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Close up of a slice of dairy free carrot cake on a plate.
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5 from 4 votes

The Best Dairy Free Carrot Cake

A moist and fluffy carrot cake with a creamy orange-flavoured icing, all gluten and dairy free!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American, European
Keyword Baking, Cake, carrot, Dairy-free, gluten-free
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 12
Calories 639kcal


For the carrot cake:

  • 275 g gluten-free self raising flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 300 ml vegetable/canola oil (or other neutral-flavoured oil)
  • 175 g light brown sugar
  • 175 g caster sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs
  • 300 g grated carrot
  • 100 g raisins (optional)

For the orange frosting:

  • 175 g dairy-free butter/baking spread (at room temperature)
  • 475 g icing sugar
  • 1/2 tsp orange extract
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

For decoration:

  • 75 g chopped walnuts (optional)


Make the carrot cake:

  • Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan and grease and line two 20cm/8" round baking tins.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, xanthan gum, cinnamon and ginger until well combined.
  • In a separate large bowl, whisk the oil with both sugars and the vanilla extract until smooth.
  • Add the eggs one at a time, whisking to combine after each addition.
  • Sieve your whisked dry ingredients into the bowl with the wet ingredients, and gently fold everything together until just combined.
  • Finally, add the grated carrot and raisins (if adding) and fold once more until mixed through.
  • Distribute the mixture evenly between your two tins and bake for 35-45 minutes, or until a skewer poked into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
  • Leave the cakes in their tins for approx 10 mins before transferring them onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Make the orange frosting:

  • In the bowl of an electric mixer, with an electric whisk or by hand, beat the dairy-free butter/spread with the vanilla extract and orange extract until smooth and creamy.
  • Gradually sieve in the icing sugar, mixing between each addition, until all of it has been added.
  • Continue to beat to get the frosting really smooth. I like to leave the electric mixer going for about 5 minutes.

Assemble the cake:

  • Once the cake has fully cooled, spread half of the frosting onto one of the layers and top with the second cake layer before spreading on the remaining frosting.
  • Sprinkle some chopped walnuts on top of the cake for decoration. This is optional but gives it a nice crunch!