Coconut Carrot Cake is an easy homemade carrot cake recipe that’s dairy-free and egg-free. It’s tender and moist, and topped with coconut whip and toasted coconut. This vegan recipe is perfect as a bundt cake, or you can even turn it into cupcakes!
We have a serious love for carrot cake around here! From this single layer small carrot cake recipe with walnuts and cream cheese frosting to this gluten-free almond flour carrot cake, there is plenty of variety to choose from.
*This post was originally published in April 2017. It has been updated with new photos and text, including helpful tips for readers and minor adjustments to the recipe to make it vegan.
Like many people, carrot cake reminds me of springtime and Easter. I’m not sure why that is because carrot cake was never a traditional Easter dessert when I was growing up. Who had time for dessert when there were so many crispy and nutty chocolate bunnies to eat?!
In our house, carrot cake was actually more common around Christmastime. And now that I’m older, it’s most common around my birthday. Oh yes, carrot cake is my birthday cake of choice!
And when it comes to carrot cake, this coconut version made without dairy and eggs, is my all time favourite. It’s soft and dense, like a carrot cake should be, and it’s a one-bowl recipe, except for the frosting. I also make it with whole wheat flour and leave out the rich cream cheese frosting, so you could say it’s a little more on the healthy side.
Details on a few ingredients
Whole wheat flour – As I’ve mentioned in other recipes, I usually bake with whole wheat flour. It adds more fibre and other nutrients to recipes and, in my opinion, it doesn’t usually result in a noticeable difference in the taste and texture of desserts. If you prefer all-purpose white flour, you may need to test the quantity as a 1:1 substitution doesn’t always work with cakes since whole wheat flour absorbs more moisture than white flour.
Coconut – I used unsweetened coconut in this cake. If you only have sweetened, you can use it, just keep in mind that it will result in a sweeter cake with more sugar added. You can use flaked or shredded coconut (both add a great texture), but I would avoid using fine coconut. I used a mix of toasted and un-toasted, but you can just stick to one or the other. While you can buy toasted coconut, I usually toast my own. (I’ve included instructions in the recipe as to how to do this).
Carrots – Of course, carrots are an essential ingredient in this recipe. You can’t really taste the carrots in carrot cake, but they add sweetness and help create a soft, moist and dense texture. I used about 3 large carrots to get 1.5 cups for this recipe, and just grated them using my box grater.
How to make egg-free carrot cake
In a large bowl, whisk together your flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking soda and salt.
Add in the milk, oil, and vanilla and almond extracts. Whisk together until the dry ingredients are well incorporated.
Stir in the grated carrot and coconut. Pour into a greased bundt pan and bake on 350F for about 50 minutes.
Once the cake has cooled, whip up the coconut milk frosting. I usually add about half a cup of toasted coconut to the frosting for added taste and texture.
Frost the cake and top it with more toasted coconut.
Frequently asked questions
Just because carrot cake has carrots in it, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s healthy. This recipe is a little healthier than a traditional carrot cake as it contains whole wheat flour and extra virgin olive oil, and leaves out the rich cream cheese frosting. But, as with all sweets, this one is also best enjoyed in moderation.
If it’s unfrosted, you can store it covered at room temperature. Once frosted, the cake should be refrigerated.
You can make this cake a day or two in advance, and wait to frost it until a few hours before serving. The coconut milk frosting only maintains it’s texture for 2-3 days, so I wouldn’t recommend making the frosted cake too far in advance.
If unfrosted, this cake will last 4-5 days at room temperature. With frosting, it will last 2-3 days in the fridge.
While I don’t recommend freezing this cake with frosting, you can freeze it unfrosted. Just let it cool completely, wrap it in plastic wrap and store in the freezer. It should last for up to 3 months. Defrost the cake in the fridge or at room temperature before frosting.
Make this carrot bundt cake into carrot cupcakes
The recipe easily transforms into 24 cupcakes, or half the recipe to make 12 cupcakes. Just line your muffin tins with cupcake liners and fill them 3/4 full with batter. Bake at 350F for 17-18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into a cupcake comes out clean. Let them cool, then frost and enjoy!
