This Dairy-Free Carrot Cake with Chai Buttercream is the best + perfect rendition of traditional carrot cake with a dairy-free twist! Not only is it completely soft + fluffy, but it’s utterly delicious! Loaded with carrots and nutty pecan goodness making it rich and dense in flavor + layers of velvety chai-infused buttercream, a magical fall combo! Absolutely irresistible and family-friendly, everyone will be fighting over the last slice! Vegan + Nut-Free options.
I don't ever say the word 'Best' lightly. I honestly meant it when I say it! This is THE Best Dairy-Free Carrot Cake + Chai Buttercream it really is the bee's knees.
Honestly, I don't even know where to begin with this cake. It's just SO GOOD, ya'll. I mean, the layer of flavors in just one bite will leave you absolutely obsessed, and even our cream-cheese lovers won't even be able to tell it's a dairy-free carrot cake. You know how it is here at Orchards + Sweet Tea we like to be inclusive of the whole family's dietary requirements without missing out on the flavor, and trust me, the entire family will LOVE this fall-inspired carrot cake recipe! Oh and if you're into cinnamon rolls, then these Southern-Style Carrot Cake Cinnamon Rolls are the thing to add to your baking list!
I’ve been loving chai spiced fall flavors lately (Haha, ok, I always love them), and if you're in the same boat and want to try more cozy, warming, spiced fall recipes, try my Apple Cider Cake + Cinnamon Maple Buttercream - Its another delicious cake flavor combo! Or if you're wanting something a little more bite-sized and love using pumpkin during this time of year as much as I do, try my Pumpkin Chai Spiced Cupcakes!
Okay, I didn't plan on that rhyming but hey, why stop a good thing? Here are some of my most loved CHAI-infused recipes!
If you’ve been an avid reader of Orchids + Sweet Tea, then you’re aware of my fear of baking cakes. Granted, I do make them for special occasions, however, when it comes to making them for a blog (and professional and all), I am completely terrified that it won’t be perfect.
But this cake came out PERFECT. I can’t even stop raving about it. Haha.
Here's what you need to make this Dairy-Free Carrot Cake with Chai Buttercream:
The butter (or oil) + use of cake flour. This combo of ingredients definitely creates a beautifully soft, fluffy, + moist bite of any cake, including this dairy-free carrot cake.
While you can purchase chai spice blends, it’s definitely a blend that is easy to find, but also easy to make. Your dairy-free Carrot Cake will taste amazing, whichever you use.
If you do plan on making your own spice blend, you will need:
Keep cake leftovers stored for up to 4-5 days in the fridge. Keep it in an airtight container to keep the cake from drying out. You can also freeze the cake tightly wrapped in plastic wrap for up to 3 months. Before serving, defrost the cake on the counter.
When it comes to ingredients, especially in baking, it’s always best to have cold ingredients at room temperature to ensure that the mixing process is more seamless and even. Please note that microwaving your butter last minute if you forget to leave it out at room temperature isn’t recommended. Microwaving often changes the consistency of the butter which doesn’t create a nice ‘creaminess’ when mixed.
Yes absolutely. This dairy-free carrot cake can be altered to suit the whole family's dietary needs! To make this cake GF, I recommend using a GF Flour Blend (Bob’s Red Mills has a great version!). FYI If the batter mixture is too ‘thin + runny’, simply add additional GF flour, ¼ cup at a time.
Absolutely! You can always bake this cake the night or day before and let it cool, tightly wrap, and refrigerate until ready to use. The frosting/buttercream can also be made prior and tightly wrapped and stored in the fridge as well. When ready to serve, let cake sit at room temperature for 30 minutes to an hour, frost, and enjoy!
To store frozen (frosted or unfrosted), simply tightly wrap and cover cake and freeze for up to 2-3 months. To serve, thaw in the refrigerator overnight and bring to room temperature.
Absolutely! You can always divide the batter into two 8-inch cake pans for a nice double-layer cake or into cupcake pans. The bake time will be a little less, therefore, keeping your eyes on them is super important. Also, with the cupcakes, you can use the frosting as a filling inside the cupcakes and top with the remaining chai cream cheese frosting to get double the ‘indulging experience’. Once cupcakes are baked, simply create a hole in the centers, fill them with the frosting and frost them per usual.
Yes, as long as you sub-out the pecans and use nut-free plant-based milk, this cake is very allergy-friendly! Many seeds have a crunchiness that is reminiscent of pecans with a similar earthy flavor as well.
Yes, you can use any dairy-free milk you like to make this Carrot Cake + Chai Buttercream. Here are some easy recipes to make your own milk that is cheaper and so easy to whip up!
TIP #1: Have the right tools. As a basic—-you should have a cake stand (preferably one that has a turnstile table), spatulas (big + small), piping bags + tips, correct baking pans and parchment paper, and if you need to get a bit more fancy—Bake Even Cake Strips (Wilton has some awesome quality ones!), which are such a genius invention.
Have no clue what these are? Whelp, you basically soak them in water before wrapping them around your cake pan while baking. These stripes ensures that your cakes don’t bake with a funny “dome” or anything. Just flat and even.
Of course, if you don’t have these strips, you can simply butter your pan and use liners along with an old trick that I’ve always done when baking—–add a small pot of water to the oven to keep things moist. Yup. It works EVERY. TIME.
TIP #2: One of the essential ingredient combos for a light, silky cake texture is baking soda and acid ingredient (usually vinegar or buttermilk if the cake calls for it). When acid and baking soda reacts, it creates bubbles and helps to create a nice rise for your baked goods, leaving an airy texture.
In the case of vegan cakes, this is usually done by adding apple cider vinegar to your milk and letting it sit for a few minutes and then later combining it with the dry ingredients (which includes baking soda). Wallah!
TIP #3: One of my latest tricks to a perfect cake has been to ensure that ALL of my dry ingredients are sifted. Trust me, ya’ll—-this works!
Making all the dry ingredients fully sifted makes things airy, as you’ve guessed it and allows everything to combine faster.
TIP #4: Never Over-mix! When creating a cake, it’s so important to add the dry ingredients and wet ingredients alternately and as soon as everything is combined very well, THAT’S IT!
Over-mixing creates a more dense cake.
The Best Healthy Sugar Alternatives + Substitutes list is all about finding better ways to enjoy your favorite sweets without compromising your healthy lifestyle. For those who follow a vegetarian and/or vegan lifestyle, this lists offers a few great ideas to incorporate healthy sweeteners into your diet.
If you make this Dairy-Free Carrot Cake with Chai Buttercream, tag @orchidsnsweettea_ on Instagram and hashtag it #orchidsandsweettea
Best Dairy-Free Carrot Cake + Chai Buttercream.