Nut and Gluten Free Carrot Cake with Ginger & Orange (Vegan)

If you are looking for a deliciously spiced and moist carrot cake, you’ll love this recipe with fresh orange, ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg. Even better, there’s no nuts to be seen in this delicious allergy friendly and gluten free carrot cake recipe. Made without eggs or milk – right down to the delicious dairy free cream cheese and orange frosting – this vegan carrot cake is perfect for catering to lots of dietary requirements.

Vegan nut and gluten free orange cake with frosting on white plate with fresh oranges, carrots and ginger

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Traditional carrot cake and food allergies

Most carrot cakes contain not only gluten and wheat in the flour, as well as eggs and milk, but they usually come laden with walnuts. This makes carrot cake a ‘no go’ for people with nut and other allergies. This recipe uses gluten and wheat free flour and leaves out the milk and eggs to create a vegan and allergy friendly cake. You won’t miss the nuts thanks to the wonderful mix of spices, making this cake a bit like a cross between carrot cake and gingerbread.

Often carrot cake is topped with a cream cheese frosting or icing. We’ve also fixed that with a wonderful dairy free cream cheese and orange frosting.

This easy recipe makes a single layer square cake that’s perfect for sharing.

Allergy friendly carrot cake ingredients

For this spicy nut and gluten free carrot cake you’ll need:

  • 2 cups gluten free self raising flour (eg Orgran)
  • 1 cup soft brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • pinch salt
  • 3/4 cup oat milk (or other non dairy milk)
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 Tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
  • grated rind of one orange
  • 2 1/2 cups grated carrot (about 3 to 4 large carrots)
nut and gluten free carrot cake ingredients including olive oil, gluten free flour, carrot, oranges, oat milk and spices
Nut and gluten free carrot cake ingredients

Gluten free self raising flour

For tis recipe we used Orgran self raising flour, one of our favourite allergy-friendly brands that is free from nuts and other allergens.

If you don’t need a wheat or gluten free cake, feel free to use normal wheat self raising flour in this recipe. It will change the texture slightly and possibly shorted the cooking time by a few minutes, but otherwise the recipe will be the same.

Dairy free cream cheese frosting ingredients

To make dairy free orange cream cheese frosting you’ll need:

  • 1/4 cup dairy free vegan margarine/butter (eg Nuttelex)
  • 115g (4oz) vegan cream cheese (eg Bio Creamy)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups of icing sugar
  • Orange zest for garnish
dairy free cream cheese and orange frosting ingredients with citrus juicer
Diary free cream cheese and orange frosting ingredients

Allergy friendly cream cheese

For the cream cheese frosting, we used My Life Bio Creamy dairy free cream cheese substitute. This spreadable vegan cream cheese is made with coconut and is soy free.

If you can’t source a vegan cream cheese to make the frosting, a simple orange frosting would be delicious with this cake too.

Method

To make the carrot cake

Pre heat the oven to 170C/240F.

Grease and line a 20cm (8 inch) square cake pan with non dairy spread and parchment paper. You could also use a 23cm (9 inch) round tin.

In a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients – flour, sugar. cinnamon, nutmeg and pinch of salt.

Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and add the oat milk, olive oil, vanilla, fresh grated ginger and orange rind. Stir well until the mixture forms a thick batter. Add the grated carrot and stir through until combined.

Transfer the cake batter to the prepared tin and place in the middle rack of the oven to cook for around 45 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.

Remove from the oven and let the cake cool in the pan for 5 to 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.

To make the orange cream cheese frosting

Place dairy free margarine and vegan cream cheese in a medium bowl and beat until creamy. Add the orange juice and vanilla to the cream cheese mixture and beat to combine. Gradually add sifted icing sugar to the bowl and beat until smooth and spreadable.

Once the cake is completely cooled, top with frosting and fresh orange zest for garnish.

This recipe makes 16 square serves of cake.

Storage and freezing

Any leftover cake can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 to 5 days. This vegan carrot cake can be frozen for up to 3 months, but is better frozen unfrosted.

Vegan nut and gluten free orange cake with frosting on blue and white plate  with fresh oranges and cinnamon

More allergy-friendly recipes

For more allergy-friendly cake recipes, try our vegan vanilla peach cake or lemon poppy seed zucchini cake. Or for another sweet treat made with oranges, you’ll love our vegan orange and poppy seed muffin recipe.

All of the recipes on our allergy-friendly recipe page are dairy and egg free and free from other top allergens.

And don’t forget to subscribe for more practical allergy tips and recipes.

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nut and gluten free carrot cake with orange and ginger on white plate with fresh oranges and cinnamon stick

Nut and Gluten Free Carrot Cake with Orange and Ginger

Allergy Spot
Easy recipe for a one layer spiced vegan carrot cake free from top allergens
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine Australian
Servings 16
Calories 326 kcal

Equipment

  • 1 20cm (8 inch) square cake pan
  • 1 large mixing bowl
  • 1 Citrus juicer
  • 1 grater
  • 1 citrus zester
  • 1 Citrus juicer
  • 1 medium bowl
  • 1 mixing spoon
  • measuring cups and spoons

Ingredients
  

Cake ingredients

  • 2 cups gluten free self raising flour (eg Orgran)
  • 1 cup soft brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 pinch salt
  • ¾ cup oat milk
  • cup olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
  • finely grated orange rind of 1 orange
  • 2 and a ½ cups grated carrot (3-4 large carrots)

Frosting ingredients

  • ¼ cup dairy free margarine/butter
  • 115 g (4 oz) dairy free cream cheese
  • 1 Tablespoon orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups icing sugar
  • additional orange zest for garnish (optional)

Instructions
 

To make the carrot cake

  • Pre heat the oven to 170C/240F.
  • Grease and line a 20cm (8 inch) square cake pan with non dairy spread and parchment paper. You could also use a 23cm (9 inch) round tin.
  • In a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients – flour, sugar. cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.
  • Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and add the oat milk, olive oil, vanilla, fresh grated ginger and orange rind. Stir well until the mixture forms a thick batter. Add the grated carrot and stir through until combined.
  • Transfer the cake batter to the prepared tin and place in the middle rack of the oven to cook for around 45 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
  • Remove from the oven and let the cake cool in the pan for 5 to 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.

To make the orange cream cheese frosting

  • Place dairy free margarine and vegan cream cheese in a medium bowl and beat until creamy.
  • Add the orange juice and vanilla to the cream cheese mixture and beat to combine.
  • Gradually add sifted icing sugar to the bowl and beat until smooth and spreadable.
  • Once the cake is completely cooled, top with frosting and fresh orange zest for garnish.

Notes

Frosting tip: keep the dairy free cream cheese and vegan margarine cool to prevent the frosting from becoming too soft.
Storage and freezing: Any leftover cake can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 to 5 days. This vegan carrot cake can be frozen for up to 3 months, but is best frozen unfrosted. 
 
Keyword allergy-friendly, cake, carrot, dairy free, easy, egg free, ginger, gluten free, nut free, orange, wheat free

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