Carrot cake is my all-time FAVORITE kind of cake! And a few weeks ago I realized – I’ve made healthy carrot cake cookies, gluten-free carrot cake muffins, and even carrot cake baked oats but I’ve never made an actual carrot CAKE before. I know, I was shocked too. So I found the time and started recipe testing!

I knew my carrot cake had to be a few things – gluten-free, dairy-free, and ideally refined sugar-free. I also really wanted to keep this cake recipe as healthy as possible, so I stuck to almond flour as the base, and coconut sugar and maple syrup to sweeten it. But don’t worry, I wasn’t willing to compromise on taste or texture, so after a few (failed) tests I finally did it! The BEST EVER gluten-free and dairy-free carrot cake, naturally sweetened and oh-SO delicious.

gluten free and dairy free carrot cake ingredients on a table.

What You’ll Need to Make Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free Carrot Cake

Eggs: Room temperature eggs blend more evenly into the batter, resulting in a uniform texture and improved rise during baking, creating a fluffy and tender cake.

Coconut Sugar: If you don’t have coconut sugar, brown sugar will work in its place! Both impart a delicious caramel flavor to this healthier cake recipe.

Maple Syrup: Maple syrup contributes a natural sweetness to the cake, enhancing its flavor profile without overwhelming the other ingredients, while also providing moisture for a soft and moist crumb.

Almond Flour: Almond flour serves as the star ingredient in our gluten-free cake, contributing a delicate nutty flavor and providing moisture for a moist and tender cake, making it an ideal choice for those following a gluten-free or grain-free diet!

Shredded Carrots: Wrapping shredded carrots in a paper towel helps to remove excess moisture, preventing the cake from becoming overly dense and ensuring a light and airy texture.

gluten free and dairy free carrot cake with cinnamon cream cheese frosting on a baking sheet.

Tips and Tricks

  • Bring your eggs to room temperature before baking to ensure they incorporate seamlessly into the batter, resulting in a lighter and fluffier cake.
  • Pat the shredded carrots dry with a paper towel to remove excess moisture, preventing the cake from becoming soggy and dense.
  • Start with a small amount of milk in the cream cheese frosting and gradually add more if needed to achieve the desired consistency, ensuring it’s spreadable yet holds its shape.
a slice of gluten free and dairy free carrot cake.

This Carrot Cake Recipe Is…

The BEST Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free Carrot Cake with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

5 from 2 votes
Recipe by Samantha Course: DessertDifficulty: Medium
Servings

10

servings
Prep time

20

minutes
Cooking time

25

minutes
Total time

45

minutes

This gluten-free and dairy-free carrot cake is simply heavenly – and made in just one bowl! It’s bursting with warm spices, shredded carrots, and topped with a luscious cinnamon cream cheese frosting. This cake is an incredible treat for any occasion!

Ingredients

  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, or coconut sugar

  • 1/3 cup maple syrup

  • 1/4 melted coconut oil

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1 1/2 cups almond flour

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1 1/2 cups shredded carrots, wrapped and dried in a paper towel to release as much moisture from the carrots as possible

  • 3/4 cups walnuts, roughly chopped

  • 1/2 cup raisins

  • For the cinnamon cream cheese frosting:
  • 1/2 cup cream cheese, softened (I used non-dairy cream cheese)

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened (I used non-dairy butter)

  • 4 cups powdered sugar

  • 3-4 tablespoons milk (I used non-dairy milk)

  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon

  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350° Fahrenheit and line two 6-inch round cake pans with parchment paper. Then, coat pans with a light layer of oil to prevent sticking.
  • In a large bowl, beat together the eggs and coconut sugar or brown sugar with either a hand or stand mixer on high speed until pale and thick, about 5 minutes.gluten-free-carrot-cake-step-1
  • Add in the maple syrup, melted coconut oil, and vanilla extract. Beat for a few seconds to combine.
  • Add in the almond flour, cinnamon, baking powder, nutmeg, and salt. Beat for one minute, or until the batter is fully combined. Then, add in the shredded carrots, chopped walnuts, and raisins, and use a spatula to fold those ingredients into the batter.gluten-free-carrot-cake-step-02
  • Transfer and divide the batter between the two prepared cake pans and bake 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted down the center of each cake comes out mostly clean.
  • Carefully remove the cakes from the pan by sliding a sharp knife around the outside edge of the cake, then flipping the pans over onto a wire cooling rack. Let the cakes cool completely on the wire rack before frosting.gluten-free-carrot-cake-step-03
  • Once cakes are cool, make the cream cheese frosting by adding all frosting ingredients to a large bowl and beating with either a hand or stand mixer until fully combined. Start by using just 3 tablespoons of milk in the frosting, then add an additional tablespoon of milk if the frosting is too thick.gluten-free-carrot-cake-step-04
  • Place one of the cooled cakes on a cake stand or serving plate, then spread 1/3 of the frosting on top. Then, place the other cooled caked on top of the frosting layer and cover both stacked cakes with remaining frosting.
  • Spread the frosting into an even layer over the top and around the outside of the cake. Then, for additional decoration, pressed chopped walnuts around the sides of the cake. Either serve cake immediately or cover and store in the fridge for up to 1 week.gluten-free-carrot-cake-step-05

Recipe Video

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