A delicious carrot cake recipe that’s gluten free and vegan! This lightly spiced cake is topped with a sweet dairy free cream cheese frosting.
A couple of weeks ago, I asked on Facebook what kind of cake I should make next. I got a few different suggestions, all of which I’m going to try to create at some point. One of the suggestions was carrot cake, and since we’re so close to Easter, I decided to make that one first. Plus I just love carrot cake, and I haven’t had it in a looooong time. Carrot cake had to happen, and soon.
This cake is so simple – it’s lightly spiced with cinnamon and ginger, and topped with a sweet cream cheese frosting. Daiya cream cheese works perfectly, but if you aren’t dairy free, just use regular cream cheese. This recipe is super simple – you don’t even need the mixer – it’s easy to mix this up by hand in just one bowl.
Now, you may be used to some different additions to carrot cake. This carrot cake recipe is nut free, but if you are able to eat nuts, feel free to add some walnuts or pecans to the batter, or you could also sprinkle them on top of the frosting.
If you’re someone who likes pineapple in your carrot cake, you can add that as well! Try a 1/2 cup of crushed pineapple that has been drained – and then slowly add your water – you may not need all the water that the recipe calls for.
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This recipe works well with spelt flour OR with a gluten free flour blend. When you make a gluten free cake like this, you should use lighter gluten free blend, like King Arthur Multi-Purpose Gluten Free Flour or Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 Blend. If those brands don’t work for your diet, you could try Now Brand Gluten Free Flour or Gluten Free 1-2-3. Everyone has different comfort levels as far as brands and allergen procedures.
Lighter blends keep the cake from getting too dense. If wheat flour is what works for you, go ahead and use that! It will still turn out just fine. If you use a different flour and the batter seems to thick or dry, go ahead and add a little more water. Some gluten free flours really soak up the water, so you may need more.
This gluten free and vegan carrot cake is:
- easy to make
- a crowd pleaser
- perfect for Easter or any special occasion
Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting (Gluten Free, Vegan).
For the cake:
- 2 cups gluten free flour blend OR white spelt flour if you are not gluten free*
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- ⅓ teaspoon ginger
- ½ cup organic cane sugar
- ½ cup light brown sugar
- ⅓ cup organic canola oil
- 3 Tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
- 1 cup grated carrots
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup water**
For the frosting:
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 4 ounces Daiya brand vegan cream cheese softened
- 4 Tablespoons buttery spread softened
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8 or 9 inch round cake pan and line the bottom of the pan with a circle of parchment paper.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and ginger. Add the shredded carrots and toss to coat. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients.
Add the sugars, canola oil, applesauce, vanilla extract, apple cider vinegar, and water. Stir well until combined.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-38 minutes (depending on the size of the pan), or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Let the cake cook for about 15 minutes in the pan, then run a knife around the edge of the pan and invert over a wire rack to remove. Let the cake cool fully on the wire rack.
Make the frosting once the cake is fully cooled. In a mixing bowl whip the Daiya cream cheese and the vegan buttery spread. Sift in the powdered sugar. Mix until very smooth and creamy.
Frost the cooled cake, and refrigerate if not serving immediately. Store leftover cake in the refrigerator.
*I like using King Arthur's Multi Purpose Gluten Free Flour for cake recipes. It does not contain xanthan gum, but that has not been a problem for me.
**You may need to adjust the amount of water based on what flour you use. Some gluten free blends require more water. The dough should not be dry or too thick.
What are you making for Easter dessert this year?
Follow The Pretty Bee (Allergy Friendly Eats)’s board SWEET Top 8 Allergen-FREE Recipes. on Pinterest.