Vegan, Gluten-Free Carrot Cake

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This Vegan, Gluten-Free Vegan Carrot Cake is very moist,  super easy to make with just the perfect sweetness and flavor. Topped with vegan cream cheese frosting or maple sweetened coconut whipped cream and walnuts. It is now my favorite carrot cake recipe and will be yours too!

Vegan, Gluten-Free Carrot Cake

Gluten-Free Vegan Carrot Cake


Awhile back I was addicted to baking layered cakes, but nowadays I rarely make them! I just have to be in a special mood or it has to be a special occasion for me to do so. Instead, I prefer to bake Muffins, DonutsBread etc. I go for quick and easy recipes and methods only.

I even took the Wilton Cake Decorating Classes for 3 months. I loved the classes so much I encouraged my daughter Devannah who probably was about 10 years old to take classes also.

I still have photos of the cakes we baked and decorated.  For each class we attended, we had to bring vegan cakes to decorate. I remember sharing those cakes to my friends, who looked forward to them.

Well, I’m in the mood to bake cakes again, so I’m going to enjoy it while it lasts.

Vegan Gluten-Free Carrot Cake

How To Make Vegan Gluten-Free Carrot Cake

I baked the layers in two-9 inch round cake pans lined with lightly greased parchment paper for easy release of cake from the pans. I added applesauce, along with ground flax seeds. I also added crushed pineapples to the batter for a moist carrot cake. I used Bob’s Red Mill Brown Rice Flour and Almond Flour. You can substitute the brown rice flour with sweet sorghum flour or use half brown rice and half sorghum.

You can add walnuts or leave them out if you choose to.

So the first time I made it, I did a frosting that was similar to traditional frosting and like the ones I made many years ago. I blended up organic cane sugar in a high-speed blend until it was the texture of store-bought powdered sugar. I then combined the powdered sugar with vegan butter, vegan cream cheese, vanilla and whip until light and fluffy.

Carrot Cake With Pineapple

My third and final try was to make a coconut whipped frosting. It has to be kept refrigerated on hot days, or else the frosting will melt. Below I share recipes for both frostings.

These Are More Of My Vegan Gluten-Free Cake Recipes For You To Try:

Gluten-Free Carrot Cake

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(Per portion)
  • Energy: 319 kcal / 1333 kJ
  • Fat: 17 g
  • Protein: 4 g
  • Carbs: 38 g

Cooking Time

  • Preparation: 15 min
  • Cooking: 35 min
  • Ready in: 50 min
  • For:
  • 12 servings


Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting

Coconut Frosting


  1. Preheat oven 350 degrees F. Grease 2 nine-inch round baking pans and set aside
  2. In a large bowl, mix together brown rice flour, almond flour, sugar, spices, baking powder, and salt.
  3. In another bowl, mix together coconut oil, ground flax seeds, crushed pineapple, applesauce, and vanilla,
  4. Mix dry ingredients into bowl with wet ingredients, stirring to fully combine.
  5. Fold in 1/2 cup walnuts, and carrots.
  6. Divide cake batters evenly between 2 pans. Bake for about 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  7. Cool completely before adding frosting.

For Cream Cheese Frosting

  1. Using an electric mixer, beat together cream cheese and butter. While mixer is on low, add sugar and vanilla, beat until smooth and creamy.
  2. Keep refrigerated until cake is ready to be frosted.

For The Coconut Frosting

  1. Place 2 cans of full-fat coconut milk or cream in the refrigerator overnight.
  2. The following day, invert cans. Cut them open and drain liquid into a bowl,
  3. Scoop coconut cream in a bowl, along with maple syrup, vanilla and almond extract. Process using a hand-held mixer until smooth and peaks are formed, or about 3 minutes.
  4. To Assemble: Place 1 of the cakes on a serving platter. Spread frosting of choice on top. Place the other cake on top and spread top and sides with the remaining frosting. Then decorate the sides of the cake with remaining walnuts.


