Best Healthy Carrot Cake

The BEST healthy carrot cake recipe – fluffy, moist, grain-free, maple sweetened, topped with vegan cream cheese frosting. You NEED this one!

Best Healthy Carrot Cake (vegan + grain-free)


It’s officially spring. It’s my favorite flavor of cake. It’s made with my favorite butter. It’s been years since I’ve posted an updated recipe. It’s been tweaked and 3x tested. It’s carrot cake time, and it’s (in my opinion) perfect.

I am very excited to share this recipe…

Best Healthy Carrot Cake (vegan + grain-free)

Baking The Perfect Healthy Carrot Cake

This recipe is vegan and grain-free with an easy one bowl batter. You can frost it as a single layer sheet cake style, but I prefer to bake two thin cakes and then layer (because more frosting per bite, duh). Since this is an egg free recipe, you will get a fluffier lighter crumb with the two layer option too. If you opt for a single layer, I recommend a slightly larger pan so it isn’t too thick.

Vegan Grain-Free Ingredients You Will Need

  • Creamy SunButter. You guys know I adore baking with SunButter. And a chance to add it into my all time favorite cake? YES PLEASE. I used the classic Creamy variety, but any of their creamy jars would work here.
  • Coconut oil. I tested this recipe totally oil-free and things got a smidge green, so a 2:1 ratio of SunButter to coconut oil works better. Another neutral flavored oil would be fine as well.
  • Almond milk. Or your favorite non-dairy milk, although I don’t recommend full fat coconut milk here.
  • Lemon juice. This helps with rise and prevents your cake from turning green because chemistry. Very important ingredient, freshly squeezed is ideal.
  • Maple syrup. One half of our natural sweetening combo, and the flavor is SO GOOD with all the spices in this cake too.
  • Coconut sugar. Trust me it’s worth using both maple syrup and coconut sugar for the ultimate moist and perfectly sweet cake. Brown sugar is fine too.
  • Coconut + tapioca flours. I wasn’t sure if I could pull it off, but alas a grain-free carrot cake WITHOUT almond flour…I am so so thrilled. Coconut flour and tapioca is the perfect combination of dry + sticky, they balance each other and bake to this marvelous fluffy light cake crumb texture. Arrowroot or cornstarch can be subbed in for the tapioca, but do not substitute the coconut flour.
  • Cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg.
  • Vanilla, salt, and baking soda.
  • Shredded carrots. The easiest way is to use the shredding attachment on your food processor. I recommend placing the shreds on a plate between two paper towels with something heavy on top (I used a metal cake pan) for 15 minutes or so while you prep the batter to remove a little bit of the extra water and keep your cake from becoming soggy.
  • Chopped walnuts. Or pecans, whichever you prefer. Or skip the nuts completely.
Best Healthy Carrot Cake (vegan + grain-free)
Best Healthy Carrot Cake (vegan + grain-free)
Best Healthy Carrot Cake (vegan + grain-free)

Easy Dairy-Free Cream Cheese Frosting

You can of course opt for a healthier cashew frosting, but this cake was so good it DESERVED a classic (but vegan!) cream cheese topping. Vegan butter and cream cheese softened and then whipped together, add in a little vanilla, a couple tablespoons of arrowroot starch (helps it thicken, but it’s optional so don’t worry if you don’t have it), and powdered sugar and keep whipping until things get sweet and fluffy and happy. The perfect carrot cake contrast.

The recipe does make enough for a layer in the middle and on top (and even the sides if you want), so if you are just making a single layer cake you can half the frosting quantities.

Best Healthy Carrot Cake (vegan + grain-free)

More Carrot Cake Recipes You’ll Love

Best Healthy Carrot Cake (vegan + grain-free)


Best Healthy Carrot Cake

  • Author: Natalie
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 16 slices
  • Category: cake
  • Method: baking
  • Cuisine: american


The BEST healthy carrot cake recipe – fluffy, moist, grain-free, maple sweetened, topped with vegan cream cheese frosting. You NEED this one!


  • 1/2 cup (125g) Creamy SunButter
  • 1/4 cup (50g) coconut oil, melted
  • 3/4 cup (180g) almond milk
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup (240g) maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp (60g) coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3/4 cup (90g) coconut flour
  • 3/4 cup (90g) arrowroot starch
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 cup (100g) shredded carrots*
  • 1/2 cup (60g) chopped walnuts

Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 8oz vegan cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup (56g) vegan butter, softened
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 4 cups (480g) powdered sugar
  • 2 tbsp (15g) arrowroot starch


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Stir together lemon juice and almond milk. Set aside 5-10 minutes.
  3. In a bowl, whisk together SunButter, coconut oil, almond milk + lemon juice, maple syrup, coconut sugar, and vanilla (make sure all ingredients are at room temperature so the coconut oil doesn’t seize up).
  4. Add flours, baking soda, salt, and spices. Whisk to combine.
  5. Fold in shredded carrots and chopped walnuts.
  6. Divide between two 8″ cake pans (lined with parchment for easy removal or greased). 
  7. Bake 35-40 minutes at 350°F.
  8. Cool 15 minute in the pans, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
  9. For the frosting, use a stand or hand mixer to whip the butter and cream cheese together until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla, arrowroot, and 1 cup powdered sugar. Add the rest of the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time, mixing in between until thick and fluffy. Chill until ready to frost.
  10. Once the cakes are cool, use a bread knife to slice off the domed tops of each cake. 
  11. Layer with cream cheese frosting in the middle and more on top. Sprinkle more chopped walnuts to garnish.
  12. Slice and eat!


*I like to place them on a plate between two paper towels with a baking pan on top while a prep the batter to remove some of the extra moisture.

Keywords: gluten free, grain free, coconut flour, paleo, cream cheese, layer, dairy free, frosting, egg free


Best Healthy Carrot Cake (vegan + grain-free)

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Best Healthy Carrot Cake