Ever since I made this delicious AND healthy Carrot Cake for Easter it’s pretty much all I crave now! Seriously. Obsessed. It is decadent and moist with the perfect carroty goodness and rich with spices and creamy from the frosting – you’ll be saying WOW with every bite!!
And this beautiful naturally gluten-free and vegan carrot cake is still very much on the healthy side – honestly, I don’t think these ingredient could be better (if you doubt me, please scroll down to the bottom and see for yourself! ;)) BUT it doesn’t taste ‘healthy’ if that’s what you’re worried about. It’s delicious and really cakey ~ just perfect!
It was a hit at our table with the whole family with everyone from the baby to our great aunt who’s 88 – so I’m just happy to share this great recipe with you. I hope you will enjoy it as much as we did :)
Delicious Carrot Cake with Cashew Walnut Frosting
Naturally gluten free and vegan cake recipe that’s refined sugar free/ low-glycemic.
- 3 tablespoons ground flax
- ¼ cup hot water
- 1½ cups all-purpose gluten-free flour (or light spelt flour)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder (aluminum free)
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ½ cup coconut palm sugar
- ½ cup coconut oil (melted) or grape seed oil
- ½ cup almond milk or other plant milk
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup peeled & grated carrots, packed
- ¼ cup raisins (sulphite free) (optional)
- ½ cup walnuts, chopped
- + ¼ cup ground up walnuts for topping (optional)
- Raw Cashew and Walnut Frosting (recipe follows)
- Grease one or two preferably spring-form baking pan(s) (8"x8") and line the bottom with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 350F.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flax and water and set aside.
- In another medium bowl, combine the dry ingredients (except the sugar) : flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt and mix until well incorporated.
- Back in the bowl with the flax, add in sugar, oil, milk, lemon juice, maple syrup, vanilla extract and whisk to combine well for a few seconds to allow the sugar to melt slightly.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and stir to combine thoroughly.
- Add in grated carrots, walnuts and raisins and stir again to incorporate well.
- Pour ½ of the batter into the pan (if you want a 2 layer cake you need to bake the two layers separately) and bake for 25-35 minutes until top looks dry and the sides appear a little darker but not burned.
- Remove from the oven, score the sides and flip the cake out onto a cooling rack.
- Line the pan again and pour in the remaining batter and bake the other cake.
- Trim the dome part of the cake from the bottom layer and proceed to assemble the cake! (the really fun part!)
- To assemble the two layer cake, spread a little bit of the frosting on a serving plate so it doesn't slide and carefully set the bottom layer with the top trimmed in the centre. Spread about ⅓ of the frosting on top and use a smooth knife or a spatula to spread the frosting out to the edges.
- Carefully place the top layer on the frosting and continue with frosting the top and sides.
- Toss with the ground up walnuts all over.
Store the cake in an airtight container so it doesn’t dry up in the fridge for up to 3 days or 1 day at room temperature.
Raw Cashew Walnut Frosting
A frosting recipe that’s all natural, raw, healthy, gluten free, vegan, paleo.
2 cups cashews (pre-soaked)
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1/4 cup warm water
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup walnuts, finely chopped (optional)
Optional : up to 1/4 cup powdered stevia or powdered sugar if more sweetness is desired (I omitted this entirely but it was on a low sweet side)
- You’ll need a high speed blender to get the cashews really smooth.
- Use pre-soaked cashews (soaked at least 4 hours in the fridge or overnight OR 1-2 hours in hot water set on the counter).
In a high speed blender, add in all the ingredients (except the walnuts) : cashews, oil, water, maple syrup, lemon juice and vanilla extract and mix on high until a smooth creamy texture is achieved.
At the end, add in the walnuts and mix for a few seconds until combined thoroughly but still have some texture.
Chill for about 2 hours before using and frost the carrot cake as described above or use to top off carrot muffins or these Carrot Cake Brownies!
- Great to make ahead. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Freezes well for up to 3 months.
I hope you’ll enjoy this delicious Healthy Carrot Cake soon! It was such a treat with our whole family. And it was even more delicious the next day as the flavours really saturated the cake! Ahhh… wish I could be eating it right now as I type this ;)
I can’t wait to hear what you think! Don’t forget to share your Pure Ella creations on Instagram and tagging me with #pureella to see it! (Please make sure you tag it otherwise I won’t see it and I LOVE to repost my favourites!)
Ella Leché is a cookbook author (‘Cut the Sugar‘), recipe developer, and photographer/stylist behind Pure Ella; where she shares delicious and healthy recipes. Eating PURE is clean ingredients, whole foods, plant-based nourishment and delicious desserts – with quality ingredients and sweeteners so they’re treats with benefits so you won’t have to feel deprived or restricted to eat healthier.
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Follow on social media for daily health & happiness inspiration:ps. don’t forget to share your Pure Ella (PE) recipe creations by tagging them #pureella and @pure_ella on Instagram – we repost our favourite photos!