Months ago, we had dinner with friends. We were commenting on a gluten-free dairy-free carrot cake with dairy-free cream cheese frosting our 11 year old made for my birthday. Our friend who tries to avoid dairy said he’d like to try it as he’s never had a good replacement. Our 11 year old remembered and took the challenge and prepared gluten-free dairy-free carrot cake cupcakes with dairy-free cream cheese frosting. All of the adults had at least two of them!
Also, she asked if this could be a Mommy and Me Monday post and when the kiddo requests to have a Mommy and Me Monday post with them, you got it! So, the 13 year old grabbed a behind the scenes picture for us! (We all know I don’t have gorgeous marble countertops and bead board walls!)
Let’s get to the cooking of the gluten-free dairy-free carrot cake. I’m just the reporter here and consultant for when things don’t go as expected or she needs help.
Gluten-free Dairy-Free Carrot Cake Ingredients
First you’ll want to gather your ingredients: vegetable oil, eggs, sugar, gluten-free flour (we like Bob’s Red Mill cup for cup), baking soda, salt, vanilla, cinnamon, carrots, nuts (we like walnuts, but pecans work, too, or you can keep them out!).
Before getting to mixing, she uses our mandoline to shred carrots. Also, use this protective glove my sister got to prevent cutting fingers and knuckles off in the grater (because, yeah, I’ve done it). That pile of carrots is so tasty and requires quite a bit of elbow grease, as you shred about 5 carrots (or 2 cups worth).
Get to mixing
First you’ll whisk the dry ingredients together in a medium bowl. Then, you’ll beat the oil, and sugar on medium speed for about 2 minutes, or until it’s well blended. To this bowl, you’ll add the applesauce and vanilla. While on medium, speed, slowly add the eggs and then mix for another minute. Next, you’ll gradually add in the dry flour mixture. Finally, gently stir in the chopped nuts and shredded carrots.
Decide on the size / shape
Depending on the size / shape of your cake, you’ll get your pans ready and sprayed or lined with muffin liners. We’ve previously used 2 round pans, but this time opted for cupcakes. We preheated the oven to 350F. Once heated and the cupcakes were scooped, they went into the oven. We cooked them about 20 minutes, checking them with a toothpick inserted in the center and coming out clean. The cupcakes and cake were cooled in the pan on our wire racks for about one hour. You can cool them in the oven or freezer too if you are trying to cool them down quickly.
Dairy-Free Cream Cheese Frosting
Once they are cooled, you’ll top them with dairy-free vegan cream cheese frosting. You’ll need dairy-free vegan cream cheese (our favorite is Trader Joe’s Brand), dairy-free butter or butter flavored shortening, unsweetened almond milk or your favorite milk substitute (coconut milk would be tasty), vanilla, powdered sugar. Being the person she is, she wanted to use her piping bag and piping tip to make a “pretty, classic cupcake swirl” on the top of the cupcakes.
The swirl didn’t last as dairy-free vegan cream cheese frosting just doesn’t hold up quite as well. But, I think we could have added a smidge more of the powdered sugar. It didn’t stop us from devouring them! They are so very good! Also, she topped them with a walnut because, yummy, but also a warning, like “hey, this has nuts in it.”
Once they have their icing on them…or frosting, you can also get it to firm up more by putting them in the fridge.
Some people like to add raisins. If this is your jam, add them with the carrots and nuts. I have mixed feelings on them, so I left them out.
- 1 1/2 cups gluten-free flour (we like Bob’s Red Mill cup for cup)
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 Tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 3 large eggs
- 2 cups grated carrots
- 1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional-we like walnuts, but pecans work, too, or you can keep them out!).
- Preheat oven to 425F.
- Before getting to mixing, use a mandoline slicer or cheese grater to shred carrots. (Wear a fancy glove to prevent cutting fingers and knuckles off in the grater (because, yeah, I’ve done it). It takes about 3 carrots (or 2 cups worth).
- Whisk the dry ingredients in a medium bowl.
- In stand mixer (or with hand mixer), beat oil and sugars on medium for 2 minutes.
- To the mixer, add the applesauce and vanilla.
- While still on medium speed, gradually add the eggs and continue mixing for 1 minute
- Gradually add in the dry flour + seasoning mixture.
- Fold in carrots and nuts.
- Grease muffin in or use muffin liners and fill cups about 3/4 full.
- Bake cupcakes approximately 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Cool cupcakes in pan on a wire rack, or place in freezer to cool.
- Top with dairy-free cream cheese frosting once cool. (see recipe below)
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 180Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 37mgSodium: 200mgCarbohydrates: 26gFiber: 1gSugar: 14gProtein: 4g
- 8 ounce tub dairy-free vegan cream cheese (we like Trader Joe's version best)
- 1/4 dairy-free butter or butter flavored shortening
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 teaspoons dairy-free milk (we use unsweetened almond milk)
- 5+ cups powdered sugar
- First beat the dairy-free cream cheese, dairy-free butter, vanilla and milk with an electric mixer at low speed.
- 1 cup at a time slowly and gradually add in powdered sugar. Do this at low speed. Continue until it is smooth and spreadable but still has some thickness to it.
- Spread or pipe on top of cupcake or cake and enjoy.
- Store extras (and any cupcakes or cake that doesn't get eaten) in the fridge or eat on berries! Yummy!
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 56Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 2mgSodium: 13mgCarbohydrates: 5gFiber: 0gSugar: 5gProtein: 1g
What did you do this week?
GET IN THE PICTURE WITH YOUR KIDS! Who cares what you look like? Cares how you appear? Who cares what you are wearing? JUST DO IT! Come share your picture on the Facebook thread or use #MommyAndMeMonday!
It’s time again for Mommy and Me Monday. Pop out from behind that camera and capture yourself in action with your kids. Check out the inaugural Mommy and Me Monday for more information. Need another reason to participate in Mommy and Me Monday? Read my post about why I blog with words from a friend’s husband.