Two carrot cake cupcakes topped with creamy frosting and a walnut on a marble slab against a grey background

Gluten-Free Vegan Carrot Cake Cupcakes

These Gluten-Free Vegan Carrot Cake Cupcakes are super moistfragrant and fruity, and covered with a delicious "cream cheese" frosting!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword gluten-free carrot cake cupcakes, vegan carrot cake cupcakes, vegan gluten-free cupcakes
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 12 cupcakes
Calories 312kcal
Author Rhian Williams


For the cupcakes:

  • 60 g coconut oil (or sub olive or vegetable oil)
  • 230 ml 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 carrot , grated (one medium-sized carrot)
  • 50 g raisins or sultanas
  • 30 g walnuts , roughly chopped
  • 150 g ground almonds (almond meal) **
  • 150 g 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 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):

  • 12 walnut halves


For the cupcakes:

  • 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, walnuts, 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 12 cupcake cases in a cupcake tin
  • Bake in oven for 15-20 minutes until risen and an inserted skewer comes out clean
  • Once out the oven, leave the cupcakes to cool completely before applying the frosting

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

To decorate:

  • Once the cupcakes have cooled completely, use a knife or spatula to apply an even amount of frosting to each of the cupcakes
  • Decorate each cupcake with a walnut half 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

Top tips for making the frosting

  • For super fluffy frosting, make the frosting fresh and top the cupcakes with it just before serving - the frosting does set well, however, and frosted cupcakes will keep their shape and texture for up to a few days in the fridge.
  • Make sure the cupcakes have cooled completely before applying the frosting, otherwise it will melt!
  • The recipe below yields a medium-sized amount of frosting per cupcake. However, if you do want to apply a generous amount of frosting (like in my photos), I’d recommend doubling the amount of frosting.


Calories: 312kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Sodium: 61mg | Potassium: 209mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 1390IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 97mg | Iron: 2.3mg