Recipe tips and substitutions
- To keep this carrot cake vegan, make sure your vanilla and almond extracts are vegan.
- To change things up, you can top the frosted cake with chopped walnuts, or even bake some into the cake.
- If you don’t have cane sugar, you can use granulated sugar instead.
- While I used almond milk, any nut milk will do. Just make sure it is unsweetened.
More carrot cake recipes
- Baked Carrot Cake Donuts with cinnamon, toasted coconut and a white chocolate topping make a delicious snack or dessert.
- Carrot Cake Ice Cream Sandwiches have a thick layer of dairy-free ice cream nestled between soft and chewy carrot cake cookies.
- Carrot Cake Loaf with walnuts, raisins and cashew cream frosting.
- And for a decadent treat with cream cheese frosting, try these Carrot Cake Cupcakes from Cooking for My Soul.
If you make this coconut carrot cake, please leave a comment and rating below to let me know how it turned out!
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Coconut Carrot Cake (Dairy-Free, Egg-Free)
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 50 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
- Yield: 12 slices
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Bake
- Cuisine: Vegan
Coconut Carrot Cake is an easy homemade carrot cake that’s dairy-free and egg-free. It’s tender and moist, and topped with coconut whip and toasted coconut. The recipe is perfect as a bundt cake, or you can even turn it into cupcakes!
For the cake:
- 3 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 cup cane sugar
- 5 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 cups unsweetened almond milk
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons almond extract
- 1 1/2 cups grated carrot
- 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut, flaked or shredded
For the frosting:
- 2 cans (400 ml) full fat coconut milk, refrigerated for 24 hours
- 2 teaspoons maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 cup unsweetened toasted coconut, flaked or shredded (divided)
- Preheat oven to 350F and grease a 10-inch bundt pan with cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking soda and salt.
- Add in the milk, oil, vanilla and almond extracts, and whisk together until the dry ingredients are well incorporated.
- Stir in the grated carrot and coconut.
- Pour the batter into the prepared bundt pan and bake for 45-50 minutes, or until a tooth pick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
- Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- In a large mixing bowl, scoop out the solidified coconut milk (discard the coconut water) and using an electric mixer, beat on high speed.
- Add the maple syrup and cinnamon and whip until smooth and creamy. Stir in 1/2 cup of the toasted coconut.
- Frost the cake and top it with the remaining 1/2 cup of toasted coconut. Slice and serve.
- Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator and enjoy within 2-3 days.
- I used unsweetened coconut in this cake. You can use sweetened, just keep in mind that it will result in a sweeter cake with more sugar added.
- While you can buy toasted coconut, I usually toast my own. Just spread the coconut out on a baking sheet and bake on 350F for 5-6 minutes. It will brown quickly so be sure to keep an eye on it. You may need to stir it around at the mid-way point.
- The recipe can be made into 24 cupcakes, or half the recipe to make 12 cupcakes. Just line your muffin tins with cupcake liners and fill them 3/4 full with batter. Bake at 350F for 17-18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into a cupcake comes out clean.
- Be sure to check out the FAQ as well as the tips and substitutions section above the recipe for more detailed advice and suggestions for making this recipe.
Keywords: dairy-free carrot cake, egg-free carrot cake, vegan carrot cake
Hey! I’m so excited to make this cake tomorrow! I live in europe and so cans are sometimes coming in different sizes. For the coconut milk, is it 400mL total or per can?
Thanks a bunch!
Carrot cake forever <3
Hi Dre! It’s 400 ml per can (so 800 ml total). Thanks and hope you enjoy the carrot cake!
Hi….I love your easy recipe…..just wanted to know if I half the recipe and bake in a loaf tin what should be the baking time? I love using wholewheat flour for my bakes and an egg free version is a cherry on top…thank you
Hi Shruti. I’m happy to hear you like this recipe. I’ve never made this carrot bundt cake in a loaf pan before so I can’t say for certain what the bake time would be. It depends on the size of your loaf pan. For instance, for other bread and cake recipes that I make in my 9×5 inch loaf pans, I bake them anywhere from 45-60 minutes, so you could use that as a guide. Just test for doneness with a toothpick. If you try it, please let me know how it goes. Thanks!
