Homemade Vegan, Gluten-Free Carrot Cake

It’s no great shock to hear gluten-free or vegan these days. I, too, have removed practically all gluten from my diet, and now I no longer feel like a walking zombie. I don’t believe I have an allergy to gluten, nor do I suffer when, on occasion, I eat wheat or gluten products; the problem was just how much gluten I was eating per meal. In almost every thing I ate, there was at least some form of gluten (cereal, bread, pasta, cookies, crackers, muffins). Essentially, I had to re-learn a few eating habits and now, in place of all that gluten, I eat more fresh foods and less baked goods.

For consumers these days, it’s not difficult to find a variety of gluten-free and vegan labeled products. For the home cook, it can be intimidating when attempting to make gluten-free and vegan recipes, especially when it comes to baking: “What if it ends up being hard as a rock, or tastes like cardboard? And how do I make a cream cheese-y frosting without cream cheese?!” These are common concerns I hear when it comes to axing the gluten and making it vegan.

Fortunately, I love a good challenge, and I’m here to tell you, I made cake! Yep, a 100% vegan, gluten-free carrot cake that I boldly presented to my sister for her birthday. The family loved it! My dairy loving, gluten-free-fearing brother was impressed.

So to all you carrot cake lovers, I challenge you to try this 100% vegan and gluten-free cake. It’s just as easy to make as a regular carrot cake and tastes amazing.

I adapted the ingredients from my old standby carrot cake recipe. It turned out to be deliciously rich and heavenly, loaded with carrots and sweet pineapple with a slightly nutty crunch from toasted walnuts. It was tender and moist with the perfect amount spice and sweetness. The frosting had a slight hint of lemon and mellow coconut flavour. Yum!

You can enjoy this cake on any occasion. It makes for the perfect spring dessert, or as an afternoon snack with a nice cup of tea.

Bon appetite! Enjoy the recipe below.

Gleuten-free cake pic

Vegan Gluten-Free Carrot Cake


2 ½ cups of gluten-free flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill All Purpose Baking Flour)
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
1 ½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 ½ cup of sugar (organic cane or coconut sugar)
½ cup vegetable oil
4 flax “eggs” (an egg substitute see instructions below)
½ cup unsweetened applesauce
500 g carrots peeled and grated (about 4 cups)
1 can (250 g) crushed pineapple in natural juice
½ cup seedless raisins (optional)
½ cup walnuts, finely chopped


½ cup vegan margarine
½ cup coconut fat, liquid reserved (see method below)
3-4 tsp of pineapple juice (from crushed pineapple in cake ingredients)
2-3 cups icing sugar
1 tsp lemon zest
Unsweetened medium flaked coconut for decorating

  1. Preheat oven to 180C/350F. Grease two 8” round cake tins and set aside.
  2. Stir together flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl.
  3. Beat sugar, oil, flax eggs, and applesauce in a large bowl until thoroughly combined. Beat in flour mixture until evenly moistened. Stir in carrots, pineapple and juice (reserving 2-3 tsp for frosting), raisins, and walnuts. Divide batter evenly between prepared pans.
  4. Bake until a skewer inserted in the middle of each cake comes out clean, 45 – 50 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack. Leave to cool, about 30 minutes. Turn cakes out onto racks. Leave to cool completely.
  5. Beat vegan margarine and coconut cream in a large bowl on medium for 1 minute. Add icing sugar, pineapple juice, and lemon zest; beat until just smooth and creamy.
  6. Place a cake layer on a serving plate. Spread with a third of the icing. Place second layer on top. Spread remaining icing over the top and sides of cake.
  7. Sprinkle with a layer of shredded coconut and decorate with a few edible flowers.

**To make 1 flax egg, stir together 1 Tbsp flax meal and 3 Tbsp water until combined. (This recipe calls for 4 flax eggs, so use ¼ cup ground flax meal and ¾ cup water).

Written By:

Holly Brooke is a true B.C. gal. Having lived on the west coast most of her life, except for several years in the Kootenay's where she canoed and fished and lived in a tipi, she's very much at home outdoors and in the kitchen. ...

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