The light sweetness of carrot cake, with just enough cinnamon and hint of nutmeg, topped with a cream cheese frosting, is a dream in itself. Make it Gluten-free and Vegan, now that’s paradise!

Wait, Healthy Carrot Cake?

Yes! Healthy and easy to make.

Are you wondering how can we possibly make carrot cake without gluten, grain, dairy, egg, soy, corn, almond, or sesame?

We’ll need one secret ingredient: Unicorn Farts! Okay, no unicorn farts. We will use real ingredients you’ve heard of before, but in a unique way!

That’s what it means to Break A Recipe!


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Gluten-Free & Vegan Carrot Cake With Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting

How Can We Possibly Make Carrot Cake Without Gluten, Grain, Dairy, Egg, Soy, Corn, Almond, Cashew, or Sesame?

Because this is Break A Recipe, and that is what we do here! We make traditional foods, without traditional ingredients, so that you can enjoy them safely!

This recipe will use carrots, my grain-free flour blend (made from chickpea, coconut, and tapioca it blends up in 5 minutes click here for the easy recipe), coconut milk, coconut oil, sugar, cream of tartar, baking soda, xanthan gum, walnuts or raisins, and cinnamon or my favorite, pumpkin spice!

Everyone deserves to have cake on their birthday! When I was first diagnosed with allergies to grains, dairy, soy, corn, & more; a safe birthday cake that looked and tasted like the original version wasn’t an option.

I made do with fruits, and some safe chocolates. After about 7 years, I was able to Break the Recipe for a yellow birthday cake. It was a delight like no other! And while I was quite happy, I know other people with dietary needs similar to mine who were interested in more safe cakes. Can we blame them?

I’m lucky enough to share a birthday month with a very special family member who shares many of my allergies. Each year, we get together for a birthday lunch, and I make sure we have a delicious cake to enjoy.

This year, she requested carrot cake. And I was not going to disappoint her!

It took several tries to get this recipe right, but it was ready in time for our birthday celebration. It got her endorsement, and the endorsement of my crafting friends as well!

After many tries and the approval of friends and family, I’m delighted to share the recipe with you.

Welcome To Break A Recipe!

My name is Nina, I’m a food nerd who cooks and bakes without gluten, grains, dairy, eggs, soy, corn, almond, and sesame.

When I tell people I cook and bake without those ingredients, they usually ask ask, “What’s left to cook with?” I say, “Unicorn Farts!” and we get to laugh, because it is pretty unbelievable to think of cooking and baking without those ingredients.

But it’s possible, if you Break The Recipe!

If this is your first time visiting, thank you for stopping to check out the recipe for Vegan Grain-Free Carrot Cake. If you are a returning reader, newsletter subscriber, or recipe tester, thank you for following. Your feedback helps me create better recipes and blog posts because you keep me on my toes. Life is better with foodie friends, and I’m glad to call you mine!

I started creating recipes because I’m allergic to many of the top allergens and I have friends and family members with allergies different from mine. Sound familiar?

My goal is for you to have one version of the food that you are craving to share with everyone. No more two versions of everything, one delicious carrot cake you and your family can enjoy together!

That’s kind of my thing, using alternative, allergen friendly ingredients, and creating recipes. As the name of my blog implies, I break things in the kitchen. I would love it if you would come behind the scenes with me every week and let me tell you more about it in my newsletter. You can subscribe on the right hand side on a desktop, after the recipe in the blog post, or after the blogpost on a mobile device. I’m a food nerd and I love having foodie friends!

So what kind of recipes am I breaking lately? Here’s a look at my instagram (occasionally, one or more of pups makes it into the feed, too!)

Now Let’s Get Back To Our Recipe!

We’re going to make a delicious Vegan Carrot Cake without gluten, grain, dairy, egg, soy, corn, almond, cashew or sesame!

You might be wondering what we’re going to use if we’re not using those ingredients. Unicorn Farts, of course!

Okay, maybe not. We will use simple healthy ingredients that you’ve enjoyed before.

We’ll use a grain-free flour blend made from chickpea, tapioca, and coconut flour. It blends up in 5 minutes, and then we can bake like we normally would using techniques and equipment you’d find in almost any kitchen.