Best Carrot Cake

Recipe author's Gravatar image

Michelle Blackwood, RN

Hi, I’m Michelle, I’m the voice, content creator and photographer behind Healthier Steps. I share vegan and gluten-free recipes because of past health issues. My goal is to help you make healthier choices and show you how healthy eating is easy and delicious.

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  1. Nicola Bromfield
    August 29, 2020

    I made this and my husband and I ate an entire 1 by ourselves the same day 😀! I then shared it and the recipe with friends. This carrot cake was delicious!! Definitely making it again! Thank you Michelle !

  2. Kaytee
    July 2, 2020

    Thank you so much. My husband loves carrot cake fully loaded. I was surprised and glad this cake was not that sweet. I made this cake for his birthday and he was all smiles. He did not missed the raisins or coconut that is usually in store brought cakes. He had one large piece and was very, very satisfied. I am so grateful and amazed that he did not have 2 pieces. The cake was moist, hearty and easy to make. Thank you for sharing your knowledge with us.

    • Michelle Blackwood, RN
      July 2, 2020

      Kaytee, I’m so happy you and your hubby enjoyed it, thank you so much for sharing your feedback. I really appreciate it.

      • Joan
        July 5, 2020

        This recipe looks delicious!!! I want to try it, but allergic to almonds. What can I use in place of the almond flour?

  3. Rozina
    November 30, 2018

    Hi I love the carrot cake recipe. However,which other fruit can be used instead if pineapple?

    • Michelle Blackwood
      November 30, 2018

      Rozina, you could probably increase the shredded carrots and applesauce, add raisins and crystallized ginger to the recipe instead of pineapple. I haven’t tested it so I don’t have amounts for you. Hope this works.

  4. Philly
    October 10, 2018

    Also have u experiment with The EnerG baking powder yet..would like to try it…do u need to double it.Thanks

  5. Philly
    October 10, 2018

    I would like to bake this cake for my dtr’s 2 year Bday first week of November …. I will tell u how it goes… question do I leave it out of the fridge so it doesn’t get dense as well … will make it Friday day and eat it Saturday.

  6. Amelia
    September 23, 2018

    Can’t wait to try! What would you suggest if you had to sub the pineapple out? More applesauce?

    • Michelle Blackwood
      September 23, 2018

      Amelia, it should be okay just to leave the pineapple out.

  7. Claire
    April 2, 2018

    Wow!!!! I love that this recipe caters for so many different diets!
    Because cake should be accessible to everyone, especially a cake that looks as moist and gorgeous as this one!
    My dad has to eat GF so pinning this for his next visit.

  8. April
    April 2, 2018

    This cake looks so scrumptious. My friend made a gluten free cake once and I have to say it was amazing. I had no idea it was gluten free. I have not yet tried a gluten free carrot cake yet but yours sound delish. I would have to add raisins because that’s they way my grandmother made it.

  9. swathi
    April 1, 2018

    I need to try your coconut frosting, Coconut is my weakness, Carrot cake is always my favorite that too gluten free and vegan is best and healthy.

  10. Marisa Franca
    April 1, 2018

    I am so impressed. The cake looks amazing — so moist and rich. And yet, all of the ingredients are good for you. I wish I had a slice now. A dessert to enjoy and share.

  11. Pavani
    April 1, 2018

    Wow that carrot cake looks so so moist and delicious. Kudos to you for making a traditional recipe vegan and gluten free – it looks just like the original.

  12. Veena Azmanov
    April 1, 2018

    I love carrot cake but it took me a good while to actually learn to appreciate carrot cake. My kids love it and what perfect time to eat carrot cake than on Easter, right? This sounds delish.

  13. Nora
    March 31, 2018

    I have made other vegan carrot cakes for Easter before in years past, but this with the coconut frosting? How delicious!

