Gluten-Free Carrot Bread with Chai Spices

Gluten Free Carrot Bread with Chai Spices
Gluten-free carrot bread with raisins and chai spices.

I've got a lovely tender tea bread recipe for you- a gluten-free carrot bread fragrant with chai spices and studded with juicy sweet raisins. Ever since I baked those happy, sunny carrot muffins I've been pondering carrot bread. I wanted to create a new gluten-free bread recipe that featured several whole grains, including (gasp!) brown rice flour. Shocking, I know. Long time readers will confirm I'm not the biggest fan of rice flours. I almost never bake with them. And yet. There I was. Standing in the Whole Foods check out line. Buying a bag of Bob's Red Mill organic brown rice flour. On impulse. Because it just sounded good to me. Wholesome. Nutty.

And friendly to carrots.

Which is important in a gluten-free recipe. The friendliness.

You want all your ingredients to get along. You want your flavors co-mingling in savory-sweet bliss. Supporting one another's strengths. Forgiving each other's weaknesses. No single gluten-free flour is perfect on its own, as you well know. Going solo doesn't work. It needs a supporting cast. It needs to find balance and achieve harmony via relationships. Give and take. That's what it's all about in the crazy game of gluten-free baking.

Kinda like love.

Warm slices of gluten free carrot raisin bread with freshly brewed soy coffee made from roasted soy beans
Warm carrot raisin bread and fresh brewed soy coffee.

Carrot Bread Recipe with Raisins and Chai Spices

This carrot bread recipe is flexible. If you don't care for raisins, try dried cranberries, or currants. If pecans aren't your favorite nut, leave them out- or use walnuts. If coconut milk isn't your thang, use almond or rice milk. Make it like you like it, Babycakes. (See notes below for more substitution ideas.)

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line a 9-inch ceramic loaf pan with a piece of parchment paper that extends up over the top of the two long sides (this makes it easy to grip and lift the loaf out of the pan).

Mix together the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl:


3/4 cup sorghum flour
1/2 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup tapioca starch or potato starch (not potato flour)
1/4 cup coconut flour or almond flour
1/2 cup organic cane sugar
1/2 cup organic light brown sugar
1 tablespoon arrowroot starch
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
2 large organic free-range eggs or Ener-G Egg Replacer (1/4 cup liquid, mixed)
1/2 cup light olive oil or organic grapeseed oil
1/2 cup coconut or non-dairy milk (more as needed, up to 3/4 cup)
1 cup finely grated carrots (I use a box grater)
1/2 cup raisins- dark or golden
1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (may omit)


Whisk the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl- flours through spices.

Add in the eggs or egg replacer, oil, and half cup coconut milk. As you beat the liquid ingredients into the dry mix, keep an eye on the batter. It should be smooth and slightly thick, close to a muffin batter. If it is too stiff or dry, add in more coconut milk as needed, a spoonful at a time to achieve a creamy-thick batter. I ended up using 3/4 cup total coconut milk, but you may need less liquid if you live in a more humid climate.

Stir in the grated carrots, raisins and nuts by hand and mix to distribute. Scoop the batter into the parchment lined ceramic bread loaf pan and smooth out the top with a silicone spatula.

Bake in the center of a pre-heated oven for one hour. (If you use a thinner metallic pan, you may have to adjust baking time as it may cook faster- especially around the edges.) The loaf should feel firm to the touch, and a wooden pick inserted into the center of the loaf should emerge clean.

Remove the pan from the oven and set it on a wire rack to cool. When the loaf has settled and is cool enough to handle, use a thin knife to loosen the two ends from the pan, and carefully lift it out of the pan using the parchment paper on either side of the loaf. Note- the loaf is fragile while warm, so don't try to slice it right away.

When cool, slice the carrot bread with a sharp bread knife. Serve with your favorite vegan buttery spread, or whipped cream cheese.