We’ll use coconut oil, white sugar or coconut sugar, xanthan gum, carrot, baking soda, cream of tartar, cinnamon / pumpkin spice, and of course carrot!

You can add some sunflower seeds, or walnuts, or raisins, to your cake if you would like. I’ve also used pecans, they go well in carrot cake too. The sunflower seeds, walnuts, pecans and raisins are optional, you do not have to use them. Omitting them will not alter the structure of the recipe at all.

This is Break A Recipe, where the priority is safe food, so if you prefer making it without any of those ingredients, then that’s the best way to make it for you!. They contribute texture, flavor, and a little nostalgia for some. And while those are nice, safety comes first.

The best recipe is the one that you can enjoy safely with your family and friends.

Before we can Break A Recipe, we’ll need some ingredients and some equipment.

Are you ready to Break a Recipe? Let’s Go Shopping!

Equipment

Ingredients

These ingredients and equipment are what I use in my own kitchen. As an amazon associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. If you purchase anything through an affiliate link, I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you for helping to “keep the lights on,” here at Break A Recipe.

Enough With the Words, Let’s Break A Recipe!

Carrot Cake (Gluten-Free, Vegan, & Grain-Free)

A mouth watering carrot cake made without gluten, grain, dairy, egg, soy, corn, almond, or cashew. You'll never notice the missing ingredients, but you will go for seconds!
Prep Time 25 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Course Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine Dairy Free, Egg free, Gluten Free, Grain Free, Soy-Free
Servings 16 servings

Equipment

  • Kitchen Stand Mixer
  • Shredding attachment for mixer/ Food Processor / Grater for shredding carrot
  • Rubber Scraper
  • Liquid Measuring Cups
  • Dry Measuring Cups
  • Glass Mixing Bowl
  • Adjustable measuring spoons
  • Baking pans layers, molds, or cakelettes pans for mini cakes

Ingredients
  

Wet Ingredients

  • Olive Oil Spray For Greasing Pans
  • 1 Cup Organic Coconut Oil For a neutral flavor,use refined coconut oil.
  • 1 Cup Sugar (white or coconut sugar) Use coconut for lower glycemic index and lower inflammation.
  • ¾ Cup Chickpea Flour Takes the place of eggs
  • 1 Cup Vegan Milk
  • ¾ Cup Water

Dry Ingredients

  • 2 Cups Grain-Free Flour Blend See Link in Recipe Notes
  • ½ teaspoon Salt
  • teaspoon Xanthan Gum
  • 1 ½ teaspoon Organic Cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon Nutmeg
  • teaspoons Baking Soda
  • ¾ teaspoon Cream of Tartar

Mix-Ins

  • 3 Cups Shredded Carrot
  • 1 Cup Coarse Mix-In (chopped walnuts, chopped, pecans, chopped sunflower seeds, raisins) Use the option that is safe for you! Or omit this altogether!

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350°. Shred carrot using the shredding attachment of a stand mixer or food processor.
  • In a glass mixing bowl, melt 1 cup coconut oil. Transfer the coconut oil to the mixing bowl of a stand mixer. Using the whisk attachment, add the sugar and mix until moistened. Add the chickpea flour, and mix on the lowest speed until it is moistened.
  • With the mixer running, add water and coconut milk. Mix on speed 2 for a minute. The batter will resemble "creamed" sugar and butter.
  • Gradually add in the grain-free flour and salt. Mix thoroughly.
  • Sprinkle the xanthan gum over the top of the batter. With mixer on lowest speed. Incorporate the xanthan gum. Mix until the batter is thick and doughy.
  • Sprinkle cinnamon and nutmeg over the top of the batter. Mix until incorporated.
  • Sprinkle cream of tartar and baking soda over the top of the batter. Mix on lowest speed for 30 seconds.
  • Remove the mixing bowl from the stand mixer. Using a silicone scraper, gently stir in carrot and coarse mix-in (if using) until they are evenly distributed throughout the batter.
  • Transfer the batter to a greased pan and bake until a cake tester can be cleanly. Time will vary depending on pan used.
    If using cakelette pans, use a 2 tablespoon cookie scoop to measure the batter into each pan. .Bake 25- 30 minutes for a sheet cake, 22-25 minutes for layer cake, and 20-22 minutes for cakelettes.
    Carrot cake can be enjoyed as is or topped with vegan-cream cheese frosting for an even more indulgent treat!

