Easy Gluten-Free Pistachio and Carrot Cakes

13 Nov

I have a few friends who need to eat gluten-free and I often have trouble catering for them. I recently discovered that White Wings has both plain and self-raising gluten-free flour and they’re available in my local supermarket here in regional Queensland. This recipe worked beautifully, and you can hardly tell the difference. They were just a tiny bit more delicate than when made with regular flour, so just be careful handling them.

Individual Gluten-free Pistachio and Carrot Cakes

Individual Gluten-free Pistachio and Carrot Cakes


185g softened butter
1 1/2 cups caster sugar
3 eggs
2 cups grated carrot (about 4 smallish carrots)
¾ cup chopped pistachios, unsalted, or washed
¾ cup gluten-free plain flour
¾ cup gluten-free self-raising flour (Note: I found White Wings gluten-free plain and self-raising flour in the health/gluten-free section of my local Coles)
1 ½ teaspoons mixed spice – or double that for zingier cakes!
(Note: you can buy ‘mixed  spice’ in the spice section, or just use a mix of ground spices like cinnamon  & nutmeg, and you can add some ground cloves or ginger if you like.)


100g Philly spreadable cream cheese
30g softened butter
1 ¼ cups icing sugar
Zest of 1 lemon (zest is the grated skin of a lemon – use the finest part of your grater, being careful to get only the yellow skin, not the white pith underneath).
¼ – ⅓ cup chopped pistachios for sprinkling on top.

How to:

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.

2. Cream the butter and sugar together in a large bowl using an electric mixer, until light and fluffy.

3. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each one.

4. Stir in the grated carrot and the chopped pistachios.

5. Sift in all the dry ingredients (flours & spices). Stir all together until thoroughly mixed.

6. Pour the mixture evenly into the muffin cases in the muffin tray and bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Let the cakes cool a bit before icing them.

7. To make the icing, add the cream cheese and butter to a bowl, and sift the icing sugar on top. You can mix either with a spoon or whisk, or with an electric mixer, until combined. Stir in the lemon zest. Spread on top of the cakes and sprinkle the remaining grated pistachios on top.


Pistachios: you can find these already shelled and unsalted in some stores, but not where I live. I buy the shelled, salted kind from the fruit & veg section, and then shell the lot by hand (eating a few as I go!) then wash them in a sieve and dry them on a bit of paper towel before use. I also use my trusty stab mixer’s chopper attachment to chop them up into 2-3mm size bits really fast.

Cake or loaf: You can use this recipe to make a round carrot cake or loaf, you will just need to adjust the cooking time to about 1 hour, and test it with a skewer inserted right into the middle, to check if it is done. If the skewer comes out cleanly and the cake looks golden brown, it is ready.


2 Responses to “Easy Gluten-Free Pistachio and Carrot Cakes”

  1. Tom Baker November 13, 2011 at 11:14 pm #

    I don’t have to eat gluten free but I think the addition of pistachios to my carrot cake recipe will make a wonderful addition. I am already addicted to pistachios anyway!

    • cooking4cheats November 14, 2011 at 7:10 pm #

      They’re great, aren’t they Tom! I tried them once, just because I didn’t have any walnuts, and they were a real winner. I love the colour too, it adds a whole new element to a carrot cake.

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