  14. Karyl Henry
    March 31, 2018

    I have such a love/hate relationship with carrot cake, and I find it’s often so dense. This one looks really good, and I love that you added the icing as well! Great way to introduce a nice sweet element into the dessert

  15. Gloria
    March 31, 2018

    I happen to LOVE carrot cake…but for some reason I am the ONLY person in my family that does. Woo Hoo….more for me. This cake sounds delicious. I am always on the lookout for great GF baking ideas to take to friends when we go for dinner.

  16. Kelly
    March 31, 2018

    How far in advance can it be made and still be delicious? Lol. I’m hoping for 24 hours.

    • Michelle Blackwood
      March 31, 2018

      Definitely 24 hours is fine.I would go with the vegan cream cheese frosting or a vegan buttercream frosting.

  17. Ovidiu
    March 18, 2018

    This is absolutely delicious, thank you very much for your great recipes.

  18. Sherri
    November 22, 2017

    For the Cashew Cream frosting, do you separate and only use the coconut fat from the can or the fat and the liquid?

    • Michelle Blackwood
      November 22, 2017

      I only use the coconut cream :)

  19. Cheryl Burt
    November 5, 2017

    I made this and the batter was very stiff. Took a lot to get it fixed up. I chec,ed to make sure I followed instr etc also did not rise much. Is this way it’s supposed to be?

    • Michelle Blackwood
      November 5, 2017

      Hi Cheryl, I didn’t have any problem with the batter when I made it. I’m wondering if it’s the carrots that used up the moisture in your batter. It doesn’t rise as much as a regular cake made with regular flour though. I have made this cake several times and it always turn out just like the photo above. So sorry it didn’t turn out for you;

  20. olga saba
    March 5, 2017

    Not a big fan of pineapple, could i leave it out? Maybe replace with raisins or cranberry ?

    • Michelle Blackwood
      March 5, 2017

      Olga, you definitely could. Even applesauce would work fine!

      • Zory
        March 24, 2017

        Not sure why my comment about EnerG is not appearing…

  21. fransan
    December 5, 2016

    OMG! I didn’t think I would ever have another desert. Then I saw this.
    Well, it doesn’t have: white flour, or any other ingredient on my ‘no’ list.
    Baking Powder includes cornstarch. Must check with my local organic store (Foodsmiths) and see if they have some kind of baking powder without cornstarch. Still new to this game. Learning all the time. Especially with sites like yours. Thank you for being ‘there’.

    • Michelle Blackwood
      December 6, 2016

      I have had good results with EnerG baking powder, not sure if Hain brand has cornstarch either. It gets easy everyday. So happy you are on this journey!

      • Zory
        March 24, 2017

        I know with EnerG baking powder you have to use around double of regular baking powder so with the measurement listed on recipe, is it for regular baking powder or for the enerG baking powder? Just asking so I know if to double or not. Which one did you use for the cake in the picture?

        • Michelle Blackwood
          March 24, 2017

          I used Hain’s Featherweight baking powder in the recipe, I know it is a lot so you could probably use 2 teaspoons instead. I wanted a real light cake. Did I mention Ener-G baking powder I will have to read through the post. Featherweight baking powder is made from potassium bicarbonate instead of sodium bicarbonate. It may be less harsh on the digestive tract. It is 1:1 to regular baking powder and most of my readers don’t know Ener-G.

        • Michelle Blackwood
          March 24, 2017

          Okay Zory I understand, yes the baking powder is for regular baking powder. I’m not really sure if you will still need to double with gluten-free flours. I would need to do some experimenting first to be sure.

    • A
      January 19, 2019

      You can easily make your own baking powder without corn starch. Just mix 1 part baking soda with 1 part arrowroot or tapioca starch and 2 parts cream of tartar.

  22. Karen
    December 4, 2016

    Haven’t made this yet but definitely going to try it! Thank you!

    • Michelle Blackwood
      December 6, 2016

      Awesome, please enjoy!