Carrot Cake W/ Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting (Vegan, Gluten Free, Refined Sugar Free + Nut-Free)
When I was in Lisbon a few months ago, I popped into a cafe and ordered the gluten free carrot cake, which is slightly odd since I’m not even usually a carrot cake person—but it was truly life changing perfection. The best part about it was probably the super tart and lemony cream cheese frosting. I found this recipe by From My Bowl for the GF carrot cake–I followed it almost entirely but I used pumpkin instead of apple sauce, and I used fresh grated ginger instead of ground ginger. For the frosting, I wanted something that wasn’t super heavy or dense. There are so many vegan frostings made with cashews or coconut cream, and sometimes those are just a bit too rich for me. I came across this genius vegan cream cheese frosting recipe from Detoxinista that uses steamed white sweet potato as the base! I made a few changes to this as well, I added more lemon to give it a super tart flavor like the one I had it Lisbon, and I used coconut butter instead of coconut oil. I love this recipe because it’s not too sweet, and it’s surprisingly very filling (in a good way).
This cake can be made entirely nut-free — simply omit pecans/pistachio topping!
For the Carrot Cake:
- 1 cup Non-Dairy Milk
- ½ cup Unsweetened Applesauce (can sub with canned pumpkin)
- ¾ cup Coconut Sugar
- 1 tsp Vanilla extract
- 2 cups Oat Flour
- 2 tsp Baking Powder
- 2 tsp Cinnamon
- 1 ½ tsp Ginger
- ¼ tsp Nutmeg
- ½ tsp Pink Salt
- 2 cups Shredded Carrot
- ¾ cup Pecans, chopped (optional)
- 2 tablespoons crushed pistachio for topping (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Line a 9×9” baking dish with parchment paper.
- Add the Non-Dairy Milk, Applesauce or Pumpkin, Coconut Sugar, and Vanilla Extract to a small bowl and mix well.
- Combine the Oat Flour, Baking Powder, Spices, and Salt into a separate large bowl and whisk. Mix the wet and dry ingredients together and then fold in the shredded carrots and chopped Pecans (optional), then spread the batter evenly into the baking dish.
- Bake for 32-35 minutes or until a fork or toothpick comes out clean from the center of the cake. Remove the cake from the baking dish and let cool completely before adding frosting.
Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting:
**Recipe Adapted From Detoxinista
- 1 large Hannah sweet potato (white flesh)
- 1/3 cup maple syrup (you can add up to 1/2 cup if you like it sweeter)
- 6 tablespoons melted coconut oil (can sub with coconut butter like I did)
- 2 tablespoons water (as needed to blend)
- Juice of 2 lemons
- zest of 1 lemon
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
- Peel the sweet potato and cut it into chunks. Steam the sweet potato until it is fork tender, then set aside to cool.
- To a high speed blender or food processor, add the steamed sweet potato along with the rest of the ingredients and blend or process until it is super whipped and creamy.
- Store in a jar in the fridge until ready to use.