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One of my absolute favorite desserts is Carrot Cake, and I am so excited for y’all to enjoy this Grain-Free and Dairy-Free Carrot Cake!

Grain-Free and Dairy-Free Carrot Cake

I have deemed this recipe “Cady’s Carrot Cake” because it is truly one of her greatest masterpieces. (If you don’t know, Cady is the Director of Operations at The Defined Dish). Carrot Cake is her husband’s favorite dessert and after making her mother-in-law’s recipe many times over the years, she decided to try her hand at a grain-free and dairy-free rendition and absolutely nailed it. Cady, you’re a real hero.

I, too, remember as a kid being offered carrot cake for the first time, turning my nose up at the thought of a carrot in a cake!! But as soon as I sunk my teeth into the first bite the rest was history and I am forever a carrot cake lover. Carrots add sweetness and moisture, and this recipe is just that. Moist, fluffy, and incredibly flavorful. 

I also love this recipe because it is incredibly simple to make and pretty foolproof! The hardest part? Waiting for the cake to cool so that you can ice it! haha… but seriously. That is pure torture to me.Grain-Free and Dairy-Free Carrot Cake

This is the perfect recipe to make this spring for any occasion– whether it be for Mother’s Day, a baby shower, or even to make to snack on throughout the week!! I absolutely LOVE this cake with a cup of coffee. 

Grain-Free Carrot Cake
5 from 7 votes

Grain-Free Carrot Cake

Prep: 25 minutes
Cook: 35 minutes
Total: 1 hour
Servings: 9 To 12 Squares


For the Cake:

  • 2 ½ cups superfine almond flour
  • 1 ¼ cups tapioca flour
  • 2 ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • 3 large eggs room temperature
  • ¾ cup avocado oil
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • ½ tsp orange zest
  • 2 cups shredded raw carrots about 4-5 medium carrots, see note
  • ½ cup loosely chopped golden raisins

For the Frosting:

  • 4 oz dairy-free cream cheese - room temperature
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter or vegan butter - room temperature
  • tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest
  • ½ tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 ½ cups powdered sugar

For Serving:

  • ¼ cup chopped pecans


Make the Cake

  • Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a 9x9 square baking pan with avocado or coconut oil spray and place a parchment sling into the pan for easy removal. Set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, thoroughly stir together the almond flour, tapioca flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, or a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, add the eggs. Beat on medium high for 3-4 minutes until they are pale yellow and fluffy. Mix in the avocado oil, maple syrup, vanilla extract, lemon zest and orange zest. Beat on medium to combine.
  • Adjust the mixer speed to medium low, and working in increments, slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed. Mix for 1-2 minutes until everything is well combined.
  • Next, slowly add the shredded carrots and add the golden raisins to the batter and mix until well combined.
  • Tip the batter into the prepared baking pan, spreading the batter with a spatula if needed. Transfer to the oven and bake until the top is lightly browned and when pricked with a cake tester it comes out clean, about 30-35 minutes. If the top starts to get overly browned, place a sheet of foil over the top, but do note this is a darker cake.
  • Remove from the oven and allow the cake to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Then use the parchment sling to carefully transfer the cake to a wire rack until completely cooled.

Make the Frosting

  • Meanwhile, make your icing. In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment add the dairy-free cream cheese, butter, vanilla extract, lemon zest and juice. Beat on medium for 2-3 minutes until light and fluffy. Next, slowly add the powdered sugar and beat on high for 2-3 minutes until combined. Transfer the icing to the fridge until your cake is completely cooled.
  • To finish, smooth a generous amount of icing and smooth out with an offset spatula evenly across the cake. Once you’ve iced the cake, sprinkle with the chopped pecans, cut into squares and enjoy!


Carrot Shredding Notes: Once your carrots are washed and peeled, you can either hand shred or use a food processor with the shredding blade. 
Batter Notes: Your batter may be a bit thicker than a typical cake batter, but this is to account for the moisture the carrots will release in the oven. 
Storage Tips: This cake is best the same day it is made but any leftovers can be kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Servings: 9 To 12 Squares


Food Photography and Styling by Modern Food Stories

Welcome! I’m Alex.

I’m a food lover sharing healthy, simple, delicious, recipes from my kitchen to yours. Here you’ll find lots of Whole30, lots of healthy, and a little indulgence here and there because…it’s all about balance y’all!

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    Made this for Easter and it was a hit. I used Lakanto powdered monkfruit sweetener for the frosting and no one was the wiser. Will certainly make again.
    The cake collapsed in the middle on cooling – any tips to avoid that?

  2. 5 stars
    The best carrot cake I’ve EVER had!! And I cannot believe it is gluten free. I was worried it would be dry or have a weird texture because it’s gluten free, but the cake was extra moist and full of flavor! I love the addition of lemon and orange zest. It truly exceeded my expectations! This is going to be a repeat recipe forever for me!!

  3. Hi! I have recently found put that I have allergies to dairy, egg and wheat. What dairy free cream cheese do you recommend? I would love to try this cake!

  4. Can’t wait to make this! Do you think it’s okay to sub stevia for powdered sugar in the frosting? Thank you!

    1. Stevia would not work in place of the powdered sugar here, but Truvia and Swerve both make a confectioners sugar that would probably work here, but have not tried either.

  5. 5 stars
    WOW! Seriously fantastic recipe. The icing is so rich and absolutely delicious! I made it into cupcakes, which were PERFECTION! My family won’t even know it’s DF/GF!

  6. 5 stars
    This might just be my new favourite dessert ever. I didn’t want to share with anyone else. Cake was amazzzzing. (I did use a different – full fat – icing).

    1. Hi!! yes– they definitely could!! I would start checking on them at 10 mins (same bake temp) but will likely take 12-15 mins!

  7. The cake is absolutely delicious!! I found the lemon in the frosting to be way too over powering for my liking and took away from the cake. Would make again but keep the lemon out!