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Nothing beats a good carrot cake but by popular demand, I wanted to reinvent my classic recipe into these cute Gluten Free Carrot Cake Cupcakes. They are packed with walnuts, warming spices and flecks of carrot and topped with the best cream cheese frosting!

Gluten free carrot cake cupcakes are the perfect baking project and are usually a popular bake around Easter time.

I absolutely love my gluten free carrot cake recipe but when you don’t want the faff of decorating a big cake, these are perfect.

I’ve adapted my original recipe to create these easy gluten free cupcakes which are super fun to make and great for baking with kids.

The carrot cake base is gluten and dairy free and the easy, vanilla cream cheese frosting can be easily adapted to be dairy free too.

All you need are some basic ingredients and you’ll have a delicious gluten free cupcake on your plate in no time at all!

Gluten free carrot cake cupcakes
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Carrot Cake Cupcakes Ingredients

There’s a printable recipe card below but here are the main ingredients for the shopping list with ideas for subsitutions.

For the carrot cake cupcakes you will need:

  • Sunflower Oil – any neutral oil will work, so you can use vegetable oil or rapeseed oil if you prefer. I wouldn’t recommend olive oil or coconut oil as it will add too much of a taste to the carrot cake.
  • Eggs – I use large UK eggs in this recipe. I haven’t tried an egg substitute with this recipe yet to make it vegan.
  • Light Muscovado Sugar – Muscovado sugar is unrefined and adds a lovely, treacly texture and taste. You can use a light brown sugar if you prefer or this is all you have.
  • Carrots – I use 100g of carrot in this recipe which equates to around one medium carrot. You’ll need to coarsely grate it for this carrot cake recipe.
  • Plain Gluten Free Flour – You need a plain gluten free flour blend for this recipe. I use the FREEE plain gluten free flour which is a combination of flours including rice and buckwheat flour. In the US you’ll need an All Purpose GF flour. I wouldn’t recommend using single flours like rice, coconut or almond flours, you need a blend.
  • Baking Powder – Always ensure you use a gluten free baking powder as some contain wheat flour or have may contain warnings.
  • Spices – For this recipe I use a combination of ground cinnamon, ginger and allspice. You can mix these up depending on your preferences. I like it to be subtly spiced, not overpowering.
  • Walnuts – These add a gorgeous texture and flavour to the cake. I buy walnut pieces and roughly chop them myself. Pecans or pistachio nuts also work well.
Gluten free carrot cake cupcakes

For the cream cheese frosting you will need:

  • Cream Cheese – I ALWAYS recommend using a full-fat cream cheese for this recipe. Philadelphia is my preferred brand as it is really thick and creamy. If you use a cheaper brand you may find it goes more watery. Always make sure to drain any liquid from the cream cheese before adding it to the frosting.
  • Butter – Unsalted butter forms the base of this cream cheese frosting. It’s important this is at room temperature! Leave the butter out for a few hours (or overnight) before making this for super smooth frosting.
  • Icing Sugar – Otherwise called confectioner’s sugar in the US. This thickens the frosting and adds sweetness.
  • Vanilla Extract – You can omit this if you’re not a vanilla fan but I personally think it finishes the frosting off perfectly.

I also used some tiny carrot decorations I found in Sainsbury’s to top my cake which were gluten free with no ‘may contains’.

These are entirely optional – but just look how cute they are!

Gluten free carrot cake cupcakes

Carrot Cake Cupcakes FAQs

The full recipe card is below but in case you have any burning questions, let me help…

Are Carrot Cake Cupcakes gluten free?

Usually cupcakes are made with wheat flour which would make them unsuitable for someone on gluten free diet.

However, my recipe is 100% gluten free and safe for people with coeliac disease with barely any modifications.

The gluten-eaters will never know the difference!

Is this recipe dairy free / vegan?

My original carrot cake recipe was dairy free too – and this one is easily adaptable using the same swaps.

To make gluten free dairy free carrot cake cupcakes you’ll simply need to change the butter and cream cheese in the frosting for dairy free alternatives.

I recommend the Violife dairy free cream cheese and it’s nice and thick – and a harder vegan butter alternative.

The cake itself is made with oil instead of butter so is already dairy free.

