Great Grandma Ginny's (Dairy Free) Carrot Cake

I despise carrots, pineapples are too acidic, pecans are a bit pasty and I am not drawn to coconut. But there is something about my Great Grandma Ginny’s Carrot Cake recipe where all of these ingredients play a major role that hits the spot.

While Grandma Ginny’s original recipe for Carrot Cake is delicious, it does not fit in with my diet. When I found out I was lactose intolerant, it put a brief hold on my baking until I discovered the many dairy-free alternatives available.

Now, I use this hindrance to be able to experiment with non-dairy and vegan treats. I have tweaked the original carrot cake recipe a few times to tailor it to my needs and, after many attempts, have created a recipe (almost) as good as Ginny’s.

This recipe is not vegan, though the eggs can easily be replaced with a vegan substitute like Ener-G that you can find at Wheatsville Co-Op. I use Earth Balance Vegan Butter and Tofutti “Cream Cheese” for the icing. Another alteration that I like to do with all of my cake and cupcake recipes is use unsweetened applesauce in place of the oil. The applesauce makes the cake extra fluffy and moist.

Here is the recipe and pictures of my baking experience.

Great Grandma Ginny’s (Dairy Free) Carrot Cake

Cake Ingredients:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1  1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1  1/2 cup applesauce (vegetable oil works fine if you don’t have applesauce on hand)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs (or Ener-G)
  • 2 cups grated carrots
  • 6 oz. crushed pineapple, undrained
  • 6 oz. can flaked coconut
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans

Icing Ingredients:

  • 1  8 oz. Tofutti “Cream Cheese”
  • 1 stick Earth Balance Vegan Butter
  • 1 lb. powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 3/4 cup pecans, chopped

Cake Directions:

1. Sift dry ingredients, set aside.

Dry Ingredients

2. Mix applesauce and sugar, then add eggs.


3. Add the dry ingredients to this.  Mix well.

4. Add carrots, pineapple with juice, coconut and pecans.

Carrots, pecans, coconut, pineapple

5. Pour into two  well greased 9 X 13 pans or 3 circular cake pans (I only did two, make sure to cover the top with foil it doesn’t burn before the cake cooks well).

Cake batter

6. Bake in 325 preheated oven for 30 – 35 minutes.

Icing Directions:

1. Mix the cream cheese and butter well, add vanilla. I would recommend using a mixer or beater for this because the vegan cream cheese and butter need powerful mixing to be the consistency of icing.

2. Add the powdered sugar one cup at a time, mix well.

3. Mix the pecans in all at once.

Mixing the Icing

4. Let the cake cool well before frosting

5. Slice and enjoy!