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Gluten-Free Carrot Cake with Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting

Gluten-Free Carrot Cake with Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting
Gluten-Free Carrot Cake with Vegan Cream Cheese FrostingNathan Congleton / TODAY
Cook Time:
30 mins
Prep Time:
15 mins

Chef notes

This is one of my personal favorites recipe at my bakery Sweet Laurel. It is just lightly sweetened, and has the perfect amount of spice for a carrot cake.

Vegan swap option: To make the recipe vegan, use a blend of chia seeds and flaxseeds instead of eggs to make the batter. Soak 3 tablespoons freshly ground chia seeds in 9 tablespoons of water at room temperature for 10 minutes; meanwhile, soak 2 tablespoons freshly ground flaxseed in 6 tablespoons of water at room temperature for 10 minutes. Use the two mixtures in place of the eggs in the batter and bake the cake for 10 minutes longer. (Chia and flax must be freshly ground to use as a vegan egg replacement). 

Technique tip: For the best appearance and texture, wait to make the frosting until a few hours before serving and frost the cake no more than an hour before serving. 


  • cups almond flour
  • teaspoons Himalayan pink salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil (melted)
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 5 eggs (or vegan substitute)
  • 2 cups grated carrots
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 2 cups raw cashews (soaked about 1 + hour, drained and rinsed)
  • 1/2 cup coconut or almond milk
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil (melted)
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 capsule powdered probiotic or 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
Optional decorations
  • Organic flowers and/or fresh herbs


    Make the cake:

    Preheat the oven 350°F. Grease three six-inch cake pans generously with coconut oil. (This cake can also be made with two 8-inch cake pans instead of three 6-inch cake pans.) Mix almond flour, pink salt, baking soda and cinnamon in a bowl. Whisk together coconut oil, maple syrup and eggs in a stand mixer or whisk wet ingredients together in another bowl. Pour the dry ingredients into wet ingredients along with carrots, raisins and walnuts. Mix well. Divide batter into pans, place pans on large baking sheet and bake about 20 to 25 minutes. Allow to cool completely.

    Prepare the frosting:

    Place all frosting ingredients in a high-speed blender. Blend until creamy, frosting like texture is reached. Store frosting in air tight container in refrigerator until use.

    Finish the cake:

    An hour before serving time, spread frosting on each cake layer, stacking the layers as you go. Place cake in the refrigerator until serving. Decorate cake with organic flowers and herbs.