Tasia ~ two sugar bugs says
This cake looks and sounds so delicious Leanne! I love the coconut frosting and I am also a big fan of baking with whole wheat flour. I definitely need to give it a try. It is also fun to see how you’ve grown as a photographer!!
Thank you Tasia! Hope you get to try it some time!
Carrot cake is one of my favorites, and it has to have coconut in it! I love that this has whole wheat flour and I’m impressed that it’s vegan! I need to give this a try very soon!
Coconut is a must for sure! Thanks Marcie!
Carrot cake is one of my favourite desserts ever! I just love the flavour of the carrots in that delicious moist soft cake! I will need to bookmark this for later. Thanks for sharing Leanne!
Thanks Christie! Carrot cake is always my dessert of choice!
Kelly @ Kelly Lynns Sweets and Treats says
I love carrot cake in any form! And a bundt cake is always impressive….love that this is clean eating too!!
Thanks Kelly! I’m a lover of carrot cakes in all forms too!
Alexandra @ It's Not Complicated Recipes says
Love carrot cake so much, and bundts are always such fun! The way you’ve decorated it is so lovely and your new photos are superb!!
Thanks very much Alex!
This really sounds like the perfect carrot cake, Leanne! You’ve made it healthier than your standard carrot cake and I’d be willing to bet that it tastes SO much better.
Katherine | Love In My Oven says
I love this healthier carrot cake with coconut! Carrot cake is definitely my favorite cake, so now I seriously need to try this coconut version! The coconut whip is perfect on top. Great Easter recipe!!
Kelsie | the itsy-bitsy kitchen says
Carrot cake is one of my favorites! I love that this version is a little healthier. . .I need to try it to balance out all the unhealthy baking I’ve been doing lately 🙂 Have a great week, Leanne!
I am loving everything about your carrot cake version – from the ingredient list to the gorgeous looks ( bundt pan is definitely the way to go:). I will be giving it a try here soon – just got a new silicone bundt pan and I am excited to use.
Thanks Milena! Hope you have fun breaking in that new silicone bundt pan!
Jennifer @ Seasons and Suppers says
Looks lovely and I love the addition of coconut to this one. Goes so well in carrot cake 🙂 Hope you are all staying safe and well 🙂
Thanks Jennifer. We are, and I wish the same for you. Take care!
I love your dairy free desserts. I tried this when you first posted it and it turned out great!
The new pics look amazing!
Thank you Terry! Love to hear that! I hope you like the changes I made to this recipe. Take care.
Bernice Hill says
OH! Could you please pass me a slice through the screen! Seriously though, I am a sucker for any kind of carrot cake. My husband’s birthday is coming up on Monday and I’m going to add this to the list of cake-y possibilities.
Thanks Bernice! Carrot cake is usually my cake of choice for my birthday, so I hope you get a chance to make this one. If not for your hubby’s birthday, then sometime in the future! I’ll be making it next weekend for Easter!
Janice Lawandi says
I laughed when I read your post because I too feel like much of what I do for my blog conflicts with my attempts to eat clean. Not only that but then I have all the leftovers to deal with, which means, I’m constantly munching on sweet buttery treats much more than I should. The struggle is real for all of us! I appreciate your efforts to make carrot cake a little less “naughty”!
Haha! The struggle is definitely real! Thanks Janice. I usually give a lot of my baked goods away. I’m lucky to have family living close by and hungry co-workers!;) But I usually keep most of my savoury dishes as they make for quick meals during the work week. Thanks for stopping by!
This cake is so pretty and I love that you made it healthier by using whole foods! I also completely agree that it seems perfect for spring. 🙂
Thanks Lisa! I make this recipe year round, but it’s usually on repeat during the spring season. It’s a great dessert for Easter and spring brunches!
This looks divine! I love, love, love carrot cake and you’ve taken it to a whole new level with the coconut icing! Can’t wait to try it out!
Thanks Jessica! I add whipped coconut milk as a topping to most of my desserts, but it really goes well with this coconut carrot cake. I would love to know what you think if you make this cake. Hope you’re having a great weekend!
This looks amazing and your photos are incredible!