This dairy-free carrot cake is fluffy and moist, topped with a luscious, velvety smooth frosting and crunchy pecans. Use your favorite vegan cream cheese and applesauce for a delicious, tangy frosting.
If you’re on a dairy-free diet, you might have written off carrot cake entirely. However, this recipe incorporates dairy-free ingredients so that you can enjoy a comforting and satisfying slice of carrot cake.
This will become one of your go-to desserts!
Making carrot cake is not as intimidating as it may seem. It’s not unlike other cakes and most of the ingredients are probably in your pantry! Below are some of the special ingredients in the recipe.
- Grated carrots: An essential component, of course!
- Chopped pecans: For their nutty flavor and crunchy texture.
- Vegetable oil: Carrot cake is oil-based, which keeps it dairy-free and ensures a moist texture.
- Cinnamon: A warming spice to elevate the flavors of the carrots.
- Vegan cream cheese: Maintains the creamy texture you’d want in your frosting for carrot cake but keeps the cake dairy-free.
- Applesauce: For added tang in your vegan cream cheese frosting.
You can make a delicious and satisfying dairy free carrot cake. Start by mixing your wet ingredients (eggs, oil, white sugar, and vanilla). Add in your flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, carrots, and pecans.
Pour your mixture into a greased and floured 9x13 inch pan. Bake in a preheated 350F oven for 40 to 50 minutes. When it’s baked, remove from the oven and let it cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
To make your dairy free frosting, mix applesauce, vegan cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar, and vanilla until smooth. Add in some chopped pecans. Frost your cake and serve!
Dairy-free carrot cake should be stored in the refrigerator. Place your leftover slices in an airtight container and enjoy within 5 days. Uncut, frosted cake can stay in the fridge uncovered until it is time to serve.
Dairy-free cream cheese frosting does not fare well in the freezer, as it dries out and becomes crumbly. However, you can freeze uniced carrot cake. Wrap it tightly in both plastic wrap and foil to prevent freezer burn. Use within 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator to enjoy. You can also freeze your carrot cake batter in a large plastic bag. Lay it flat and use it within 3 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight when you’re ready to bake. Pour your batter into a prepared pan and bake away. Top with a fresh frosting to serve.
You can make dairy-free carrot cake ahead of time. For optimal freshness, it is recommended that you do not make it any sooner than 1 day in advance.
A slice of carrot cake is delicious on its own, but a nice fresh cup of coffee or green tea takes it to another level.
For the perfect texture and even distribution of flavors, grate the carrots as finely as possible. Do not use pre-shredded carrots from the grocery store as they will be too chunky. Grate your own using the finest size on a box cheese grater.
For every cup of grated carrots, you’ll need about 2 to 3 medium-sized carrots.
You should peel your carrots before you grate them because the skin is a little bitter which can impact the flavor of your cake.
There are various forms of vegan cream cheese available on the market or that you can make at home. Vegan cream cheese can be made of coconut oil, almond milk, cashews, or soy.
- Grease and flour your pan well to prevent your cake from sticking.
- Be careful not to overmix your cake mixture once you add in the dry ingredients. Overmixing causes too much gluten development which prevents you from having a moist cake.
- If you like warming spices, you can experiment and try adding cardamom, cloves, nutmeg, allspice, or ground ginger.
- For a perfect velvety smooth dairy-free frosting free of lumps, sift your confectioners’ sugar before mixing it with the remaining ingredients.
A slice of carrot cake and a cup of coffee would fantastic right now!
Dairy Free Carrot Cake
- 3 cups grated carrots
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 1 ¼ cups vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups white sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 8 oz vegan cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup pecans, chopped
- ½ cup applesauce
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 cups confectioners' sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease a 9x13 inch pan and flour it.
- To a large bowl add eggs, oil, white sugar, and 2 teaspoons vanilla and beat it.
- Add flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, carrots, and pecans.
- Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 40 to 50 minutes. Once baked, let it cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- In a bowl beat applesauce, vegan cream cheese, confectioners' sugar, and 1 teaspoon vanilla until the mixture is smooth.
- Add chopped pecans and top the cake with frosting.