Good Morning & Happy Wednesday!
I stayed up until midnight and woke up at 5 am just to finish this blog post. I’m way too excited about this carrot cake, and I wanted it available to the world asap. Plus, our Easter Sunday always involves carrot cake! I can confidently say “this is the best carrot cake I’ve ever had in my entire life.” I brought it over to my parent’s house last night, and they were blown away. Carrot cake is my dad’s favorite dessert, and even he said it was “out of this world.” This cake is fluffy, full of spice, dense, and the frosting just melts in your mouth. This may come off as conceited, but I pretty much nailed it.
I have wanted to create a carrot cake recipe on my blog for a while now and wanted it to be vegan-friendly and gluten-free. When my parent’s tried it, they didn’t believe me that it was lighter, made without sugar, vegan, or gluten-free! I had to physically pull out the photos on my camera to show them the ingredients that went into the cake. I think making recipes vegan, gluten-free, and sugar-free is fun because it’s more of a challenge to make them taste just as good as your traditional recipes. When I had dinner at Plant in Asheville, I left inspired to start creating more vegan recipes for the blog. The challenge is so much fun.
Everyone makes their carrot cake differently. I am a spice girl! I love when you get the proper amount of ginger, cloves, nutmeg, and cinnamon. I grew up adding raisins and walnuts to my carrot cake, but some people opt to leave the raisins out or choose pecans instead of walnuts. You can totally customize this recipe!
After spending the morning making this carrot cake, the possibility of all the other flavored cakes I plan to make in the future started going off in my brain. If a cake made without sugar, dairy, gluten, eggs, could taste this good, why not come up with more? I have a feeling this summer is going to be super cakey! I think a strawberry lemon cake is in my near future. My mom and I were coming up with fun flavor-combos last night! Feel free to suggest a flavor.
I should have warned you at the beginning of this post, but I couldn’t stop taking photos of the cake, so there is a ton! I have been playing around with my new camera, and the learning process is a lot of fun. I’m still experimenting with lighting and different settings. I hope you’ll be able to notice improvement as the months go on!
I’m a very visual person. When I need to learn how to do something, I love watching tutorial videos, or step by step photos. It takes a lot of time to include the images of the whole process, but I notice a lot of food blogs don’t do this. I’d love your honest opinion on this! Do you like seeing the whole process with step by step photos? Or would you rather I just posted a photo of the final product and kept it simple with a recipe? Let me know! I want the recipe to be very user-friendly, so feedback is welcomed.
Whenever I’m baking, I like to set out all the ingredients, so I don’t forget anything! I’ll usually create the recipe on a piece of paper before I start, and then I’ll scribble any changes I make during the process. This helps me deliver the recipe with the exact amounts to the blog. You should see the piece of paper once I finish cooking! It’s usually covered in scribbles, flour, and sometimes missing chunks when Leo gets ahold of it.
So…let’s talk swaps! First off, this is the only way I’ve made the cake, so I can’t promise it’ll be as good if you use regular flour, different sweetener, eggs, or any other swaps you make! But, YOU CAN make them! I’ll include some swap ideas with the recipe card to make it easier.
The Best Vegan Carrot Cake (Gluten Free & Sugar Free)
- 2 Cups Gluten Free Baking Flour
- 1 Tbsp. Baking Powder
- 2 Tsps. Baking Soda
- 1 1/2 Tbsps Ground Cinnamon
- 1/2 Tbsp Ground Nutmeg
- 1/2 Tbsp Ground Ginger
- 1/2 Tbsp Ground Cloves
- 1/2 Tsp Salt Salt
- 1/2 Cup Swerve (or your choice of sweetener)
- 3 Tbsp Egg Substitution (I use NeatEgg) or (sub for two eggs + 1 egg white)
- 3 Tbsp Melted Coconut Oil
- 1 Tbsp Vanilla
- 1/2 Cup Applesauce
- 1 Cup Cashew Milk (or your choice of milk)
- 1/2 Cup Walnuts (or your choice of nuts)
- 1 1/2 Cup Chopped Grated Carrots (bought the grated bag)
- 3/4 Cup Raisins (optional)
For The Frosting
- 1/2 Cup Heavy Coconut Cream (I photographed the wrong can)or condensed coconut milk or use Earth Balance vegan butter sticks.
- 2 Cups Swerve Powdered Sugar (or vegan powdered sugar)
- 1/2 Tsp Vanilla
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
- In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, ginger, sea salt, and swerve.
