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Gluten Free Carrot Cake


This cake is based on a carrot cake recipe given to me many years ago by my onetime flatmate, Louise.  Over the years it has undergone various transformations: the original recipe was for a loaf cake, but when I moved into a farmhouse only equipped with a two door AGA cooker, I soon learned that loaf cakes requiring 40 minutes baking were a no go area, so it became a tray bake, and for school bake sales I replaced the simple dusting of icing sugar with a more eye catching cream cheese icing decorated with mini marzipan carrots. The final transformation was the replacement of wheat flour with our buckwheat flour, making the cake gluten free, but still moist and delicious.

The recipe calls for 1/4 teaspoon of cardamom seeds (the small dark seeds from inside the green seed pods).  This is a very distinctive flavour which I love, but if you are not keen on the flavour of cardamom you can omit these.

Gluten Free Carrot Cake




​170g butter or margarine

170g soft brown sugar

110g granulated sugar

2 eggs, beaten

225g buckwheat flour

1 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1/2 tsp gluten free baking powder

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp salt

230g carrots, peeled & grated

90g raisins

60g walnuts, chopped

1/4 tsp small cardamom seeds



​180g low fat cream cheese

80g softened butter

170g icing sugar

1 tsp grated orange rind

A few drops orange juice


  1. Sieve buckwheat flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, cinnamon & salt into a medium bowl and stir to mix

  2. In a large bowl cream together butter and sugars until light and fluffy

  3. Gradually add eggs, beating well between each addition

  4. Fold dry ingredients into the mixture

  5. Add nuts, raisins, carrots and cardamom seeds and mix well​

  6. Pour into a greased and lined 20cm x 30cm deep baking tray

  7. Bake in the centre of a preheated oven (180º C) for 25-30 mins until well risen and golden brown

  8. Allow to cool in tray then carefully lift out onto board

  9. Beat together all the topping ingredients until smooth, then spread evenly over the cake with a spatula.

  10. Cut into squares or rectangles and decorate as desired

  11. Chill before serving to set topping

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