This recipe does use eggs so is not vegan. I’ve not tried it with an egg replacer but this is the only thing you’d need to change apart from the above to make it vegan.

Gluten free carrot cake cupcakes

How long will these cupcakes keep?

I always recommend that my gluten free cupcake recipes will last up to a week in an airtight container.

As this one has fresh carrot and a cream cheese frosting, I’d recommend keeping it in the fridge if you need it any longer than about 3-4 days.

Can I freeze these gluten free cupcakes?

Yes! If you want to freeze these carrot cake cupcakes, I recommend doing so before decorating them.

Simply allow the baked cupcakes to cool and then freeze them in a tub. Defrost at room temperature and decorate before eating.

What if I want a full-size gluten free carrot cake?

Stumbled across this cupcake recipe but want a larger version of a gluten free carrot cake instead?

You can find my original gluten free carrot cake recipe here which will have the right quantities and cooking times for a larger cake.

And once you’ve given these a go why not try some of my other cupcake recipes, such as my chocolate cupcakes or my gluten free Oreo cupcakes?

Gluten free carrot cake cupcakes

My Gluten Free Carrot Cake Cupcakes Recipe

This recipe is enough to make 12 carrot cake cupcakes and has been adapted from my original gluten free carrot cake recipe.

You can easily scale this up if you want to make a bigger batch. They’re perfect for parties or rainy day activities for the holidays!

If you make this recipe and love it, please do let me know by tagging me on my Instagram or using #theglutenfreeblogger. I love seeing your bakes!

Gluten free carrot cake cupcakes
Yield: 12 cupcakes

Gluten Free Carrot Cake Cupcakes

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes


For the cupcakes

  • 125 ml sunflower oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 115 g light muscovado sugar
  • 100 g carrots, coarsely grated
  • 150 g gluten free plain white flour, I used Dove's Farm Freee
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 45 g walnuts, chopped or ground into chunks in a pestle and mortar

For the frosting

  • 150 g unsalted butter (room temperature)
  • 300 g icing sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 75 g full fat cream cheese

For topping (optional)

  • Handful walnuts (crushed or very finely chopped)
  • Carrot decorations


  1. Preheat the oven to 180'C/ Fan 160'C/ Gas Mark 4 and place cupcake cases in a 12-hole cupcake tin.
  2. Add the sugar, eggs and oil into a large mixing bowl and mix using an electric whisk until combined, and the mixture has thickened slightly.
  3. Fold in the grated carrot gently using a spatula. The add the flour, baking powder, spices and walnuts to the mix and stir well until combined.
  4. Spoon the batter evenly between the cake cases. Cook for around 20 minutes until the cakes are nicely risen and a golden-brown colour. Remove and cool on wire racks.
  5. Meanwhile, make the frosting. Add the butter, icing sugar and vanilla extract into a large bowl and mix with an electric whisk until blended and smooth. Add the cream cheese and blend again until combined.
  6. Decorate the cakes with the frosting however you choose, either piping it on or smoothing it on with a small palette knife. Decorate with extra crushed walnuts and carrot decorations, if you like.


  • I always recommend using full-fat cream cheese. The best is Philadelphia - I find some of the own brand supermarket ones can be quite runny. Drain any excess liquid off before adding to the frosting.
  • For a non-dairy-free option, use full fat cream cheese and unsalted butter for the cream cheese frosting.
  • Switch the walnuts for pecans or pistachios if you prefer.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

1 Servings

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 382Total Fat: 26gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 68mgSodium: 139mgCarbohydrates: 31gFiber: 1gSugar: 19gProtein: 7g


Here are some more gluten free cake recipes you can try out once you’ve made this gluten free Mini Egg Rocky Road recipe:

If you do make this recipe please let me know! I’d love to see your photos using #theglutenfreeblogger, share them in my Facebook group or tag me on Instagram. 

If you have any recipe suggestions, please let me know in the comments below what you’d like to see next!


Make sure you follow me on Pinterest and pin this recipe card below for later!

Gluten free carrot cake cupcakes

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About Sarah Howells

Hi, I'm Sarah! Diagnosed with coeliac disease 20 years ago, I'm on a mission to create the best gluten free recipes since sliced bread. No fruit salads or dry brownies here.

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