This 2-layer, gorgeous gluten-free, vegan carrot cake with sugar-free coconut cream frosting is appropriate for any occasion. It’s nutty, sweet, and palatable.
My first experience with carrot cake was 9 years ago on my birthday. Sarah, my colleague, brought me a homemade, old-fashioned carrot cake. To be honest, I was bit sceptical as to how it would taste. You know, carrot, a vegetable in a cake! But, I was totally amazed how moist and satisfying it was. Unexpected.
Seeing how bunnies like carrots, don’t you think carrot cake is more appropriate for Easter? However, carrot cake can be an all-time favorite and made year-round. I have carrots in my fridge most of the time because they are a good keeper vegetable. They add nicely to many savory recipes that we enjoy all the time, such as
Besides savory dishes, I also like to use them to make Lemon Carrot Muffins for breakfast. It’s a misconception that putting a healthy element such as carrots into sweet pastries will make them healthy. And sadly yes, you’re hearing me right! Most carrot cake recipes aren’t as healthy as we thought. The high sugar content icing can easily turn the healthy carrot cake into a sugar bomb. Weight-loss, diabetes, and even heart disease, oh no!
No worries! The coconut cream frosting on this vegan carrot cake is totally naturally sweetened. I used pure stevia extract powder and erythritol in this recipe. Compared to all the other refined sugar alternatives, these two are my favorites. They are like sugar without calories and won’t spike your blood sugar.
I just read a review posted by a follower named Linda on Paula Deen’s website about her carrot cake. This is what it said:
“PAULA I WOULD BE THRILLED IF YOU WOULD TAKE THIS RECIPE AND MAKE IT ALSO INTO A HEALTHY VERSION FOR THOSE OF US WANTING TO EAT HEALTHIER. THANKYOU.”
Look no further Linda because this is the healthy carrot cake you’ve been looking for. Eat your heart out Paula Deen.
I used my homemade all-purpose gluten-free flour, unsweetened applesauce, shredded carrot, walnuts, cinnamon powder,and non-dairy milk as the main ingredients. The cake is moist and soft. It goes perfectly with the sweet, creamy, and rich coconut cream frosting.
In the end, I sprinkled some cacao nibs on top to garnish. More antioxidant, why not! They also add some interesting crunchy texture to the cake. But, roasted walnuts or coconut shreds will work fantastic too.
- 2 ⅓ cup 350 grams Joyce’s all-purpose gluten-free flour (My GF flour is healthier than any store bought GF flour out there. Trust me.)
- ½ teaspoon pure stevia extract powder
- ¼ cup erythritol
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon powder
- ¼ teaspoons nutmeg powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup walnuts chopped
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
- ⅓ cup canola oil
- ⅓ cup non-dairy milk
- 1 medium size carrot shredded or grated
- 2½ tablespoons erythritol see note
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 can coconut cream or full-fat coconut milk extra coconut water removed, see note, chill in refrigerator prior to using it
- 2 teaspoons cacao nibs
- Preheat oven to 350 ℉. Grease an 8-inch springform pan with oil spray. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together all dry ingredients except the walnuts. Set aside.
- In another mixing bowl, mix all wet ingredients together until well combined.
- Pour the wet ingredients mixture into the dry ingredients. Mix them together with a rubber spatula until well combined. Stir in the chopped walnuts. Pour the batter into the greased springform pan.
- Bake 25-30 minutes until the cake is springy. Let the carrot cake cool in the pan for 5 minutes and then carefully remove the springform. Let the cake cool completely on a wire cooling rack.
- Use a hand mixer to blend all the garnishing ingredients together except the cacao nibs. If the coconut cream is too soft, return it back to refrigerator and chill for 15 minutes.
- Cut the cake into two layers and set the top layer aside very carefully. Spread the coconut cream frosting in between the layers and on top of the cake. Garnish with cacao nibs on top.
Blend erythritol and cornstarch in a high speed blender to make the powdered sugar substitute.
Place the can of full-fat coconut milk in refrigerator upside down and let it chill for at least 18 hours before opening it. The liquid (coconut water) will be on the top and the cream will be solid and on the bottom. Remove the liquid and just blend or beat the cream to make the frosting.