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. The recipe is perfect as a bundt cake, or you can even turn it into cupcakes!
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. (An original photo is included at the end of this post so be sure to check out the before and after).
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 to make this dairy-free carrot cake
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 this simple 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.
How to 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!
Frequently asked questions
- Is carrot cake healthy? 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.
- How do you store this cake? If it’s unfrosted, you can store it covered at room temperature. Once frosted, the cake should be refrigerated.
- Can you make this cake in advance? 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.
- How long will it last? If unfrosted, this cake will last 4-5 days at room temperature. With frosting, it will last 2-3 days in the refrigerator.
- Can you freeze this cake? 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 refrigerator or at room temperature before frosting.
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.
Other carrot cake recipes you might enjoy
- 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.
- 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, I would love to hear what you think in the comments below!Print
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