This recipe Carrot and Pineapple Cake came about because I was updating an old recipe for Carrot Cake and wanted to have some carrot cake myself. I can no longer tolerate eggs or dairy (among other things) so the original recipe was no good for my dietary needs.
I thought I’d make more of a feature of the pineapple in the recipe too by adding candied pineapple to the frosting for decoration. It was a pleasant addition and if you make this recipe I’d recommend doing the same.
If you are new to baking gluten free and vegan you’re going to find this post really useful Ingredients and Simple Recipes for a Gluten Free Veganuary, the post is aimed at Veganuary but the same tips and advice apply all year round.
Why do we put carrot in cakes?
There are two main reasons I could could find during the course of my research to answer the question; why do we put carrot in cakes?
The first dates back 500 and more years. During this long history sugar prices fluctuated exponentially and so the poorer bakers and families had to find alternative ways to sweeten their bakes. Carrots are the sweetest of root vegetables without an over powering flavour, such as parsnip.
The second reason is for the moisture in the carrot. Adding the root vegetable makes bakes much more dense but deliciously moist at the same time. Of course, in gluten free baking we could all do with adding a bit of moisture into our lives!
There is a third reason, but this is more of a Millennial issue. We need to be eating 5-8 pieces of fruit and veg a day so this is a great way of hiding veggies in baked goods.
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Do I have to add pineapple to carrot cake?
In a word, No! You do not have to add pineapple to a carrot cake, I happen to add it because my husband prefers the pineapple version.
Typically you add crushed pineapple but this seems to be on the supermarket shelves less and less these days. I’ve heard of people referring to this cake as Hummingbird Cake when it has pineapple in it but that’s not technically true. This is a hybrid between a Carrot Cake and a Hummingbird Cake.
Carrot Cakes can often be found with raisins in them instead of pineapple, whilst the Hummingbird Cake uses banana instead of carrot and pineapple.
Could you just leave the pineapple out? Yes but like the grated carrot it adds moisture so if you did take out the pineapple, consider replacing with sultanas or raisins and adding a splash of milk to the mixture to get a wet dropping consistency.
How should I store this Carrot Cake?
I manage to keep these cakes for up to three days with no issue. I keep in a Tupperware container on the kitchen worksurface out of direct sunlight. If after 2 days you find the cake is a bit harder then why not pop into the microwave for 10 seconds. That’s literally all you need to freshen the cake up, plus you get a delicious soft frosting that melts into the cake making it more of a pudding.
Other fruit inspired gluten free bakes
Carrot and Pineapple Cake Recipe
If you make it and like the recipe I would be eternally grateful if you popped back and commented leaving a star rating as this will tell search engines that this recipe is worth checking out and others will get to find it in searches.
Gluten Free Carrot and Pineapple Cake
- 350 g gluten free self raising flour
- 250 g soft dark brown sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- 120 g melted dairy free butter (I use Flora plant based butter) I use Flora Plant Blocks
- 2 tbsp ground flaxseed
- 1 tsp psyllium husk powder (optional)
- 250 g finely grated carrots approx. 2 large carrots
- 350 g cubed pineapple drained (keep the juice)
- 60 g butter or butter alternative (I use Flora plant butter) softened
- 60 g dairy free cream cheese
- 200 g icing/confectioners sugar
- 1 tsp pineapple juice
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 30 g candied pineapple pieces optional
- Add all the dry ingredients to a large bowl (the flour, spices, flaxseed and psyllium husk) and stir with a whisk to combine
- Next add the wet ingredients; the melted 'butter', pineapple, carrots and get stuck in and stir with a big wooden spoon – that's it!
- The mixture will be very wet and sloppy, don't fear, it's supposed to be like that.Pour into two prepared round cake tins (it works out approx. 670g mixture per tin) and bake in an oven on 180°C | 160°C fan | 350°F | Gas 4 for 35mins.
- Once the cake has a soft bounce to the touch and a wooden toothpick comes out clean you can remove from the oven. Wait for cake to completely cool.
To make the icing
- To make icing add all the ingredients to a bowl and beat until smooth and creamy.
- Using half the icing spread over one cake, then sandwich both sponges together and use the remaining icing to spread over the top of the cake.
- On this occasion I decorated with some candied pineapple pieces, it's entirely up to you what you decorate the top of the cake with.
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