Notes

For the grain-free flour blend used in this recipe, click here.  
For a sweeter cake, use 1 1/2 cups sugar.  
For a Carrot Cake with a bold flavor, try using 2 teaspoons pumpkin spice!  It’s my personal favorite! 
If your cake does not rise as much as you had hoped, consider switching from cinnamon and nutmeg to pumpkin spice.  Cinnamon is notorious for decreasing the rise baked goods which is why it is often on the outside of the batter or dough instead of mixed in.  
This recipe uses 1 cup of sugar and makes 16 servings, that means each serving has just 1 tablespoon of sugar.
Keyword Allergen Friendly, cake, gluten-free cake, Gluten-Free Dessert, Grain-free baking, grain-free cake

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What’s Grain-Free Flour?

This recipe uses my grain-free flour blend, which I use in all my baking, really one flour for all baked goods. No more 17 flours in the pantry!

It’s easy to use. Just blend it up and bake away. I blend 5 pounds at time, and use it for all my baking. A 5 pound batch lasts me about a month.

Grain Free Flour Blend

This is the flour used in all my recipes. Mix it up, and bake away!
Prep Time 5 mins

Equipment

  • Mixing bowl
  • Container for storing extra flour

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups tapioca flour
  • 2 cups chickpea flour
  • 1 cup coconut flour

Instructions
 

  • Add tapioca flour, chickpea flour, and coconut flour to a mixing bowl. Using a large spoon, stir ingredients until well mixed.

Notes

If you have a container which seals tightly, you can also toss the ingredients for a perfect blend.  Mix it up, and bake away!   
I blend my flour by the pound!  2 Pounds tapioca, 2 Pounds chickpea, 1 Pound Coconut.  
Keyword allergyfree, allergyfriendly, gluten-free flour, glutenfreebaking, grain-free flour, grainfreebaking

Let’s See It Happen

Let’s Take A Closer Look At Our Ingredients

Olive Oil Cooking Spray--Have you ever forgotten to grease a cake pan? I like using olive oil spray because it’s free of soy, corn, sunflower, and propellant. Feel free to grease your pans with a safe oil, but remember to grease your cake pans, or you will really Break The Recipe, LOL!

Organic Coconut Oil / Refined coconut oil —The more ingredients a recipe has, the greater potential it contains allergen. Since we are using coconut milk and coconut flour in our Grain-Free Flour Blend, we’ll use coconut oil as our fat. One of the great things about using refined coconut oil, is it doesn’t taste like coconut. For a healthier cake, use organic coconut oil. Your cake will have a slight coconut flavor, which you can balance with vanilla if you like.


White Sugar  (beet sugar or cane sugar)– Both beet sugar and cane sugar are white sugars. Of these two, beet sugar is less inflammatory than cane sugar. If you are concerned about inflammation, I would go with beet sugar. It’s what I use when I cook and bake. It’s also a great way for people with a cane sugar allergy to enjoy sweet baked goods!

Coconut Sugar— Best described as sweet with a caramel like flavor, coconut sugar is delicious! It also has a lower glycemic index (meaning it requires less insulin to break down, and causes less change in blood sugar) than cane sugar and is thought to cause less inflammation than cane sugar. I use it whenever a recipe calls for brown sugar. It has the same deep rich flavor with a little caramel bonus.


Chickpea Flour–Oh marvelous chickpea flour, it has so many uses. In this recipe it adds protein to our grain-free flour blend, and it takes the place of egg. Most doctors encourage their patients to consume more legumes if it is safe to do so. Baking with chickpea flour is a great way to do this!


Coconut milk –I like using the coconut milk in the carton when a recipe calls for “milk”. My favorite brand is So Delicious. Coconut is my duct tape, I can make almost anything with it. Any time a recipe calls for “milk” this is what I use. When a recipe calls for whole milk, I’ll use the full fat coconut milk in the can, and when a recipe calls for cream, I’ll go with canned coconut cream.


