Gluten-Free Vegan Purple Carrot Cake

Gluten-Free Vegan Purple Carrot Cake

This Gluten-Free Vegan Purple Carrot Cake is pretty and colourful, naturally sweetened and slathered in a delicious cream cheese frosting!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword vegan carrot cake, vegan gluten-free carrot cake
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 488kcal
Author Rhian Williams


For the cake:

  • 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)

For the carrot crisps (optional):

  • Mini purple carrots, sliced

For the frosting:

  • 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


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, 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

For the carrot crisps (optional):

  • 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!

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 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


Calories: 488kcal