Make the most tender, moist, and sweet carrot cake you've ever baked! Made with a quick homemade frosting, this easy carrot cake is effortless - you'll want to eat it every single day. No dairy? No problem! This dairy-free carrot cake recipe is easy to make and will keep you coming back for more! Enjoy the delicious flavor of a classic carrot cake without dairy ingredients.
What is carrot cake?
If you're thinking about a cake that is like a sheet cake or round chocolate cake with fluffy buttercream frosting, think again. Carrot cake closely resembles a sweet bread more than a cake. In fact, it reminds me a lot of zucchini or pumpkin bread!
This is a dairy-free recipe made with real, shredded carrots and crunchy pecans. Then, it's topped with a dairy-free glaze that's made from powdered sugar. The entire cake is delicately sweet with deeper earthy notes.
It's perfect for anyone that is craving sweets but doesn't want an overload of sugar.
Tips for making the best carrot cake
This is such a simple recipe that you only have to make one loaf before you feel like a pro carrot cake baker. My favorite part is that it’s quick to make and doesn’t require any fancy equipment, either.
Here are a few tips to help you make the best homemade carrot cake:
Mix dry ingredients separately
Trust me on this. Mix your sugar, carrots, eggs, cinnamon, and oil in a large mixing bowl and set it aside. Then, mix the flour, baking powder, and pecans in a smaller bowl. Then, add the flour mixture to the carrot mixture.
When you mix them separately, you will make sure that the baking powder distributes evenly among the entire batter. There is nothing worse than biting into a mouthful of baking powder!
Make your own glaze
Buttercream is made with powdered sugar, milk, butter, and vanilla. To make this dairy-free, just leave out the butter and milk. I didn't add any vanilla either because I wanted the sweetness from the powdered sugar to really stand out.
All you have to do is boil some water and add it to the powdered sugar. You're basically thinning down the powdered sugar, so it's easier to pour on top of the carrot cake.
The glaze is optional
Come on, that’s the dream, guys. But, for those of you who aren’t fans of frostings or if you don’t happen to have the ingredients on hand, then try the cake as it is, without any frosting at all. Or, you can just sift a little powdered sugar on top.
Note that the cake alone isn't very sweet since it only contains ⅓ cup of sugar, so you might not want to skip the glaze on top if you prefer sweeter desserts.
Here are some questions people often ask about how to make homemade dairy-free carrot cake.
Does carrot cake contain milk?
Most recipes you'll find online contain milk as one of the ingredients. I created a parve (or dairy-free) recipe without any milk. It still turns out deliciously moist without it!
What brand of cake mix is dairy-free?
This is a common question, especially if you don't have time to make a homemade cake. Most Duncan Hines cake mixes are Kosher Parve (OU) and contain no dairy ingredients.
What did you use instead of milk in this carrot cake recipe?
To make this recipe, I used vegetable oil and eggs for the wet ingredients. I found that this combination, along with the carrots, made the cake plenty moist and not too dry. It doesn't need any type of milk in it.
What is demerara sugar?
Demerara sugar is a type of unrefined sugar that is made from evaporated cane juice. It has a large grain size and a golden color. The flavor is caramel-like and slightly toasted. It can be used in baking and cooking or as a topping for cereals, oatmeal, and yogurt.
Can I make this carrot cake recipe gluten-free?
Yes, you can easily make this carrot cake gluten-free by using a gluten-free flour blend. I like to use Bob's Red Mill 1-to-1 Gluten Free Baking Flour because it always turns out great.
Note: I have a delicious gluten-free carrot cake recipe on the blog made with almond flour. I highly recommend giving it a try.
Make this dairy-free carrot cake today!
Okay, now you have all the tools to make the best carrot cake. Gather up all of the ingredients and use these tips to make a dairy-free carrot cake that will have your family and friends drooling. Trust me; it's so easy – you won't believe it! Enjoy.
Best Dairy-Free Carrot Cake (Parve)
- 3 medium carrots peeled and grated
- 2 eggs
- ⅓ cup (70 grams) demerara sugar
- ¼ cup (50 grams) pecan nuts optional
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 cup flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
For the frosting:
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2-3 tablespoon boiling water (depends on the thickness you want for the glaze)
- Preheat the oven to 180°C / 350°F degrees with the fan and grease a cake or loaf pan.
- In a large bowl, mix together sugar, shredded carrots, and eggs.
- Then, add in the ground cinnamon and Add cinnamon and oil - mix well.
- In a separate small bowl, mix the flour with baking powder and pecans.
- Add the flour mix to the carrot mix.
- Pour the cake batter into a greased loaf pan.
- Bake for 40 minutes or insert a toothpick in the center and make sure it comes out clean.
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl, add the powdered sugar and 1 tablespoon of boiling water.
- Whisk well and add another tablespoon of boiling water.
- Remove the cake from the oven and allow it to cool at room temperature.
- Pour the dairy-free glaze on the cake.
- Cut yourself a slice and enjoy!