Grain-Free Flour Blend, This takes the place of white flour in our bread. We blend it from three main ingredients: chickpea flour; tapioca flour; & coconut flour. While all the flours are gluten-free, chickpea gives us protein, tapioca gives us starch, and coconut gives us fiber. This and a little xanathan gum and we can create breads which just look and taste like the real thing!


Salt–Known for enhancing flavor and bringing out sweetness, salt is also an essential nutrient we need in moderation. If you are looking to decrease your salt intake, take the salt shaker off the table, and salt your recipes in the kitchen.


 Xanthan Gum–The closest I’ll ever get to baking with unicorn farts, xanthan gum makes the magic happen! It thickens, it emulsifies, it foams. It creates structure and allows the CO2 pockets created by the cream of tartar and baking soda to remain after our cake is removed from the oven.

The most frequently asked question about xanthan gum is—“Does it contain: dairy, soy, wheat, or corn?” These are the most common ingredients uses in creating xanthan gum. So people are right to ask. But I have found Authentic Foods Xanthan Gum, a brand that is free of all these allergens! It’s made from cabbage. I haven’t had anyone tell me they dislike it. It’s high quality, allergen friendly, and it gets the job done!

Organic Cinnamon & Nutmeg or Pumpkin Spice —A traditional carrot cake recipe calls for cinnamon and nutmeg. So if you’re looking to replicate Grandma’s Carrot Cake, then go for it! I prefer pumpkin spice. In addition to adding a little ginger, it reduces the steps in the recipe. II have also found that I get a fluffier cake using pumpkin spice. Cinnamon is known for taking the rise out of baked goods.


Baking Soda–what would a kitchen be without baking soda? Make sure to have a separate box or jar for the fridge and another for baking. We use baking soda to create carbon dioxide in combination with our cream of tartar.


Cream of Tartar–another leavening agent, this recipe uses cream of tartar to in combination with baking soda and chickpea flour to create carbon dioxide to create what bakers call “crumb,” the soft air pockets in baked goods!

Frequently Asked Questions

Why add chickpea flour with the wet ingredients?

We know chickpea flour would normally be added with dry ingredients. But this is Break A Recipe and we break the rules to get the results we want! In this case, chickpea flour is added with the wet ingredients because it is taking the place of eggs!

Do you need a stand mixer to make this recipe?

If you have a powerful hand mixer, you can use it to make this carrot cake. Be careful, if you hear your mixer struggling, grinding, or making an unholy racket, turn it off! Sometimes the carrot and nuts can be too much for a hand mixer. No one needs a kitchen fire.

Do you have to use 1 cup of coconut oil?

I understand that many people seek to limit the amount of oil and fat in their diet. In this recipe coconut oil contributes fat and moisture to the cake. If you replace this ingredient, remember to account for the moisture the coconut oil contributes to the recipe. No one needs a brick when they are expecting cake!

Can I make this recipe without xanthin gum?

I would not advise making this recipe without xanthan gum. I tried baking without xanthan gum once and it did not go well. To read what happened when I tried baking with psyllium husk powder, click here. It was not pretty. I prefer using Authentic Foods’ Xanthan Gum made without wheat, soy, corn, or dairy.

What if I am allergic to carrot?

In my research on carrot cake, I learned that you can replace carrot with an equivalent amount of apple in a carrot cake. Isn’t that amazing? Since I have an apple allergy, I’m going to try it in reverse when a recipe calls for apple.

Do you have a question about this recipe? Leave a comment. It’s always a delight to hear from readers!

Before You Go…

Thank you for reading, for trying this Carrot Cake recipe, and for taking a chance on a recipe made with unique ingredients!

You’ll find it’s easy to make, and your body will feel much better after eating it. If you’re cooking this for someone with allergies, thank you again for supporting them. You’re an amazing friend. Pin this recipe so you can share it with those who need it, and find it later!

Please tell me how your recipe turned out when you make it. Click here to reach me directly. You can also find me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or Pinterest using the links below. I really enjoy your feedback and comments. I can’t wait to hear how your recipe turned out!

Wishing You Safe & Delicious Foods, ❤️ Nina

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