Dairy Free,  Dessert,  Gluten Free,  Recipe,  Vegan,  Vegetarian

Healthy Carrot Cake Cupcakes + Coconut Frosting (Vegan+GF)

So tell me if this is just me, but I always seem to wonder about the most random things in life.


My mom used to tell me I’d ask her the deepest questions as a little kid. The kind of questions that really stump parents as there’s no possible way to describe and explain the answers to a child even if they do have an answer. Questions about time, space, and concepts of fairness in life.

Mom was always pretty good at coming up with an answer to appease my shorter self, but looking back now I can see that I put her in some tough positions with my spontaneous inquiries. These days I’ll still find myself thinking deeply about stuff, but now it’s about a fifty/fifty split between meaningful things and just random trivia. For example when I’m skiing I’ll end up thinking “Who in the world was the first person to decide that strapping sticks to you’re feet and sliding down a mountain was a good idea?”

Another example, now that I’ve been gaining more and more interest in photography (and possibly video soon) I’ll end up paying attention to the filming in a movie and wishing I could talk to the filmmakers rather than paying attention to the plot.

Okay, I’m getting to the point though. Not that it’s even relevant, because carrot cake is amazing, but who do you think was the first person to throw carrots into they’re cake? I know I could use the internet to look these things up, but who’s got the time? Besides, these thoughts always pop up at the most inconvenient moments like while I am skiing down a slope, at the gym, or mid-shower when I can’t get to the internet. One thing that is almost always the case though, is that most inventions were the result of a necessity.

Haha, I had to look it up now to see if I was right and to prove I’m not as lazy as it sounds. As it turns out, I was right about both skiing and carrot cake. According to the web, the first recorded evidence of skiing was for utility purposes to travel in snow and only later became a recreational sport. Then carrot cake dates back to medieval times when sugar was expensive and carrots were cheap. Thanks Google!

That concludes out history lesson for today, promise. Sorry you guys, I know you didn’t sign up for that, you’re just here for cake. So facts and questions aside, who loves carrot cake? I honestly didn’t use to until I got older and realized it’s divine. There’s just something magical about combining all the spices, nuts, and textures and topping it all with some classic cream cheese frosting.

One great thing about carrot cake is that it’s also pretty healthy. I know it’s not winning any awards for healthiest food ever, I mean it’s still cake, but comparatively to other cupcakes it’s doing pretty good. But wait, there’s more! This version of the classic is even healthier than most because it doesn’t use any oil or refined sugar (minus the optional white chocolate toppers). Okay, and this might sound really weird but trust me it’s good, the frosting base is sweet potato! If you want to keep the white color I recommend using a white sweet potato but you can also go with regular orange and the color blends perfectly with the flavor of these cupcakes.

I guess you’ll just have to try them and see for yourself though!

Healthy Carrot Cake Cupcakes + Coconut Frosting (Vegan+GF)

Who said putting vegetables in your cake was a bad idea? These delectable little cupcakes are perfect for celebrating Springtime!

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 12 cupcakes

Ingredients

Cake:

  • 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed + 6 tablespoons water
  • 1 cup full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 cup coconut palm sugar (or raw turbinado sugar)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon each of: cloves allspice, ginger and nutmeg
  • 1 1/3 cups oat flour
  • 1 1/4 cups grated carrots
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup crushed pineapple
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut flakes

Healthy Frosting:

  • 1 cup baked sweet potato, peeled and cold
  • 2/3 cup coconut cream *see note
  • 2/3 cup plain non-dairy yogurt
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Toppers: (Optional)

  • 2/3 cup dairy free white chocolate
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  • natural green and orange food coloring

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 C) and grease a 12-slot cupcake pan. Mix together the flax and water and allow it to sit for at least 15 minutes until thickened.
  2. Stir together the coconut milk and raw sugar in a large mixing bowl until smooth. Mix in flax "eggs" and add salt, vanilla, baking powder, spices, and oat flour then stir until combined. Add carrots, walnuts, pineapple, and coconut then mix well.

  3. Divide batter among the slots and place in oven to bake for 25 - 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

  4. Remove from oven and cool completely before frosting.

Frosting:

  1. Combine all ingredients for the frosting in a food processor or blender and pulse until smooth. If the consistency isn't thick enough place in the fridge to chill before frosting. You can simply use a knife to frost each cupcake or fill a star tipped pastry bag and pipe it on like the pictures.

Toppers:

  1. Melt the white chocolate and coconut oil in a double boiler until smooth. Add a few drops of orange food coloring and pour about half of the mixture into a plastic ziplock bag and pipe little carrot shapes onto a parchment lined pan. Add a few drops of green coloring to the remaining white chocolate and pour into a second bag. pipe the carrot leaves onto the carrots to make leaves and allow the chocolate to cool and dry. Once set, top each cupcake with a carrot and serve.

Recipe Notes

If you have trouble finding coconut cream at your local grocery store it's completely fine to use full-fat coconut milk and scrape the cream off of the top. Just be sure that it's cold enough to separate.

10 Comments

  • Dee

    These are on my list to make – beautiful. Your white cake stand is interesting – please tell me about it and where I can find one. I love the large base.

  • Lisa

    Can you clarify the frosting recipe? It calls for 2 T coconut flour -is that correct? Also, in the directions it mentions milk. How much milk or do you suggest coconut milk? Can’t wait to try it!

    • Tori

      Yes, it was something I’ve never tried (the coconut flour) but the extra texture it added to the frosting was perfect for these. The milk should have been listed in the ingredients so thanks for letting me know, and yes it’s coconut milk. Thanks for reading Lisa and I really hope you enjoy these!

  • Anna

    Wow! I am absolutely in love with your style in these photos! I love the buttercream carrots! What a great idea. And I loved your story through the photos. So glad I found your blog.

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