Baby A’s First Birthday Cake (Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Sugar Free Carrot Cake)

How quickly time flies! Baby A is fast approaching her first birthday, and I am fast approaching the end of my maternity leave. I’ll still be blogging regularly, but whether I find the time for so many ‘Kitchen Projects’ remains to be seen – I certainly won’t have the kind of time I devoted to getting this recipe right!

After 4 tries, I’m particularly proud of this one. It’s not as sweet as a cake with refined sugar, but it’s pretty darn close, so of course it *does* contain sugar, but only the kind from the fruit that’s in it – no funky ingredients starting with ‘x’ here! It’s also gluten free (for me) and dairy free (for her), but I defy you to notice the difference! It has just the right ‘cakey’ crumb, a proper rise and is deliciously moist – just like a proper carrot cake should be. I’ve also included some suggestions to make this suitable for other allergies. I hope you enjoy it as much as Baby A does.

Download the free Carrot Cake Recipe Card

‘Everything but the Sugar’ Super Fruity Carrot Cake

Makes a 2lb loaf cake (I doubled this quantity for a layered cake)



  • 100g apple purée (I made my own using the skins too, but you could buy the baby sachets)
  • 60g groundnut oil
  • 100g mixed dried fruit (I used equal quantities of apricots, prunes and sultanas)
  • 100g pineapple chunks
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 75g gluten free self raising flour
  • 75g walnut pieces, blitzed to a fine crumb (or use ground almonds)
  • 75g desiccated coconut
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 1 ½ medium carrots, grated (about 100g)


  1. Preheat the oven to 175ºc, grease and line your tin.
  2. Put the apple purée, oil, dried fruit, pineapple and eggs into a food processor, and whizz until the fruit has been thoroughly chopped and the mixture is frothy and glossy.
  3. Mix the remaining ingredients well, then fold into the wet mixture.
  4. Pour the cake batter into the tin, and cook for 35-40 minutes, until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  5. Remove the cake from the tin and leave to cool on a wire rack.
  6. Decorate with your preferred icing – I used mango and cashew cream.


Suggested Variations

  • For an egg free cake, substitute the eggs with a large mashed banana. This will give a slightly denser, but nonetheless delicious cake. Alternatively, use your preferred egg replacer.
  • For a nut free cake, use melted coconut or olive oil in place of the groundnut oil, and replace the walnuts with extra flour.
  • For a grain free cake, replace the flour with ground almonds. You may need to reduce the oil.
  • If you don’t need to avoid gluten, replace the gluten free flour with normal flour. You may need slightly more.

3 responses to “Baby A’s First Birthday Cake (Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Sugar Free Carrot Cake)

  1. Pingback: The Gluten Free B 2014 Roundup | gluten free b·

  2. Pingback: What I Ate Wednesday – December | gluten free b·

  3. If I wanted to make this as a bigger, round cake do I just double thwanted recipe? Cooking time the same?
    I’m thinking a 20cm springform pan?
    Looks amazing!!!!

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