If you are looking for The Best Ever Healthy Carrot Cake recipe, then I’ve got you! This carrot cake is made with a gluten-free flour blend, so it’s naturally gluten-free, and is lightly sweetened with coconut sugar and pineapple, so it’s also refined sugar-free as well! Each piece is loaded to the max with carrots, raisins, walnuts, and pineapple, and topped with a delicious, dairy-free cream cheese frosting that is truly irresistable. Oh, and did I mention it’s vegan, too? Say hello to your new favorite carrot cake recipe, because it doesn’t get better than this!
When I was a little girl, I would avoid carrot cake like the plague. I mean, vegetables in cake?! No thank you. For me, I was a chocolate cake girl, all the way.
But thankfully, as I grew up, my taste buds slowly changed, and I learned that vegetables in cake really isn’t that bad. In fact, while I still love a decadent chocolate cake, I’ve come to find that a good carrot cake is truly the best thing in the world.
One of the best carrot cakes that I’ve ever had is from Susie Cakes, a local California-based bakery. Each slice of their carrot cake contains many layers of soft, moist cake with a decadent cream cheese frosting smothered in-between. My version is a take the Susie Cakes classic recipe, but made with more nutritious ingredients and no refined sugars. Of course mine isn’t a layer cake, so there’s that difference too, but the taste? In my opinion, it measures up!
I bet you’ve never seen a carrot cake that was this easy to make! The ingredients for this recipe are surprisingly simple, and you might be surprised by how many you have already sitting in your pantry!
One of the things that I love the most about this cake, is the fact that it turns out perfectly moist and fluffy, every single time. This recipe has been tested time and time again, and as long as you follow the instructions exactly, it’ll be perfect – every single time.
Begin by preheating your oven to 350F and grease an 8×8 square baking dish very well, with either oil or dairy-free butter. Once the pan is greased, you can additionally choose to line the baking sheet with parchment paper, so that the cake slides out of the pan easily.
Next, mix together your shredded carrots, crushed pineapple, melted coconut oil, vanilla extract, and apple cider vinegar. Then fold in the flour, coconut sugar, cinnamon, ginger, baking soda, raisins and chopped walnuts. Once your batter is finished, transfer it to your baking dish and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean.
Then, once your cake has fully cooled, top it with the homemade cream cheese frosting and slice into 12 squares. Store in the fridge for up to one week, and enjoy!
If you really want to take this recipe to the next level, then I highly recommend making this cream cheese frosting. Not only is it totally dairy-free, but it is so delicious and takes only a few minutes to make!
To make this frosting, simply beat together the dairy-free cream cheese and the vegan butter together in a bowl. I use a hand mixer to do this, but you can also do it in a stand mixer or by hand! Scrape down the sides of the bowl, as needed, as you’re mixing.
Next, slowly add in the powdered sugar, about 1/4 cup at a time, until well combined. It might look dry at first, but the more you beat it, the creamier it will become. I promise!
Finally, add the vanilla extract and the lemon juice and beat all of the ingredients together until they are soft, fluffy, and fully smooth. That’s it! So simple and easy.
Of course, if you don’t want to make your own frosting, you can also use a store-bought cream cheese frosting. Do what works for you!
One of the reasons I like this recipe is because I can make it a few days before I’m ready to serve it. When I go that route, I just wait until I’m ready to serve it to add the frosting. And in fact, I actually think the cake tastes better after a day or so – the flavors really soak in and it become moister (I know we all hate that word, but it’s true!)
Once you’ve made your carrot cake, cover it with foil or transfer it to an air tight container, and place it in the refrigerator for up to one week. If you leave it out on the counter more than a day or so, it definitely won’t last as long.
If you want to freeze this carrot cake, don’t frost it. Instead, wrap it in plastic and freeze, and when you are ready to serve it, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight and allow it to come to room temperature before frosting it and cutting it into squares.
If you make this recipe, please be sure to leave a comment and a rating below. This really helps other readers decide whether to make this recipe, and it also helps my recipe appear in Google searches! And if you are feeling especially kind, be sure to tag me in your creations on Instagram, so I can see them and repost on my IG stories!
I’d love to see what you made – tag @kalejunkie
in your posts and I’ll re-share!