These vegan and gluten free carrot cake cupcakes with dairy-free cream cheese frosting are to die for. Perfectly moist, fluffy, flavorful and topped with a creamy, tangy vegan cream cheese frosting. Equally delicious, easier than making a layer cake, and
A few months ago, we shared a recipe for a
We each devoured 2 of these carrot cupcakes immediately after the photoshoot. We then promptly delivered the rest to my grandpa. It would have been
Now that spring is here, it seems like the best time to eat more carrot cake. Carrots are in season and it’s a great way to get an extra serving of veggies. (At least that’s what I tell myself!) These vegan cupcakes also make a great dessert for Easter or Mother’s Day. Plus, they’re so much quicker to throw together than a multi-layer cake for a celebratory vegan dessert.
Note: you’ll need to fully cool the cupcakes fully before frosting. Likewise, it’s best to get the vegan cream cheese frosting nice and cool before piping. It tends to collapse a bit with heat, so you’ll need a bit of patience here! If your kitchen gets warm, just pop the cakes in the refrigerator for a few minutes after frosting. They’ll set quickly.
Secret Ingredient Alert (hint: it’s healthy!)
In addition to carrots, we added to the health factor of these cupcakes by adding creamy sweet potato. We love that sweet potato has a similar texture and flavor profile to carrots but adds a hint of natural sweetness. If you’d prefer to leave the sweet potato out – that’s perfectly fine – just substitute with more carrots.
Add some texture with nuts & dried fruit (if that’s your thing)
There’s another ingredient adding to the health factor in this vegan dessert. These cupcakes are also full of heart-healthy nuts! Chopped pecans and hemp seeds add texture and a nutty flavor to the cupcakes. You can also add raisins if you like. We know they can be polarizing, so we made them optional. If you’re not a huge fan of regular raisins, try golden raisins instead! We almost always use golden raisins over regular; they’re sweeter, more plump and overall taste better. The downside: they can be difficult to find in stores. We use them pretty often, so we actually just place a bulk order online, but that’s totally up to you.
Which gluten-free flour is best?
We made these carrot cake cupcakes with our homemade
And for any leftover gluten-free flour, may we suggest these fluffy gluten free and vegan blueberry pancakes for breakfast the next day?
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These vegan and gluten free carrot cake cupcakes with a cream cheese frosting are to die for. Perfectly moist, fluffy and flavorful and topped with a creamy, tangy vegan cream cheese frosting. Way easier than making a layer cake, and equally delicious!
- 1/2 cup coconut oil, softened but not melted
- 3/4 cup applesauce (unsweetened)
- 2 flax “eggs” (1 tbsp flax seed meal to 2.5 tbsp water per “egg”)
- 1 cup cane sugar
- 1/2 cup coconut sugar
- 1 1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups gluten free flour blend (read notes below)
- 3/4 tsp xanthan gum (do not add if store-bought blend already contains it)
- 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 3/4 tsp baking soda
- 3/4 tsp baking powder
- 3/4 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 1 1/2 cups shredded carrots
- 3/4 cup shredded sweet potato
- 1/3 cup hemp seeds
- Optional: 3/4 cup regular or golden raisins
Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting:
- 1/2 cup vegan butter, softened to room temp
- 8 oz vegan cream cheese
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 3/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp salt
- Preheat oven to 350 F and line cupcake tins with liners.
- Make flax “eggs” by stirring together flax meal and water and let sit 10-15 minutes to thicken.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together all dry ingredients.
- In a separate bowl, use a hand (or stand mixer) to beat together coconut oil, applesauce, flax eggs, both sugars and vanilla. Slowly incorporate dry ingredients into wet.
- Stir in shredded carrot, sweet potato, hemp seeds, nuts and raisins if using. Let batter sit for 20 minutes, then portion into tins and bake for 24-27 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Meanwhile, make frosting by beating all ingredients together until well incorporated.
- Wait to frost cupcakes until they are completely cooled, otherwise the frosting will melt.
If you don’t use our gluten free flour blend recipe, we suggest this brand. If you use another brand of gluten free all purpose flour, read the label and check for xanthan gum. If the blend already contains xanthan gum, don’t add the extra amount indicated in this recipe.
You can substitute sweet potato with more shredded carrot if desired.