Everything that comes out of my kitchen is dairy-free, but for my family, at special events, I like to bake things that are as “normal” as possible. To do so, I often peruse the recipes that grandma clips from the newspaper or dog-ears in her favorite magazine, Taste of Home. Though I’m not completely sure of the original source, this dairy-free carrot cake recipe was born from one that I found at my grandma’s house.
My grandma, father, and I are big carrot cake fans, and it took just a few minor tweaks to develop a dairy-free carrot cake recipe that we all loved. I surprised her with a big slice of it for her 6th 75th birthday (you do the math).
I topped it off with the dairy-free cream cheese frosting recipe that I created for Allergic Living magazine, but this one is also quite delicious. To maintain the thickness of the frosting, start with just a cup of powdered sugar and only add as much as needed for your tastes. I find that adding the full amount does make it a touch runny when using dairy-free cream cheese alternative.
This dairy-free carrot cake recipe is also naturally peanut-free, tree nut-free and soy-free. To make it egg-free and vegan, I believe Ener-G egg replacer would work quite well, though I haven’t tested it. For gluten-free, well, my recipe for that is also in Allergic Living (sorry, I can’t reprint as of yet! But you can buy the issue online), but I can tell you that a basic gluten-free flour blend, without xanthan gum, works nicely. I use brown rice flour + potato starch + tapioca starch, and do keep the eggs whenever possible for the gluten-free version. I offer all types of allergy-friendly options for that one, and they really do look like this…
Note that I do grate the carrots for this dairy-free carrot cake recipe by hand – that is the only time-consuming thing about baking this dessert. If you have a food processor to help make fast work of the carrots, this cake will come to together quite quickly.