Are you looking for a spiced Layered Carrot Cake recipe that’s flavorful, soft, moist, absolutely mouthwatering and topped with Cream Cheese Frosting? Here is your recipe. Each bite is packed with crushed pineapple, unsweetened applesauce, shredded carrots, ground spices, and a luscious frosting.
Easter is just weeks away, and we can’t wait to share this classic homemade Easter recipe with you.
This cake recipe has been a hit in our home, and we know it will be in yours too.
In this recipe we’ll walk you step by step through preparing this delicious carrot cake and cream cheese frosting recipe.
And keep in mind we use the same Carrot Cake recipe for this layered cake as we do for our Carrot Cake Bars in a 9 x 13-inch baking pan. Both cream cheese frosting recipes are interchangeable as well.
You can always check out that recipe if you’re short on time or are looking for the ultimate easy carrot cake.
So if the idea of preparing and baking and frosting a layered cake from scratch might seem intimidating or overwhelming you can use delicious recipe for a 9×13-inch baking pan.
layered carrot cake ingredients
- gluten free all-purpose flour— our go-to is Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1 to 1 Baking Flour. We purchase it in bulk here to save money. This blend does contain xanthan gum.
- xanthan gum–omit if your gluten free all purpose blend contains this or guar gum
- granulated sugar
- baking soda— this loses its potency after 6 months. We recommend labeling your container when you open a new one to keep track
- baking powder— see note above
- ground cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and allspice— always double check ground spices are gluten and dairy free
- unsweetened applesauce
- canned crushed pineapple
- oil— we use grapeseed oil; vegetable oil works too
- large eggs— you can use your egg substitute in this recipe
- vanilla extract
- shredded carrots
- chopped walnuts or pecans— nuts are optional. And if desired, extra nuts can be sprinkled to the top of the frosted cake for a delicious taste and look
- golden raisins— another optional ingredient. You can also add in another 1/2 cup of raisins if desired.
cream cheese frosting ingredients
- cream cheese— we stock Kite Hill Cream Cheese in our refrigerator for this cream cheese frosting recipe. The Kite Hill Cream Cheese is soy free and vegan too.
- dairy free butter— Earth Balance Buttery Sticks in the red box are our go-to. This is also soy free and vegan.
- powdered sugar
- vanilla extract
- optional extra chopped walnuts or pecans— to sprinkle around the top of the cake
- note— to frost the sides of this cake with the cream cheese frosting double the frosting measurements
- for best results— before icing this cake refrigerate the frosting at least 20 minutes or overnight
layered carrot cake recipe tips
- cake pans— this recipe works perfectly with three 9-inch cake pans, available here or a 9×13-inch baking pan
- angled spatula— we use these in our kitchen every week and have several different sizes; they’re truly a kitchen gadget must
- cake stand— serve this gorgeous cake on a special cake stand or cake plate. We enjoy finding these treasures at garage sales and thrift stores
- this recipe was adapted from a traditional carrot cake recipe by Rachel at The Stay at Home Chef blog here. We absolutely love her website and traditional recipes. A few necessary changes were made for this recipe to be enjoyed by the gluten, dairy, and soy free community. Note we also increased the crushed pineapple amount because Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1 to 1 Baking Flour tends to really absorb the liquids. Extra was needed to maintain this cake’s moist taste.
do I have to use raisins
No. Feel free to skip the raisins if they aren’t your thing.
are the nuts a must
No, these can also be skipped in the recipe. There is plenty of amazing cake flavor from the applesauce, pineapple, and shredded carrots without adding in nuts or raisins.
can this cake be baked ahead of time
YES! Another beautiful part of this cake recipe is it’s best when baked, iced, and refrigerated ahead of time. This Carrot Cake can be baked and iced up to 1-2 days ahead of serving.
And leftovers will keep covered in the refrigerator up to 4 days later.
Easter time recipes everyone loves
- creamy mashed potatoes— we’ve enjoyed this recipe for years. You’ll find this secret ingredient you already have on hand makes this side potato dish extra creamy.
- green bean casserole— this homemade side dish tastes so, so wonderful. It’s the ultimate cozy casserole every holiday meal needs. And the gluten free fried crispy onions add wonderful crunch and taste to this must-have dish.
- lemon poppy seed bread— you won’t believe how good this bakery-style loaf tastes. With the lemon and poppy seed combination each slice is wonderful and always a hit.
