This Gluten-Free Vegan Carrot Cake is super moist, fluffy and perfectly fragrant. It’s covered in a tangy cream cheese frosting and perfect for all occasions!
Why you’ll love this Gluten-Free Vegan Carrot Cake:
- it’s undetectably vegan and gluten-free
- it’s full of flavour
- it’s moist and spongy
- it’s subtly spiced
- it’s fruity and fragrant
- it’s covered in a tangy “cream cheese” frosting
- it’s refined sugar free
- it’s easy to make
- it’s made in one bowl!
How to make this Gluten-Free Vegan Carrot Cake
Scroll down to the bottom of the post for the full recipe including measurements and full instructions.
- Mix together all the ingredients in a glass mixing bowl.
- Transfer the mixture to two 18 cm / 7 inch sandwich baking tins.
Tip: Line them with greased baking paper to make the sponges come out easier.
- Bake in the oven for 15 minutes.
- Leave the sponges to cool down on a cooling rack once they’re out the oven.
- Make the frosting by using an electric whisk to whip up the coconut milk.
- Place one half of the cake on a cake stand or a plate and apply just less than half of the frosting onto it.
- Place the other half of the cake on top and apply the frosting on the top and sides of the cake – you can use a palette knife for frosting for this.
Tip: If you’re feeling lazy, the coconut whipped cream can be replaced with coconut yogurt. If you’re not into coconut, you can alternatively use a cashew-based buttercream instead, and add some extra lemon juice.
- Decorate the cake with walnut halves, if desired.
Substitutions you can make to this recipe:
- you can use any type of oil: coconut oil, olive oil or vegetable oil
- you can use any type of plant-based milk: almond milk, rice milk, soy milk, cashew milk, oat milk etc
- you can use any type of liquid sweetener: maple syrup, agave syrup, brown rice syrup etc
- you can substitute the ground walnuts with ground almonds (almond meal)
- for a nut-free version: substitute the ground walnuts with ground sunflower seeds or use 30g (1/4 cup) coconut flour instead of 150g (1 1/4 cup) ground walnuts
- you can substitute the raisins with any other dried fruit such as dried cranberries or chopped dates, or dried mango, dried pineapple or dried papaya for a tropical vibe
- you can use plain flour, wholemeal (whole wheat) flour or spelt flour instead of the gluten-free flour if you’re not gluten-free.
How long does this Gluten-Free Vegan Carrot Cake keep for?
This Carrot Cake tastes best when fresh, but keeps well covered in the fridge for up to a few days.
More vegan carrot cake recipes:
- Tropical Carrot Cake
- Carrot Cake Cookies
- Purple Carrot Cake
- Carrot Muffins
- Carrot Cake Mug Cake
- Carrot Cake Cupcakes
If you try out this recipe or anything else from my blog, I’d really love to hear any feedback! Please give it a rating, leave a comment, or tag a photo @rhiansrecipes #rhiansrecipes on Instagram! Thank you.
Gluten-Free Vegan Carrot Cake
For the cake:
- 60 g (1/4 cup) coconut oil (or sub olive or vegetable oil)
- 200 ml (4/5 cup) unsweetened almond milk (or any other plant-based milk)
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice *
- 8 tablespoons maple syrup (or sub any other sweetener)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon mixed spice (or sub a mixture of nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves)
- Pinch salt
- 100 g (3.5 oz) carrot , grated (one medium-sized carrot)
- 50 g (1/3 cup) raisins or sultanas (or sub finely chopped dried mango or papaya)
- 2 tablespoons desiccated coconut
- 150 g (1 1/4 cup) ground walnuts **
- 150 g (1 1/4 cup) gluten-free flour blend (or sub plain flour if not gluten-free)
- 2 heaped teaspoons baking powder (ensure gluten-free if necessary)
- 1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
For the frosting:
- 400 g (14 oz) tin of full-fat coconut milk ***
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup (or sub any other sweetener)
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
To decorate (optional):
- Walnut halves
For the cake:
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius (350 degrees Fahrenheit)
- Place the coconut oil in a large bowl and melt over a saucepan of boiling water or in the microwave (skip this step if using any other oil)
- Once melted, add the milk to the same bowl along with the lemon juice, maple syrup, vanilla, ginger, mixed spice, salt, grated carrot, raisins, desiccated coconut and ground walnuts
- Sift in the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda
- Mix well, adding a tiny splash more milk if it's looking too dry
- Transfer mixture between two small greased baking tins lined with baking paper (I used two 7inch/18cm baking tins)
- Bake in oven for 15 minutes until golden brown and an inserted skewer comes out clean
- Once out the oven, immediately remove cakes from baking tins and transfer onto a wire rack to cool
For the frosting:
- You'll need to keep your tin of coconut milk in the fridge overnight for the rich creamy bit to separate from the watery bit at the bottom. Make sure it is full fat coconut milk, otherwise this separation won't happen and you won't be able to make this cream!
- Open the tin upside down - the coconut cream will be at the bottom and you can just pour off the watery liquid (save this for adding to soups or smoothies)
- Place the thick, creamy part into a bowl
- Add the lemon juice, maple syrup and vanilla extract
- Use an electric whisk (or a manual one and a lot of elbow grease) to whip up the coconut cream until light and fluffy
- Once the sponges have cooled completely, place one sponge on a large plate or cake stand, and cover with half of the frosting
- Place other sponge on top and use remaining frosting to cover the top
- Decorate with walnuts, if desired
- Best when fresh, but keeps well covered in the fridge for up to a few days
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