The easiest vegan carrot cake that is completely gluten free and refined sugar free! Incredibly moist and lightly sweet, it’s sure to be a crowd pleaser!
As weird as it sounds, carrot cake is actually such a comfort food for me, and this simple vegan carrot cake definitely lives up to it!
With a dairy free vegan cream cheese frosting, no one will be able to notice that this vegan carrot cake is actually completely gluten free and refined sugar free as well!
Pretty cool, right?
But the real test was making sure my dad enjoyed it. Carrot cake is (oddly) his favorite cake of all time, so I wanted to make sure that this healthy carrot cake would pass his high standards 😉
Now, my dad is not one to like many gluten free and/or vegan creations, but I’m going to be honest, carrot cake is one of his weaknesses.
I mean, he loves carrot cake. So when I brought him a slice of this carrot cake, I knew it was the make or break moment, the real moment of truth as to whether this cake stands up to its traditional counterpart.
The verdict? Even better.
The Ultimate Healthy Carrot Cake
I absolutely love how lightly sweet this gluten free vegan carrot cake is; it doesn’t need much sweetener because we’re using a few of my favorite ingredients in this cake.
It’s one of those cakes that both kids and adults will enjoy, all while getting some good beta-carotene in 😉
So let’s get into the ingredients for this vegan carrot cake! Because there are a few ingredients that, yes, they’re common in the kitchen, but I’m betting you probably have never tried them in a carrot cake 😉
Vegan Carrot Cake Ingredients
For this healthier carrot cake, you’ll need a few key ingredients:
- Shredded Carrots: if you want an arm workout, you can shred about 2-3 large carrots yourself, but you can also buy these carrots pre-shredded. I like to shred them myself because I find that the carrot cake then tastes a lot fresher.
- Oat flour: I made my own oat flour. It’s cheaper that way over going to the store and purchasing a whole bag of oat flour (because often times, oat flour goes bad easily!). All you need to do is take about 2 cups of gluten free rolled oats and pulse them in a blender or food processor until it’s in a powder! 2 cups of oats will yield about 1 1/2 cups oat flour for those who are going to make their own.
- Cassava flour: this is one of my secret ingredients for making the best gluten free flour mixture. Oat and cassava flour work like a dream.
- Ground Flax Seed: yes, we’re using ground flax seed again! I love using flax seed as a replacement for eggs because it actually comes out cheaper per serving, so if you haven’t tried ground flax seed in your recipes yet, I highly recommend trying it out.
- Sweet Potato
- Maple Syrup: you don’t need a lot, even for this vegan gluten free carrot cake, because maple syrup just tastes sweeter than sugar!
- Olive Oil: you could also use coconut oil or melted vegan butter (about 1/2 cup), and this is to just make sure that the carrot cake remains moist.
- Spices: well, you can’t have a carrot cake without the spices! I use a blend of cinnamon, Allspice, and nutmeg! Hits the spot!
You’ll notice that what makes this healthy carrot cake slightly different from others is that it’s entirely nut free as well. I always try to keep my nut allergy people in mind when creating these vegan and gluten recipes because I feel they’re highly underserved!
Now onto the vegan cream cheese frosting, because you cannot do a vegan carrot cake with any other frosting, in my humble opinion. And it’s not even complicated! Check out the ingredients below!
We’ve really come a long way with vegan “dairy” options. I personally find that vegan cream cheeses tastes just as good, if not better, than regular cream cheese.
For the frosting you’ll need:
- Vegan cream cheese: I know that Trader Joe’s has a good one that’s more affordable than most name brands, but if you do have a favorite name brand, I love using either Kitehill or Miyoko’s.
- Vegan butter: for a vegan butter that tastes good and is simple, I highly recommend Miyoko’s or Forager Project.
- Coconut milk
- Powdered Sugar
Tips for making vegan gluten free carrot cake:
- Follow this guide for prepping the sweet potato just right. Honestly, this is key. If you steam the sweet potato, it just won’t taste as good.
- I wouldn’t recommend swapping out the flours: oat and cassava flour work just wonderfully together. I have tried this with brown rice flour in place of cassava flour, but honestly, I like the cassava flour more.
- If you don’t feel like prepping and shredding the carrots, you can always purchase them pre-shredded.
- Let the vegan butter soften but still feel slightly cool to touch.
- Make sure you sift your powdered sugar before adding it to the frosting.
- You can make this cake ahead of time (about 1-2 days), and it will be absolutely delicious! I just recommend not frosting it until the day you’re ready to serve it.
- Allow your ground flaxseed and water mixture to sit for at least 5 minutes to fully activate.
- Please wait until the cakes are fully cool before frosting. I’ve had one too many cakes slide completely onto the floor because of haste!
- You can top with my vegan salted caramel sauce, as I did!
I still can’t get over how delicious this vegan carrot cake tastes, and with the vegan cream cheese frosting, you’re just going to be blown away!
I’m normally a vanilla cake kinda gal, but I might even choose this gluten free carrot cake over vanilla…and that’s a bold statement to say for me!
I’m planning on making this recipe for Easter, but it’s also wonderful during fall and Christmas time 🙂
I’ll probably make this for my dad on Father’s Day as well, since he loved it so much! Oh, and don’t expect this cake to last you long, because it will for sure be gone in the snap of a finger!
Cannot wait to see what you think! Let me know in the comments below if you gave it a try, and as always, I love to see your beautiful creations on Instagram and Pinterest, so be sure to tag me there.
Happy carrot cake baking!
More healthy vegan cake recipes:
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The easiest vegan carrot cake that is completely gluten free and refined sugar free! Incredibly moist, it’s sure to be a crowd pleaser!
Vegan Carrot Cake
- 1 cup shredded carrots (can buy pre-shredded)
- 1 1/2 cup oat flour
- 1 1/2 cup cassava flour flour
- 3 tbsp ground flax/chia seed (mixed with 1/4 cup water)
- 1 cup coconut milk with 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup olive oil or vegan butter (unsalted) (melted)
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1 cup mashed sweet potato (pre-cooked)
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp all spice
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting
- 1 cup vegan cream cheese (room temperature)
- 1 cup vegan butter (room temperature)
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 2 tbsp coconut milk
- Preheat oven to 375F and grease three 6″ cake pans with olive or coconut oil.
- In a large bowl, whisk together oat flour, cassava flour, baking soda, baking powder, spices, and sea salt.
- Pour in coconut milk, olive oil, vanilla extract, maple syrup, and ground flax seed mixture, and mix until well combined.
- Add in shredded carrots and mashed sweet potato. Mix thoroughly.
- Pour evenly into both cake pans and place cake pans in the oven.
- Bake for 40 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.
- Remove the cakes from the oven and allow them to cool fully before frosting.
- *Follow instructions below for the frosting so that you make it while the cakes are cooling.
Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting
- In a medium bowl and using a hand mixer, beat together vegan cream cheese, vegan butter, and coconut milk.
- Add in powdered sugar and beat until it becomes thick.
- Set aside and cover until ready to frost (you can place it for a few minutes in the fridge, but not too long because you don’t want it to harden).
- Frost cakes and enjoy!
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Baking
Keywords: vegan carrot cake, gluten free vegan carrot cake, healthy vegan carrot cake, healthy carrot cake