- pecan pie bars— don’t limit these delicious bars to just the fall. We bake these year-round because they’re that good.
- carrot cake bars with brown sugar cream cheese frosting— these easy bars are baked in a classic 9×13-inch pan everyone will enjoy. And this brown sugar cream cheese frosting recipe tastes wonderful.
- chocolate cream pie— always a hit on the dessert table, this delicious pie can be made a day or two ahead of time
- Easter Basket Ideas— you’ll find so many safe and delicious ideas your loved ones will be ecstatic to find in their Easter baskets
- DIY Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups— you can’t go to the store this time of year without seeing Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups everywhere. Now you can DIY at home with safe ingredients.
yummy summertime desserts to pin now
- oreo milkshakes— nothing like a refreshing cookies and cream milkshake on a hot summer day. Make these safely at home for the whole family.
- ice cream cake— an easy summer cake for birthdays or BBQ’s. Everyone loves this layered cake.
- blueberry galettes— easier than homemade pie, this rustic galette recipe is mouthwatering and delicious
- oreo ice cream cake— enjoy a safe DQ ice cream cake at home with this frozen ice cream cake sure to delight everyone
Enjoy this spiced, soft, and moist Layered Carrot Cake recipe topped with a delicious homemade Cream Cheese frosting and sprinkled with chopped nuts.
We know this cake will become a family favorite and must-have every spring.
And keep in mind this recipe is not only gluten and dairy free, it’s also soy free.
Once you’ve tried this recipe please rate and comment below. We would love to hear your experience.
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We don’t want you to miss out on the best of eating gluten and dairy free.
Eat well and feel well,
Layered Carrot Cake
- 3 c all-purpose gluten free flour suggestion in post
- 2 tsp xanthan gum omit if your flour blend contains this or gaur gum
- 2 c granulated sugar
- 3 tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground cloves
- 1 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 tsp ground allspice
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 c unsweetened applesauce
- 1¼ c crushed pineapple lightly drained
- ½ c vegetable or grapeseed oil
- 5 large eggs room temperature
- 1½ tsp vanilla extract
- 3 c shredded carrots
- 2 c chopped walnuts or pecans optional
- 1 c golden raisins optional
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 8 oz dairy free cream cheese suggestion in post
- ½ c dairy free butter 1 stick, room temperature
- 3 c powdered sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- optional- chopped walnuts or pecans to top frosting
Layered Carrot Cake
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease three 9 inch cake pans. Then dust with gluten free flour and tap out excess flour. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the gluten free flour, xanthan gum if needed, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, allspice, and salt.
- Now add in the applesauce, crushed pineapple, oil, eggs or egg replacement, and vanilla extract.
- Using a hand mixer or large spoon, combine at least 1-2 minutes, or until well mixed. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Next by hand stir in the shredded carrots, nuts, and raisins.
- Then pour cake batter evenly into the three cake pans.
- Transfer to the oven and bake individually for 60 minutes. If baking two cakes at a time adjust the baking time.
- When the cake tester comes out clean, remove cakes from the oven and place on a cooling rack. Allow the cakes to cool completely before frosting. These cakes can be prepared and refrigerated overnight before icing and assembling.
Cream Cheese Frosting
- In a medium size bowl, mix together the butter and cream cheese until smooth.
- Then place the powdered sugar and vanilla extract into the bowl and cream again until smooth, about 2 minutes.
- Transfer to the refrigerator and allow to set for at least 20 minutes or overnight.
- Remove cakes from the cake pan by turning the cake pan upside down over your hand and giving gently tapping on the cake pan with your other hand. If needed use a dull knife to slice around the inside of the cakepan next to the cake.
- Then place one cake in the middle of a cake plate. Using an angled spatula lightly frost the top of the cake.
- Then transfer the second cake on top and again frost the top of the cake.
- Next add the last cake layer. Using the remaining frosting, ice the top of the cake.
- Lastly decorate by sprinkling chopped nuts over the top of the cake, refrigerate and serve. Cover well and refrigerate leftovers up to 4 days.
- Note 1- to frost the side of the cake double the cream cheese frosting ingredients. Frost the side after the cake has been assembled, but before icing the very top cake.
- Note 2- This cake and frosting tastes best when prepared the day before serving. And this cake can be prepared up to 2 days before serving.