Baby Birthday Carrot Cake

12 November 2011

The carrot cake recipe I made for the boy’s birthday came from a dm baby bonus brochure and was suggested as an ideal 1st birthday cake as it is low in allergens, containing neither eggs nor milk nor butter. Since I can’t eat wheat, I also replaced the wholewheat flour from the recipe with gluten free flour. I’ve been using the gluten free flour mix from Schär, which contains maize flour and maize starch, with guar flour and dextrose as thickening agents. Schär also do a gluten free flour specifically for baking, which contains different thickening agents, but I tend to buy this one as it’s an all rounder.

The recipe warns that the dough is very dense, and I was doubtful when it came out the oven as it felt a bit heavy and brick like. But it turns out that the boy absolutely loves it and it doesn’t taste as heavy as it feels. And it quickly becomes apparent why this particular texture is an ideal cake for babies – if you’ve ever given a baby a piece of regular ‘grown up’ cake, you’ve probably discovered that at least half of it ends up as crumbs on the floor as the cake just seems to dissolve in baby’s hands. This cake, however, while not completely crumb free, is a lot more sturdy.

So, in summary, the cake was a big success and I would fully recommend the recipe (though next time the husband gets to grate all those carrots!). As an added bonus, it’s suitable for vegetarians and vegans. Anyway, here it is (slightly adapted from the original):


  • 400g finely grated carrots
  • 200g cane sugar
  • 180ml rape seed oil (you can use any other vegetable oil)
  • 1 level tablespoon cream of tartar (or gluten free baking powder if you can fund any)
  • grated peel and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 400g gluten free flour

(if you don’t need to bake gluten free, you can of course use regular flour and baking powder)


  • Preheat the oven to 200°C (180° C for a fan oven).
  • In a bowl, combine all the ingredients to a dough. Since the dough is so dense, I actually found it easiest to do it with a fork rather than a mixer, as the dough just got stuck in it.
  • Spread the dough in to a cake tin of your choice (I used a Gugelhupf tin). To prevent the cake from sticking, I would recommend greasing the tin with margarine and shaking it out with some flour.
  • Bake for 45-60 minutes. If it’s not quite done but starting to go brown, cover it up with some tin foil.
  • For older children you could sprinkle it with some icing sugar or mix some icing sugar and lemon juice to make a quick glaze, but if, like us, you’re still keeping your little one away from too much sugar and sweeties then it tastes just as good straight from the tin.

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