The best ever Carrot Zucchini Cake with Chocolate Sour Cream Frosting that just so happens to be gluten free. Filled with carrots, raisins, and pecans and flavored with cinnamon and nutmeg. Topped with a slightly tangy, smooth sour cream chocolate frosting.
You know what’s so disappointing???
When you buy a bag of those cute little baby carrots (because anything baby is cute) and they taste awful. I’ve decided that there are three types of failure bags you can buy:
There is the slimy…haha, accidentally wrote smiley at first (that would be creepy)…eh hem…the SLIMY bag, where all the carrots are just…well…slimy. It doesn’t matter how much you rinse them, they seem to have this never-ending film.
Then there is the bitter bag. The bags filled with carrots that have a bitter, almost chemically taste to every. single. carrot. They’re so gross they almost make me nauseous, but I refuse to barf up carrots. They are the carrots that can’t even be fixed by dunking them in a pool of Ranch.
And lastly there is the mystery bag.
Now this bag is tricky.
You start off with a few slightly sweet, perfectly crisp carrots. They get your taste buds going and you begin to munch a little faster, eating each carrot in one big bite.
You become comfortable. Too comfortable. Those babies have convinced you that they are a good batch.
So, you let your guard down and…BAM! Gag!!! You’ve just popped an entire awfully disgusting, bitter carrot into your mouth and all you can do is gag it down or politely (as if) spit it in the trash can. Ick!
There is nothing quite like being betrayed by a bag of carrots…okay so maybe I’m being a little overdramatic???
But, for all the carrot betrayals I’ve faced in my life, all carrots big and small, young and old, orange, yellow or purple…you have been forgiven.
You have been redeemed!
It’s time to praise carrots everywhere because this Carrot Zucchini Cake with Chocolate Sour Cream Frosting has to be the very best dessert I have ever made!
Yes, ever. As in pre-gluten free baking craze.
I have never made anything more delicious. It’s done. I quit. Nothing can compare.
Eh, but then life would be boring. So I’ll keep baking.
But really, this cake takes the cake.
Instead of using all shredded carrots, I opted for 1 cup shredded zucchini and 2 cups shredded carrots. Praise the zucchini! Because not only were the little flecks of pretty green, but the cake turned out so super moist. The texture was spot on!
Now, I don’t like to have to chew my carrots in my carrot cake. I want the carrot flavor and a bit of texture, but who wants raw carrots in their cake??? In this recipe I shredded the carrots super fine so they would cook through and not leave any crunch in the cake.
But crunch isn’t all bad, right?! Uh, of course not. That’s why I added some pecan pieces. They very much wanted to join the party. So I let them.
I also let a bunch of juicy raisins do their thang, hanging with the homies.
So recap: super moist cake spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg, a mixture of perfectly cooked pretty speckles of carrots and zucchini, and variety of texture with crunchy pecans and plump raisins.
Yeah, that’s about right.
Wait! No it’s not.
Cake is NOT cake without frosting. No arguing this fact. It’s a FACT.
Yeah, yeah, yeah. Carrot cake = cream cheese frosting. Blah. Of course it’s good. Everyone knows it’s good, but be a little adventurous why don’t ya?!
You know what else is
Carrot cake covered in Chocolate Sour Cream Frosting! Sha-bam!
This frosting is slightly tangy, like you would get from a cream cheese frosting, but is so light, creamy, and smooth. It has a rich chocolate flavor that pops against the subtle spice of the cake.
So, so good.
And now I’m crying. Not really, but I should be.
This cake is gone. All gone.
I served it to my church youth group tonight. Not a single piece left. Sniffle.
RIP in the bellies of some very sweet and very spunky teenage girls. Until next time my forgiven friend.
What are your carrot cake secrets?
- ¾ cup melted butter (1½ sticks)
- 2 cups loosely packed finely shredded carrots
- 1 cup tightly packed shredded zucchini
- 3 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 cup raisins
- ½ cup pecan pieces
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup brown rice flour
- ½ cup potato starch
- ⅓ cup coconut flour
- ½ cup gluten free oat flour
- 2 tablespoons tapioca starch
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon xanthan gum
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- 1½ cups granulated sugar
- ½ cup light brown sugar
- For the Chocolate Sour Cream Frosting:
- 1 stick plus 2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
- 4½ cups powdered sugar
- pinch of salt
- ½ cup sour cream (I used light)
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease and flour, with brown rice flour, 2 standard round 9" cake pans. Set aside.
- Begin making cake by melting butter in the microwave. Remove and allow to cool. While butter is cooling, shred your zucchini and carrots.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine melted butter, eggs, and vanilla. Whisk together until combined. Add zucchini, carrots, raisins, and nuts. Mix until combined and set aside.
- In another mixing bowl, sift together brown rice flour, potato starch, coconut flour, oat flour, tapioca starch, baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, sugar, and brown sugar. Once mixed together, add dry ingredients to wet and stir with a spoon or spatula until evenly combined and all batter is wet.
- Divide batter equally between cake pans and bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until tops of cakes spring back with touch of a finger and toothpick inserted into centers comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool on cooling racks for 10 minutes. Place a cooling rack on top of one cake pan and gently flip cake out of pan onto cooling rack. Place another cooling rack on top of cake and holding both cooking racks, flip again so that cake ends up right side up. Repeat with second cake. Allow to cool completely.
- To make frosting beat butter until smooth. Add 2 cups of powdered sugar and beat until combined and paste forms. Add salt, sour cream, lemon juice, and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Add remaining powdered sugar and beat until smooth. Add cocoa powder and mix until combined. Beat on high for and additional 2 minutes.
- Frost cake by placing one cake onto platter and frosting the top. Place second cake on top of frosting and then frost tops and sides of cake. Sprinkle top of cake with chopped pecans.