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Vegan Carrot Cake with Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting

Vegan Carrot Cake with Frosting [Gluten-Free], Video

This healthy gluten-free vegan carrot cake absolutely blew my mind with its lemony cream cheese frosting and cranberries hidden inside. Despite its fancy facade, my carrot cake recipe is pretty easy, requiring only 10 ingredients (not counting salt, sweetener, baking powder and optional ingredients), 2 bowls, a spoon and baking tin to make.

Let me tell you in the beginning that this cake is no low-fat treat, but all the fats come from whole food ingredients. My vegan carrot cake doesnโ€™t contain any refined oils or vegan butter/margarine that most vegan cake recipes do.

Up until now I was no fan of frosted cake recipes, but this carrot cake with the smooth and creamy and so perfectly lemony vegan cream cheese totally changed my mind. To be honest, I try not to make it too often, as weโ€™d just eat the cake at one go ๐Ÿ™‚

Vegan Carrot Cake with Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting

I love this recipe because you can make the cake in different shapes for different occasions:

  • Make simple loaf and slice it for everyday consumption (with or without frosting).
  • Take a round cake tin and prepare frosted and decorated cake for festivities.
  • Finally, a square or rectangle shape will make cute chubby cake pieces with frosting or without.

Vegan Carrot Cake with Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting
Have it with frosting or without.

Itโ€™s important to note, that even though I marked cranberries as optional ingredient, I strongly recommend including them in the recipe. In my opinion this carrot cake absolutely needs those small sour bites hidden inside to give it the right accent. Of course, you might think otherwise!

Vegan Carrot Cake with Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting

Whatโ€™s special about my vegan carrot cake is that itโ€™s:

  • Gluten-free
  • Oil-free
  • Low glycemic
  • Candida diet friendly
  • Nut-free and peanut-free (use nut or seeds butters that suit you)
  • Soy-free
  • Refined sugar free
Vegan Carrot Cake with Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting
Dig in!

Finally, Iโ€™d love to hear from you when youโ€™ve made this cake. Please leave me a comment below and tag me in social media!


Vegan Carrot Cake Recipe



  • 1ยฝ tbsps. ground chia seeds + 5 tbsps. water
  • 100g (3.4oz) additive-free nut or seed butter
  • 6ยฝ tbsps. birch xylitol (or date sugar for Plantricious version, see more sub info in tips)
  • 130g (4.6oz) unsweetened applesauce
  • 130g (4.6oz) plain plant milk (see tips)

Ingredients:add later

  • 80g (2.8oz) finely grated carrot
  • ยผ cup of fresh or frozen cranberries (optional)


  1. Start by mixing together ground chia seeds and water. Next, take nut or seed butter at room temperature and mix it into the chia eggs. Add also the other wet ingredients and mix until you have a smooth blend. You may also use regular or immersion blender.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients. Then, pour in the wet mixture and stir until you have a homogeneous batter. You may also use food processor.
  3. Next, finely grate the carrot and mix it into the batter along with cranberries.
  4. Line the bottom of a cake pan with parchment paper and grease the sides with coconut oil or avocado oil. Preheat oven to 175ยฐC (350ยฐF) and bake the carrot cake at for about an hour. Itโ€™s ready when toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. The smaller the cake pan you use, the longer itโ€™ll take to bake. I used 15cm (5.9inch) round cake tin (my cake came out 4 cm, 1.6 inches thick) and baked it for an hour and 10 minutes.ย Let cool before slicing.

Nutritional info (โ…› of cake without frosting): 202 kcal, 18.9g carbohydrates (52.4% of kcal), 9.29g fats (41.3% of kcal), 7.05g protein (13.9% of kcal), 7.49g fibre, 171mg sodium, and 5.6 GL points.

Nutritional info for Plantricious version (โ…› of cake without frosting): 213 kcal, 21g carbohydrates (53.6% of kcal), 9.44g fats (40% of kcal), 7.22g protein (13.6% of kcal), 7.4g fibre, and 91.4mg sodium.

