Healthy dairy free and gluten free carrot cake recipe sweetened with maple syrup and topped with vegan cream cheese frosting and coconut caramel sauce.
Carrot cake is one of those desserts that is perfect year round. No matter the season, it simply works! We’re in the middle of September, somehow, and most of us are not quite ready for all things pumpkin. So, I thought about what would make a great summer-to-fall cake that’s light enough for warm days, but also cozy enough for those already experiencing the seasonal transition – if you guessed a HEALTHY CARROT CAKE, then you’re right 🙂
What I love about this cake is that is super moist, has an incredible taste and it’s made with simple, clean ingredients such as organic carrots, applesauce, gluten free flour, almond flour and maple syrup.
How to make a healthy carrot sheet cake
Making a healthy cake doesn’t have to be complicated, or expensive. Most of these items you probably already have in your pantry. Here’s a list of ingredients you need to make a healthy, gluten free and dairy free carrot sheet cake:
1-to-1 gluten free flour : I like using Bob’s Red Mill (not sponsored – I just truly love it).
Almond flour: I prefer using blanched almond flour over whole almond flour. Makes for a softer texture. I usually buy one from Bob’s Red Mill or Trader Joes.
Applesauce: a great and healthy substitute for yogurt or sour cream. And it’s dairy free, of course.
Maple Syrup: love the addition of maple syrup as opposed to sugar or light brown sugar. Not only is it a cleaner ingredient, it also adds great flavor and moisture.
Organic Ingredients (when possible): from organic carrots to organic eggs, it sure makes a difference when you use high quality ingredients.
Spices: cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger. Your place will start smelling like fall!
Almond Milk: regardless of the dairy-free option you choose, make sure it’s unsweetened.
Sure, cakes aren’t technically healthy, but with some tweaking you can make a dessert that has a lighter impact on your health. I sure do need to choose healthier options as much as possible.
Tips for making a healthy carrot sheet cake
This is a pretty easy cake to make, especially if you’re a new baker. Follow the tips below and you’ll be good to go.
- Gather and measure all your ingredients before you begin mixing.
- You’re going to need a 13×9 inch cake pan (greased with cooking spray), a hand grater or food processor, and room temp eggs, vegan butter and dairy free cream cheese.
- I like to sift all the dry ingredients (especially powdered sugar). You end up with a softer cake and no clumps in your frosting. Try it!
- Make sure the cake has cooled completely before adding the cream cheese frosting. Use an angled spatula to spread it on top.
- If you’re making the coconut caramel sauce, which is optional but highly recommended, set it aside until ready to serve the cake.
How to serve a healthy carrot cake
This carrot sheet cake is great on it’s own, especially if you’re making it for your family’s week(end) snack. But if you want to take it to the next level, below you’ll find the recipe for a dairy free cream cheese frosting and a vegan coconut caramel sauce!
I’m so happy you’re here and are making one of my recipes! I would love to see how it turns out, so share it on Instagram using #yogaofcooking or send me a DM so I can see it and show others. It always makes my day!
Happy Baking! xoPrint
- 1 1/2 cups gluten-free flour, I use Bob’s Red Mill
- 1/2 cup super fine almond flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp himalayan pink sea salt
- 2/3 cup chopped walnuts, plus more for topping
- 4 medium organic eggs
- 1/3 cup nut milk, I used almond unsweetened
- 1/2 cup applesauce
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 3 cups shredded carrots
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup oil, I used canola
For the Frosting:
- 1 8oz container vegan cream cheese, room temp
- 4 tbsp vegan butter, room temp
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3–4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
- Pinch of pink salt
Salted Coconut Caramel Sauce (optional)
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup coconut sugar
- 1/2 cup light corn syrup
- 1 cup coconut cream
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 cup coconut milk
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease an 13×9 inch pan with cooking spray.
- In a large bowl combine the wet ingredients and whisk until fully incorporated.
- In a separate bowl, combine all the dry ingredients except the chopped walnuts, and whisk.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir with a spatula or wooden spoon.
- Fold in the chopped walnuts, if using.
- Transfer to prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes. Allow to cool.
- Run a knife around edge of cake to loosen from pan. Invert cake onto cooling rack or serving platter.
For the Frosting
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter until smooth. Add the cream cheese and continue beating until smooth.
- Add the sifted powdered sugar, in 1 cup increments, followed by the vanilla extract and salt. Beat until fully combined. The frosting needs to be creamy and thick, so add more powdered sugar until you reach the desired consistency.
- Spread over the cake using an angled spatula to create swirls
For the Salted Coconut Caramel (if using)
- Combine all the ingredients in a medium saucepan and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the mixture thickens. It’ll continue to thicken once cooled. Set aside 1 cup and refrigerate the rest for up to 1 week.
- Top with chopped walnuts and caramel sauce.
Keywords: healthy carrot cake, gluten free, dairy free