FRIENDS!!!!!!! I’m so excited about this recipe. I love celebrating ALL the holidays! While Halloween, Thanksgiving & Christmas top my list, I still adore Easter.
Gluten Free, Vegan, Soy Free & Peanut Free
One of the main things that our society revolves around at any social function, is food! This holds true especially around the holiday celebrations.
I am HUGE on inclusivity. I have always rooted for the underdog. I have always befriended those that are alone and left out. I am an idealist in that regard.
So to be able to provide a recipe that can help all individuals celebrate the holidays WITH food, makes me super duper excited.
Spring & Easter Recipes for the Win!
When Spring rolls around there are so many recipes that start popping into my mind. One of them being Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting. I love to see the layered tiered cakes. However, we have a HUGE family and even HUGER (yes, I know not really a word) extended family. Sheet cake is perfect for big get togethers, taking from one place to the other, and serving. I adore sheet cake.
Plus, if you do make this gluten free and/or vegan, the ingredients do change the consistency enough that it wouldn’t work super well as a structured firm layer cake. With the substitutions the taste and texture are amazing, but it is super moist (a good problem), making the structure perfect for a sheet cake. Perfect!
I truly tested this out for you, and made it traditional with no substitutions, and then I also went out and purchased some gluten free measure for measure flour (Pillsbury), vegan cream cheese (Daiya), and vegan butter that is also top 8 free (Earth Balance).
Gluten Free & Vegan Substitution Notes
Below, I will give you the recipe with substitutions in the notes. Everything can be done measure for measure, except with the frosting, if doing the vegan options, I would recommend adding an entire cup extra of powdered sugar. Because vegan cream cheese and butter have a higher oil content than tradition butter and cream cheese, they are a bit thinner in consistency, which is not a problem per say, but I would recommend also NOT bringing the cream cheese and butter to room temperature if they are the vegan variety. They are soft enough as is in chilled form, and then you can chill it again once prepped, before frosting your cake.
Layer Cake VS Sheet Cake
If you do not go gluten free with egg subs, you can layer this cake as it has enough structure as seen in the photos where you can see the layers nicely. If you go gluten free and egg free, it is a very moist delicious cake but I would recommend leaving it as a sheet cake.
This is a very simple old family recipe, and one that I just adore. I hope that your family will enjoy it too!
Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
- 4 large eggs or 1 C Unsweetened Applesauce
- 1 C vegetable or grapeseed oil
- 2 C sugar
- 2 C all-purpose flour or measure-for-measure gluten free (King Arthur or Pillsbury)
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 3 C grated carrots
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 1 8 oz container of cream cheese, room temp or Daiya vegan plain cream cheese, chilled from fridge
- 1/2 C salted butter, room temp or Earth Balance soy free, chilled from fridge
- 4 C powdered sugar or 4-5 cups if making vegan
- 1 tsp vanilla
Combine the eggs, oil, sugar and stir well. Make a well in the middle of this mixture and add the flour, soda, powder, salt and cinnamon. Stir just til combined. Fold in carrots. Bake in a greased 15×10 or 18×10 baking pan with rolled edges (cookie sheet with rim all the way around), at 350, for 25-35 minutes. GLUTEN FREE: If baking gluten free bake it at 325 for 35-45 minutes. Set cake aside to cool completely before frosting.
Cream Cheese Frosting
Using a handheld mixer beat the cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar and vanilla til smooth. VEGAN: If making vegan, optionally, chill the frosting for 30-60 minutes before frosting the cake to give it a little more structure. It is fine to frost immediately as well.
When baking gluten free it is best to go “slow and low”, drop it 25 degrees from 350 to 325, and extend the baking time by about 7-10 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean from center.
For the cream cheese frosting when going vegan, to help with the consistency of the frosting, I made it straight from the fridge because it already has a softer texture due to a higher oil content.
For the cream cheese frosting whether making vegan or traditional, if it is too thick add a little milk or non-dairy alternative. If it is a little on the runny side, add a little more powdered sugar.