This incredible vegan gluten-free carrot cake recipe will knock your socks off! Uses simple whole food ingredients and 15 minutes of prep.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Silk. The opinions and text are all mine.
This recipe was originally published on 3/24/16
We are carrot cake obsessed, and this easy recipe did not disappoint! The hardest part (read I’m lazy) is grating those carrots. So grate a lot, and save them because you will want this over and over again.
The flavor in this vegan carrot cake recipe is insanely amazing. With a pillowy soft texture and perfectly moist middle, good luck having only one slice!
The basis of this cake is mostly whole foods. I tested and trialed different combinations of things to get the perfect flavor and texture that you’d find in a regular carrot cake. Here’s what I ended up with:
- Oat flour
- Almond flour
- Baking powder
- Apple sauce
- Apple cider vinegar
- Grated carrots
- Optional chopped nuts
How To Make Vegan Carrot Cake
As I mentioned, the hardest part about making this carrot cake is grating those dang carrots. Once that’s done, here’s what you’ll need to do:
- Mix combine dry ingredients.
- Stir in the apple sauce, milk and apple cider vinegar.
- Fold in the carrots and nuts (if using).
- Pour into a cake pan.
- Decorate as desired (or don’t!) and enjoy!
This cake is scrumptious as is, but for some extra flavor or a pretty presentation try the following:
- Frost with Vanilla or Cream Cheese Frosting.
- Add some shredded coconut on top of the frosting.
- Spread some homemade Coconut Butter on a warm slice of unfrosted cake.
Also, I don’t know about you, but when it comes to cake I need something to wash it down with. And my go to is Silk Cashew milk, creamy and thirst quenching!
Tips and tricks
For the perfect vegan carrot cake, check out these suggestions:
- Cane sugar gives the best flavor to this carrot cake. You can use coconut sugar instead but it will give you a deeper flavor that won’t be as sweet.
- You can cut out the ginger and cloves and just use more cinnamon if you prefer.
- Watch the fat content of the milk you use, you don’t want it too high or the cake will be too sticky and moist.
- If you use the nuts know your cake will be a little more sticky and moist due to the fat content of the nuts so you may want to add less milk.
- If you’re frosting the cake, make sure to let it cool completely first. I like to make the frosting fresh while the cake is baking.
- To grate the carrots, you can use a handheld cheese grater. But better yet, if you have food processor with a grating attachment be sure to use that to save yourself the effort!
- Make this cake into cupcakes! Just pour the batter evenly into a prepared muffin tin and bake! You’ll need to reduce the baking time though to around 15 minutes, but keep checking until a toothpick comes out clean.
- When you’re grating the carrots, grate a few extra and make No Bake Carrot Energy Balls with the leftovers!
- For the best texture you need accuracy with the flours. Which is why I include precise weights. If you don’t have a scale, then you can purchase this fairly inexpensive one.
- If you prefer to measure, then measure the flours by scooping your measuring cup into the flour versus spooning it into it. This is how I measured when getting my weights.
- This cake is finicky due to the moisture the carrots give. Make sure to look at the notes in the recipe before you bake!
Whether you want to make your cake ahead of time, or (less likely) end up with leftovers, here’s how to store it:
- This Vegan Carrot Cake will stay fresh if sealed at room temperature for 2-3 days.
- You can also keep it in an airtight container for up to a week in the refrigerator.
- If you want to save this even longer, wrap the cake well in plastic wrap, then in a freezer safe airtight container and freeze up to three months.
What makes something healthy, cake, cookies or salad for that matter, is what you put inside of it. If the ingredients are mostly whole foods, and foods that you’d eat on a regular basis, then heck yes it’s healthy!
A couple adjustments from traditional cake make this recipe on the healthier side. Regular white flour was replaced by a gluten-free combo I made up of oat and almond. While gluten-free doesn’t make something healthy, the oat and almond flour are nutrient rich.
Also, the fat from the butter was replaced by the almond flour.
Either using a cheese grater (watch those fingers!) or with a grating attachment on a food processor.
Traditionally, Cream Cheese Frosting is used, but you can use vanilla or any other flavor you like.
Carrot cake should be stored in an airtight container either on the counter, in the refrigerator, or in the freezer.
Carrot cake will last at room temp for 2-3 days, in the fridge for up to a week, and in the freezer for 3 months.
Yes, you can freeze carrot cake! Wrap the cake in plastic wrap then store in an airtight freezer safe container.
Carrot cake can be too crumbly for a number of reasons. One of which is already solved in this recipe, carrots can sometimes affect the gluten in cake mix which can make it crumbly. But, since this recipe avoids gluten you shouldn’t have that problem.
Also, make sure to accurately measure your ingredients (see tips), and not over mix or over bake your cake.
More Vegan Cake Recipes
If cakes are your thing but you strive to eat mostly whole foods, I’ve got you covered! Check out these other plant based cakes:
- Gluten-Free Chocolate Lava Cake
- Vegan Gluten-Free Strawberry Shortcake
- Chocolate Zucchini Cake
- Ice Cream Cupcakes
- Vanilla Cupcakes
- Pumpkin Cupcakes
- Vegan Chocolate Lava Cake
Vegan Gluten-Free Carrot Cake Recipe
- 1 ¼ cup oat flour
- ¾ cup almond flour
- 1 cup cane sugar , see note
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 4 teaspoons cinnamon , see note
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger , optional (see note)
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves , optional (see note)
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 6 tablespoons unsweetened apple sauce
- ¼ cup cashew milk , or other dairy free milk of choice (see note)
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 ½ cups grated carrots , about 2 large carrots
- ½ cup chopped walnuts or pecans , optional (see note)
To top, optional:
- Cream cheese frosting
- Vanilla frosting
- Shredded coconut
- Preheat oven to 350 F/ 175 C.
- Put flours, sugar, baking powder, seasonings and salt into a medium bowl. Whisk to mix and break up any clumps.
- Make a little well in the middle and add in the apple sauce, milk and vinegar.
- Mix again to combine and get a smooth batter.
- Fold in the carrots and nuts.
- Pour into a square or round cake pan (8 or 9 inches will work). Bake for about 35 minutes, start checking at 32, a toothpick should come out clean with a few crumbs on it. If you are making cupcakes start checking at 25 minutes. My cupcakes took around 28-30.
- Frost or eat as is!
- I trialed these with many different sugars and cane sugar gave the best flavor. You can use coconut sugar but it will give you a deeper flavor that won’t be as sweet.
- You can add another 1/4 cup of sugar if you want it sweeter especially if you don’t use frosting.
- You can cut out the ginger and cloves and use more cinnamon if you want to cut down ingredients and simplify.
- You can use any milk you want but canned coconut milk has more fat than others so it will make this cake much more moist and sticky.
- Nuts are optional, if you use them your cake will be more moist due to the fat so you may want to use 1 tablespoon less milk.
- This makes ONE layer of cake. If you want a multi-layer cake make sure to multiply the recipe by however many layers you are making.
- This can be made as 10 cupcakes. To make these as cupcakes bake between 25-30 minutes, start check at 25.
- Nutrition info does not include the frosting and or nuts.
- Servings are based on a square pan and cutting it into 16 square pieces.
Recipe by Veggies Don’t Bite, visit our site for more great plant-based recipes.