes. Use store bought shredded carrots to save the time and the mess of shredding your own. No milk, dairy or milk substitutes are needed – this recipe is totally dairy-free.
Carrot Cupcake Toppings
I recommend frosting these cupcakes as soon as they are cooled. This will help keep them moist and fresh.
Frosting – Of course the traditional carrot cake topping is my pipeable cream cheese frosting. I think this is such a good idea. I love the tart cream cheese flavor with the sweet and spicy cake. For something new and different, try my sweet potato frosting without powdered sugar – sweetened only with maple syrup. Here is an alternative if you prefer a traditional vanilla buttercream frosting recipe.
Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting (Dairy-Free) – I don’t do very much vegan baking, but I wanted to offer a frosting without dairy since the cupcakes are dairy-free. My friend from Gutsy Baker was kind enough to share her recipe with me.
- Whip 1/3 c softened vegan cream cheese (Violife brand works best) with 3 Tbsps unsalted Earth Balance buttery stick.
- Add 1 1/2 c powdered sugar and beat until smooth.
- Add 1 tsp vanilla and beat briefly to combine.
- Spread on the cupcakes. The frosting may be too soft for piping.
But how about taking it one step further? What if I add more tart and spicy zing. This Cherry Ginger compote turns these cupcakes into a show-stopping holiday-worthy dessert. And it so easy.
Fluffy, Moist Carrot Cake Cupcakes (Gluten-Free)
Gluten-Free Carrot Cake Cupcakes
- 2 eggs room temp is best
- ½ c sugar
- ½ c brown sugar
- ⅓ c oil
- ⅓ c unsweetened applesauce
- 2 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla powder
- 1⅓ c shredded carrot* 2-3 large carrots
- 1⅓ c gluten-free flour blend*
- 1½ tsp cinnamon
- ¾ tsp xanthan gum omit if your flour blend contains it
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp ground ginger or 2 tsp grated fresh ginger
- 1-2 pinches ground clove your preference
- Pre-heat the oven to 350°F. Line a muffin tin with paper liners.
- This recipe can easily be mixed by hand.
- In a small mixing bowl beat the eggs, sugars, oil, applesauce and vanilla until smooth.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk the dry ingredients together.
- Add the wet ingredient mixture to the dry and stir until smooth.
- Stir in the shredded carrot.
- I highly recommend letting the batter sit for 10 minutes. This will help significantly with the cupcakes rising and holding the rise.
- Heat the oven to 350°F and line your cupcake pans with paper liners.
- Divide the batter evenly between the liners.
- Bake 18-20 minutes. The cupcakes are done when the top is set and bounces back from a gentle tap.
- Cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.
- See above for a vegan cream cheese frosting recipe
- I highly recommend taking these cupcakes to the next level by topping them with a cherry ginger compote.