Cook time: 1 hour

Yield: Serves 8 to 10

Recipe Source:

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Gluten free carrot bread with chai spices
Fresh baked gluten-free carrot bread cooling on the rack.

Recipe Notes:

For readers who ask about substitutions for the coconut milk- you can use the non-dairy choice you prefer- from rice milk to orange juice. (Note: A plus for egg-free bakers, orange juice helps the loaf rise higher.)
For flour subs:
Use medium weight gluten-free flours to sub medium weight flours like sorghum (jowar) flour, and brown rice flour. Coconut flour is it's own kinda animal, but I'd guess almond flour might work if you don't care for coconut flour. Sub tapioca starch with other starches, such as cornstarch, potato starch or arrowroot starch.
In place of raisins you might try dried cranberries.

Leave the nuts out if you prefer.

Wrap leftover slices in foil, bag and freeze to preserve "just baked" texture.
For more tips see my Gluten-Free Baking Tips post and my Baking Substitutions Help page.

We enjoy our sugary treats in moderation, now, don't we?
Gluten-Free Goddess advises consuming no more than 
2 tablespoons of sugar a day. 

More carrot centered gluten-free recipe goodness:

Shirley's ABC Muffins at Gluten-Free Easily
Elana's Gluten-Free Carrot Banana Muffins at Elana's Pantry
Amy's Carrot Date Spice Muffins at Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free

For substitution help, please see my guide to baking with substitutions here.


  1. Nancy B.15:18

    This looks truly wonderful. How do you finely grate carrots? Would a food processor do the job? How would carrot pulp from the juicer do - maybe not sweet enough?

  2. Yummo!! I love adding veggies to bread. Looks delicious!

  3. I use an old fashioned box grater. I suppose processed carrots would also work, if you like the pieces a bit denser. I personally wouldn't use carrot pulp. Karina

  4. Your Gluten-Free Carrot Bread looks fabulous and delicious!

  5. Gail for So Delicious Dairy Free16:35

    Hi Karina! Thank you for all the delicious recipes you create with So Delicious coconut milk products. This one looks so good, we can't wait to go home and start baking! (What a great combination: carrot bread with raisins, coconut, and chai spices!) We love your blog, and I know our fans always appreciate it when we retweet your gluten-free vegan recipes and share them on our Facebook page!

  6. Such spectacular photos and a beautiful recipe, to boot. Thank you for sharing :)

  7. Oh wow, this really looks yummy! I'm not a huge fan of carrot bread... I like it and will eat it when offered but never make it at home... but this recipe may change my mind!

    Only problem is I can't use coconut flour (or almond flour as substitute)... there is so little coconut flour in the recipe... what does it do for the recipe that it has to be there? could I add a spoonful more of the other flours to make up the bulk?

  8. Yum! Reminds me of carrot cake, but healthier:)

  9. I love that you create recipes knowing people have different food sensitivities/allergies, and that you don't take your readers' asking about substitutions personally, but that you embrace the reality and offer sub suggestions up front :-) Thank you for your thoughtful consideration, and thank you for your willingness to share your experience and expertise with us. This blog has been a God-send for me over the past year as I learned to live with new food sensitivities and finally had to submit to my already existing food allergies. What a blessing you are! Thank you for all you do!

  10. By the way, I must say that that is one of the most gorgeous loaves of bread I have ever seen! Excellent work! And, as always, excellent photography skills.

    I have a question about Millet flour. I came across an article in Gluten-Free Living magazine (, issue #4 of 2010, about cross contamination of grains. I was surprised by what their study found with millet flour. The flour they tested was not labeled as gluten free b/c they were studying grains that were naturally gluten free without the label. I was wondering if you have ever had any issues with millet flour, and if there's a specific brand you recommend. I always buy the ones labeled gluten-free, but even that can be difficult to come last two Whole Foods Markets quit carrying it. Anyway, I was just curious.

    Have a great day! And thanks again!

  11. Thanks, Everyone for your kind and thoughtful comments. xox

    As for the coconut flour- it adds moisture and complexity, fiber and protein. If you need to sub it, try another high protein flour that tastes good to you.

