Carrot Cake

carrot cakeThis carrot cake is one of my favorite new recipes. I made it this morning while witnessing an epic snowstorm in the making outside my window. The sweet, nostalgic smell of carrot cake somehow seemed perfect against the backdrop of billowing snow. Since I don’t have class on Fridays and am still recovering from my nasty little cold, I found being holed up in my apartment to be a perfectly fine way to spend the day. My dog, on the other hand, was a little less thrilled about the weather, since he was belly-deep in snow during much of our walk.

Anyways, back to the recipe. I love it because it’s moist and flavorful, and spongey rather than dense. Don’t get me wrong; I actually really love a dense, carrot-packed carrot cake. But this version is a foolproof cake recipe that I’m certain will satisfy all crowds. I had a “Miranda” (re: Sex and the City) moment today when — after sneaking small slices off of the sheet of cake throughout the day — I suddenly realized a quite sizeable chunk of it was missing. Whoops!

The coconut frosting I used is made from coconut-based ingredients and splashed with a hint of apple cider vinegar for some tanginess.  The way I made it, the frosting will set completely when it’s on the cake, which is why I add it in two batches. If you pour it on all at once, I think too much of the frosting mixture will seep into the warm cake. If you want to try a cream cheese frosting recipe instead, try this one from Elana’s Pantry. I haven’t tried it, but can attest to her recipes being pretty spot-on. I would suggest using Follow Your Heart vegan cream cheese and soy milk for a dairy-free version.

In other dessert-related news, I recently discovered a great blog called madcap cupcake. It is my new web obsession. I could gaze at the photographs alone for hours, and the recipes (many linked to other great blogs) — albeit not all gluten or sugar-free — are all vegan.  I’m sure madcap cupcake will be a great source of inspiration for me in the future. I also love the cruelty-free angle. I’m taking an animal law class right now, and without getting too in-depth, I’ll just say that I’ve learned enough already to know that the world could use a good, cruelty-free recipe blogger. You go, Marika!

On that note, I hope you all enjoy this gluten-free, sugar-free, “cruelty free” carrot cake as much as I did.

Tip: toast the walnuts on a flat baking sheet at 350 for 10 minutes before using

Gluten Free Carrot Cake:

1 cup sorghum flour

1/2 cup potato starch

1/4 cup flaxseed meal

1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1 tablespoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon allspice

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup grapeseed oil

3/4 cup agave nectar

1/4 cup hot water

1 cup applesauce (unsweetened)

2 cups shredded carrot

1 cup toasted walnuts, chopped

3/4 cup fruit sweetened dried cranberries

Coconut Frosting:

2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons potato starch

2 teaspoons coconut flour

2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar

1/2 cup agave nectar

1/2 cup coconut oil

1/2 cup lite coconut milk


1. Make frosting by blending all ingredients in a blender or food processor until smooth. Make sure coconut oil is liquified beforehand. If solidified, let jar sit in a warm bowl of water for 10 minutes. Chill frosting in refrigerator while preparing cake.

2. Preheat oven to 350.

3. Whisk together dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl (sorghum flour through salt). Add grapeseed oil, agave and hot water and whisk until batter is smooth. Fold in applesauce, carrot, walnuts and dried cranberries. Turn out batter into a pre-greased, 9-13″ baking dish. Bake in preheated oven for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

4. Let cake cool on a wire rack for about 20 minutes. When cake is slightly cooled, pour or spread 1/2 of the frosting mixture over cake. Cover and let cool in refrigerator until frosting is set (firm to the touch). Pour or spread the remaining mixture over the cake and let frosting set completely before serving.

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  1. Alexa | says

    Beth! I tried this carrot cake and have to say that it was pretty darn good! Super moist and a very impressive crumb despite having no eggs. And the dairy-free icing had the perfect cream cheese icing “tang.” Nice going on this one!

  2. Beth says

    Alexa — Yayy!!!!!!!!!!!!! So happy to hear it!!! : ) Your site is looking awesome. So many great new recipes. I want to try the celery root fries. Yum! Thanks for reporting back. So happy you liked the cake.

  3. says

    Should I change any part of the recipe (time, temp, etc.) to make cupcakes? Looks SO delicious! I’m going to make these this weekend!

  4. Beth says

    Oooh, that’s a good question! Probably less cooking time…but I haven’t made this in a long time so I really can’t say. I would think they would turn out just fine, though!

  5. sherry says

    I live n high altitude. Are there any adjustments necessary? Thank u so much for your recipes and advice. So valuable!

  6. Beth says

    Sherry — I am not so sure about adjustments for high altitude… So sorry! If you note any changes, feel free to share so I can make a note for future reference. Thanks!


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