Serve with light-coloured vegan frosting (optional): Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting (on photos) orย Ricotta Cheese Frosting.

Tips for my vegan carrot cake:

  • Flax eggs are fine to use as egg replacer instead of chia eggs. Take 2 tbsps. of ground flax seeds and mix it with 5 tbsps. of water.
  • Make sure the nut or seed butter you use is made of nuts or seeds only, i.e. with no additives. I used half tahini and half crunchy peanut butter. Almond butter would also be great in this recipe.
  • I used 4 tbsps. of birch xylitol and 30 liquid stevia drops to sweeten my carrot cake. 1 tbsp. of xylitol equals about 12 liquid stevia drops.
  • If you donโ€™t have problem with Candida overgrowth or blood sugar spikes, use any sweetener you like, i.e. raw cane sugar, coconut sugar or nectar, date sugar or paste.
  • Any plant milk will do well in the recipe: almond milk, oat milk, rice milk, cashew milk, hemp milk, soymilk etc. Should you use naturally sweet plant milk (oat and rice), add about 1 tablespoon LESS of xylitol or 12 drops LESS of stevia.
  • Use any variety of carrots: purple, yellow or orange. I went for purple for its intense colour.

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Gluten-Free Vegan Carrot Cake with Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting

Gluten-Free Vegan Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting


  1. This looks so delicious, I canโ€™t wait to try it! I have a question about the measurements.. is it by weight or volume? Iโ€™m used to using cups and ounces, so Iโ€™m wondering how I should measure. Thank you!

    • Nele Liivlaid

      Hi Natalia!

      I hope you’ll love it!
      I always measure by weight — it is the most precise method especially when it comes to flours. After all, one can measure a packed or fluffy cup of flour and can totally ruin the recipe. Also, the sizes of cups are different — I know that in US it’s 240ml, but here it’s 250ml.
      So, I really recommend getting a kitchen scale (if you already don’t have it). I think, the cheapest ones are about 10USD.

      All the best!

  2. Hi Nele,
    I really want to make the carrot cake recipe but there is a family member who cannot have cashews. Could you provide a substitute as the frosting looks amazing and carrot cake must have it! Thanks, Nancy

    • Nele Liivlaid

      Hi Nancy!

      Peeled almonds would make a great substitute. Soak organic almonds for 6-8 hours, then peel and blend with other ingredients.

      Happy baking!

  3. Perfect! Thank you, Nele!

  4. Emmy Arvidsson

    I found your website yesterday, and got so incredibly excited to find creative, well-written, plant-based recipes that’s ok when going through the process of healing my gut! Thank you!

    I baked this carrot cake yesterday and was very pleased with the taste of it! I included the cranberries which was delicious. But I have one concern with the consistency of the cake, is it supposed to be very doughy? I would personally prefer it to be a little bit more light and fluffy. Would adding apple cider vinegar to the batter be an option to help the baking powder activate better and make the cake a little less dense?

    • Nele Liivlaid

      Hi Emmy!

      Thank you for your kind words! I’m so glad that you find my recipes helpful!

      If you’d like the carrot cake be drier, add a few more tablespoons of flour or try with buckwheat or teff flour (they tend to absorb more liquid). As it’s a gluten-free recipe, it’d be difficult to get it as fluffy as carrot cakes using wheat or spelt. I’m not sure how ACV work, but it’s worth trying I think.
      I might bake it once more to try it out myself. If you beat me to it, please let me know how it worked!

      All the best!

  5. It looks like there is icing in the middle. Did you cut the cake in half horizontally or make two batches with icing in middle as well as top?

    • Nele Liivlaid


      Yes, I cut the cake in half! Sometimes I eat it without icing, other times I only add icing on top and when I feel extra festive, I stick it also in the middle ๐Ÿ™‚

      Happy baking!

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