This Gluten-Free Vegan Purple Carrot Cake is:
- pretty and colourful
- naturally sweetened
- slathered in a delicious cream cheese frosting!
Anyone else obsessed with carrot cake? I certainly am, which is why I’ve made all of these:
And now I’m moving onto this Purple Carrot Cake!
Instead of normal carrots, I decided to mix things up and use purple carrots, because of their beautiful colour! Of course if you can’t get hold of purple carrots, this recipe will work just fine with normal carrots too.
The base for this Gluten-Free Vegan Purple Carrot Cake is my go-to sponge recipe: it’s made in one bowl, uses familiar ingredients and is refined sugar free.
You can add any type of dried fruits you like – whilst raisins or sultanas may be more traditional, finely chopped pieces of dried mango or papaya are also delicious. Chopped walnuts add a lovely contrasting bitterness, but these can also be swapped for any other nuts, or left out completely.
I also like to add some desiccated coconut for its sweet and fragrant nuttiness that pairs wonderfully with the warming spices in the cake, but you can also leave this out if you prefer.
And what’s carrot cake without a rich, tangy, sweet cream cheese frosting? I like to make mine using creamy coconut whipped milk, lemon juice for sourness, and maple syrup for a little sweetness. It’s easy to make and goes beautifully with the moist, fluffy sponge.
Finally, I decided to decorate the top of the carrot cake with some thinly sliced purple carrot crisps – although putting roast vegetables on cake may sound a little strange, the oven really brings out the sweetness in the carrots, and they look beautiful too!
Again, normal carrots will work just as well for this, or you can leave them out completely and decorate the cake with anything else you like.
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 on Instagram! Thank you.
Helpful tools to make this Gluten-Free Vegan Purple Carrot Cake:
For the cake:
For the carrot crisps:
For the frosting:
This Gluten-Free Vegan Purple Carrot Cake is pretty and colourful, naturally sweetened and slathered in a delicious cream cheese frosting!
- 60 g (1/4 cup) coconut oil (or sub olive or vegetable oil)
- 230 ml (1 cup) unsweetened almond milk (or any other plant-based milk)
- Juice of 1/2 lemon*
- 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 of salt
- 100 g (3.5oz) purple carrots, grated (one medium-sized carrot)
- 30 g (1/4 cup) walnuts, roughly chopped
- 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 cups) ground almonds** (almond meal)
- 150 g (1 1/4 cup) gluten-free flour blend (or sub plain flour if not gluten-free)
- 2 heaped teaspoons baking power (ensure gluten-free if necessary)
- 1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
- Mini purple carrots, sliced
- 400 g (14oz) tin of full-fat coconut milk***
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup (or sub any other sweetener)
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
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, walnuts, raisins, desiccated coconut and ground almonds
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 15-20 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
Lay out the purple carrot slices on a baking tray and bake in oven for around 10 minutes until the edges have shrivelled up - be careful to make sure they don’t burn!
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 the purple carrot slices, if desired
Best when fresh, but keeps well covered in the fridge for up to a few days
*The lemon juice is crucial as its acidity needs to react with the alkali bicarbonate of soda to make the sponge fluffy. If you don't want to use lemon juice, substitute with 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar instead
**You can alternatively use almond flour
***You can alternatively use 200g (7oz) coconut yogurt
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