slice of gltuen-free carrot cake with cream cheese frosting on a white with gold dots plate

Gluten-Free Carrot Cake {Dairy-Free Option}

Super moist, deliciously spiced, gluten-free carrot cake with a perfect balance of sweet carrots and raisins, chopped pecans, juicy pineapple and the light, delicate flavor of coconut; topped with oh-my-goodness cream cheese frosting. The recipe also has a dairy-free option. 

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword gluten-free and dairy-free carrot cake, gluten-free carrot cake
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 16 servings
Calories 377 kcal


  • Cake:
  • 1 1/2 cups applesauce
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs room temperature
  • 2 cups gluten-free all-purpose flour  I like Pillsbury gluten-free. Not all gluten-free flours are created equal. You may experience different baking results depending on the gluten-free flour blend you choose.
  • 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum If your flour already has it leave out
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon gluten-free baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 2 cups grated carrots 2 large carrots
  • 1 cup shredded sweetened coconut
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup crushed pineapple in juice not syrup; do not drain

Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 1 cup butter, softned dairy-free use Smart Balance butter
  • 2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softned dairy-free use dairy-free cream cheese
  • 2 cups powdered sugar If you want a firmer frosting, add an additional 1-2 cups of powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
US Customary - Metric


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

  2. Cut parchment paper for the bottom of your two 8" cake pans and spray with gluten-free cooking spray.
  3. In a large bowl mix together the applesauce, sugar, and eggs until fully combined.

  4. In a medium-sized bowl stir together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and allspice.

  5. Stir in the carrots, coconut, pineapple, raisins, pecans, and vanilla into the sugar and egg mixture.
  6. Add the flour mixture to the batter and mix until fully combined. 

  7. Pour half of the batter in the first 8" cake pan and then pour the rest of the batter in the second 8" cake pan.

  8. Bake for 35-40 minutes. The edges of the cake will start to pull away from the sides of the pan. This is a very moist cake, so insert a toothpick to make sure it's done. Please watch your cake because all ovens are different.
  9. Cool the cakes in the pans for about 10-15 minutes. Then use a knife to loosen the cake around the edges of the pan and place the pan upside down on a cooling rack to completely cool before frosting. Enjoy! (I like my carrot best served cold.)


  1. In a large bowl beat the butter and cream cheese together with a mixer on medium speed until smooth and creamy.

  2. Beat in the powdered sugar one cup at a time.
  3. Lastly, beat in the lemon juice and pure vanilla extract.
  4. Try not to eat all the frosting before you put it on the cake. Yes, it is that good!

Recipe Notes

Nutrition Facts
Gluten-Free Carrot Cake {Dairy-Free Option}
Amount Per Serving (1 slice)
Calories 377 Calories from Fat 72
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 8g 12%
Saturated Fat 4g 20%
Cholesterol 42mg 14%
Sodium 379mg 16%
Potassium 318mg 9%
Total Carbohydrates 68g 23%
Dietary Fiber 4g 16%
Sugars 50g
Protein 9g 18%
Vitamin A 55.2%
Vitamin C 6.7%
Calcium 14%
Iron 8%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.