- In a separate mixing bowl, mix together the vanilla, cashew milk, and applesauce. (and eggs if you're using real ones)**do not add the coconut oil in yet.
- Mix the egg substitute into the bowl with the wet ingredients. It may be better to use a blender, or electric mixer if you're having an issue with clumping.
- Add the wet ingredients to the bowl of dry ingredients and combine. Now, add in the coconut oil.
- Chop the grated carrots. Fold the carrots, walnuts, and raisins into the batter.
- Grease the cake pans (i used an 8 inch) with cooking spray (I used avocado oil spray.) Evenly distribute the cake batter into two pans.
- Bake for about 17 minutes. The baking process depends on the size of your pan, so keep and eye on it and use the toothpick method to determine if it's done. *aint nobody got time for an overcooked carrot cake.
- Let the cakes cool completely. I transferred mine to a cooling rack.
- While the cakes are cooling, prepare the frosting! In an electric mixer, combine coconut cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla. ---OR vegan butter, condensed coconut milk, or vegan cream cheese as a substitution in place of the coconut milk. You could even add them to the frosting with the condensed coconut milk. Have fun with it!
- Once the cakes are cool, top one of the layers with frosting. Stack the second cake layer on top and frost. Finish the sides last. **You could also make these like pumpkin bars! Use a square cake pan and frost.
- Store in the fridge because everything tastes better cold! **optional**
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees!
In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, ginger, sea salt, and swerve.
In a separate mixing bowl, mix together the vanilla, cashew milk, and applesauce. If you’re using real eggs, this is where you’ll add them in! **don’t mix in the coconut oil yet**
Add in the egg substitute! Here is what I use (NEATEGG)
If you have any issues with clumping, use a blender or electric mixer!
Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry ingredients and mix well.
Now, mix in the coconut oil. And you can totally try the batter since there are no eggs!
Mix the raisins, carrots, and walnuts in! (or whatever fillers you choose)
Grease the cake pans (I used an 8-inch cake pan) with cooking spray (I used avocado oil spray.)
Evenly distribute the cake batter into two pans. Place them in the oven and cook for about 17 minutes. It’ll depend on the size of pan you used, or how evenly your oven cooks. Keep an eye on it and use the toothpick method to determine when it’s done. You do not want to overcook it!
Transfer the cakes to a cooling rack and let them cool completely.
I can’t wait to try making this recipe into bars!
In an electric mixer, combine the frosting ingredients! You can also add in vegan cream cheese and vegan Earth Balance butter! You may need to add more powdered sugar to get a perfect consistency. If you do not want to use Swerve, just use regular powdered sugar. Swerve powdered sugar
The frosting was so good! I couldn’t stop eating it.
If you do not want to make the frosting, have time, or Swerve available, you can use Miss Jones Frosting. It’s vegan and gluten-free.
Frost the top of the first layer. Make sure your cake is 100% chilled, or it’ll melt!
Add the second later on top!
Frost the top of the second layer.
Frost the edges and add walnuts to the trim. This is the trick to making the bottom look cleaner. I placed the cake in the fridge to cool for an hour before slicing. This is totally optional, but I love a chilled cake!
This cake makes 12 pretty large slices!
I sprinkled cinnamon on top of the cake as decorations.
The most perfect cake in the entire world. I can’t wait to have more for dessert tonight! It’s worth every bite. These cute little plates are from the Magnolia collection! 🙂 The glass cake stand is only $15.99 from Target!
While I was cooking the cake, I started wondering who came up with the idea of adding carrots to a cake. It sounds awful if you’ve never tried it. Same thing with zucchini bread! It turns out, no one really knows where carrot cake actually came from. It’s believed that today’s traditional carrot cake recipe most likely descended from Medieval carrot puddings from the people in Europe. Carrot was used as a sugar substitute because they were more affordable than sugar.
And just like every other dessert, it’s served best with a side of espresso!
Speaking of espresso! Don’t forget to enter the Nespresso machine giveaway on my Instagram! Winner will be announced tomorrow!!!
Perfection in every bite.
Pin this to save for later!^^^
This cake is much lighter than your average carrot cake!
Nutrition: 212 Calories, 8g Fat, 28g Carbs, 5g Fiber, 9g Sugar, 5g Protein
Questions for you!
- Who is the carrot cake fan in your life? (mine is my dad)
- Do you vote YES or NO for step by step photos?
- What fun cake combo should I do next?