Vegan and Gluten Free Carrot Cake


A birthday cake was in need for my mums birthday which catered for all of our special dietary needs. Gluten free for her as she is coeliac and dairy/egg free for me because i’m vegan and obvs i’m gunna deserve a slice if i made it. It went down an absolute storm. So much that my mums dessert hating boyfriend said it was one of the best cakes he had ever eaten! Even if the 2 tiers slid off the bottom tier travelling back to Essex.

I’d never really been a fan of carrot cake until recently. My baking taste buds have broadened and boy have I been missing out. This 3 tier cake is moist, dense and flavoursome yet contains no gluten, dairy or eggs. I used an 8 inch circular pan and created three tiers. But feel free to use two tins of any size as long as you split the mixture evenly in half. I only have 1 tin so i had to cook the mixture in thirds.

The vegan frosting is made from cashews which are a god send in baking. Unfortunately the pretty icing carrots contain gelatine so aren’t suitable for vegans. But they look pretty and everyone else isn’t vegan so they didn’t go to waste.

The added pecans give a lovely flavour throughout, and the hint of cinnamon compliments the carrot beautifully. I got my inspo from the minimalist bakers recipe and swapped some ingredients to what i had in my drawers, plus I changed the quantities around for my preference.

ps grab your coconut sugar/maple syrup from aldi or lidl if you’re in the UK and have either near you. Will save you all the pennies!

serves 10-12
takes approx. 90 minutes

For the cake
90ml coconut oil (melted)
100ml maple syrup
215g apple sauce
4 flax eggs (4 tablespoons of flax seeds plus 8 tablespoons of water left to sit for 10 minutes)
135g coconut sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons of baking powder
1 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
75g chopped pecans
200g grated carrots
220ml unsweetened almond milk
175g almond flour (ground whole almonds in food processor)
250g gluten free plain flour

For the frosting
200g cashews (soaked in boiling water for an hour)
250ml coconut cream
3 tablespoons of maple syrup
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
2 teaspoons of lemon juice
25ml coconut oil
4 tablespoons of icing sugar

For the cake
1. Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F and grease your baking tins with a bit of coconut oil.
2. In a large mixing bowl add your wet ingredients. These are your flax eggs, coconut oil, almond milk, apple sauce and maple syrup. Combine and stir in your grated carrot.
3. In another mixing bowl add your dry ingredients being your coconut sugar, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, salt, almond flour, plain flour and cinnamon.
4. Slowly pour your dry ingredients into your wet and combine thoroughly.
5. Next fold in your chopped pecan nuts.
6. If using 8 inch pans like me and wanting 3 tiers, you will need about 500g of the mixture in each tin.
7. Bake each tier for 35 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.
8. Let cool on baking rake before decorating.

For the frosting
1. Soak your cashews nuts in cold water overnight or boiling water for 1 hour.
2. Drain your cashews and add them to the food processor with the rest of the frosting ingredients.
3. Blitz until smooth, adding more icing sugar should you wish for it to be sweeter.
4. Empty into a mixing bowl and place in freezer to firm up for 30 minutes.
5. After the 30 minutes, give it a good stir (ensuring any clumps sticking to the side have been stirred in), and place back in freezer for another 30 minutes.
6. Stir again and hopefully the frosting will now be thick enough to spread on the cake. Should it not be, repeat step 5.
7. Assemble the cake by adding the frosting between each layer and the top. Decorate as you desire!

Store in an airtight container in the fridge (to keep the frosting firm) and consume within 3 days.

Enjoy! – share and tag your creations with me on Instagram @whatluceeats


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