    As for millet flour- from what I understand it can be tricky. Especially buying it in bulk, or from non-GF friendly sources. I use Arrowhead Mills millet flour with wheat-free/gluten-free on the label; I've spoken to the folks at Arrowhead Mills, and they thoroughly steam clean production lines between flour runs. If you have concerns, however, I'd call them.

    It's a highly personal choice to make. I choose only flours milled in gluten-free facilities, and labeled gluten-free in almost every single case; the Arrowhead Mills millet flour has worked for me; but again, if you have concerns, please talk to them regarding this important contamination issue and make your own decision based upon the level of safety vs risk you require.

    xox Karina

  12. Karina, I cannot thank you enough for all of your wonderful recipes and posts. Thank you!

  13. This looks just wonderful. I love reading your posts. It reminds me of how little I know about baking (and especially gluten-free baking!)

  14. Oh, Karina, what lovely carrot bread! Full of the good stuff. I recently got my first bag of coconut flour and love baking with millet. I've used Arrowhead Mills brand, too. Finally, you're a dear to link up to my ABC muffins--thank you! Now I want both your bread and my muffins. ;-) Got carrots? Why, yes ... yes, I do!


  15. Sometimes, when I see these photos, I fantasize you have an 800 # and I just pick up the phone and you ship it overnight. You should SERIOUSLY consider this--you could open a commercial kitchen in a warehouse, hire a couple of bakers, and go for it!
    Lip Smacking Fantasizing in Seattle!

  16. Looks fabulous! I love the golden colour and the streaks of carrot. Will be giving this a go for sure!

  17. For some reason we have trouble getting the range of gf flours that you seem to have available. I do love coconut flour, if yours is the same as ours, it tends to thicken up a lot though, but o so yummo!

  18. It looks wonderful, I have to try it!

  19. This looks delicious! I may try to make it into mini-muffins for my son. Your photography is beautiful!

  20. Mmmm! Gotta love a healthier type of bread. I love the spices too, it sounds wonderful :) Thanks for sharing!! xoxo

  21. I love the looks of this bread. So hearty and moist looking. Thanks for sharing! Rice flour in all :)

  22. This looks really, really, really good and it reminds me I need to buy a new box grater. The other night I almost took a hit to the face when the handle of my grater came right off mid-grate. New rule: graters must be constructed of one solid piece.

    Will be baking this later today!! Right after I go buy that new grater...

  23. Your carrot bread sounds wonderful and the photos are gorgeous!
    I was curious if you have ever tried Authentic Foods(.com) gluten free flours? They have a superfine brown rice flour that I think you would love! I use it as the major component in my GF flour blend. If you aren't familiar with AF, they are in Southern California.

  24. I love chai spices. Like really love them. I need this bread!

  25. This looks incredible, thanks for this, I never what to do with carrots apart from snacking on them so I'd love to try this. What a poetic post too, I love what you say about the ingredients, Im new to gluten free baking and i do see what you mean.
    Can't wait to try this,

    Teenie Foodie

  26. Looks very nutritious and delicious!

  27. Jane23:12

    The sliced photo is sooo pretty! Looks yummy. I wonder if you don't like brown rice flour because of Bob's Red Mill brand? (I'm not familiar with the history of your not liking it). It's coarsely ground which means.. heavy. The very first thing I ever baked GF- some banana muffins with chocolate chips- I used that flour. Almost cried. Little hockey pucks. The squirrels wouldn't even eat them (I thought they might at least pick out the chocolate chips but no:-). I phoned a gluten free friend.. who laughed at me and said do not use that flour- get superfine grind brown rice flour. I did.. world of difference... I don't use it all the time but it does add a nice crispness when in the mix of flours.

  28. Jane23:14

    ps...oops.. meant to say I love Bob's Red Mill sorghum and many other flours, just not the brown rice!!!

  29. Thank you Michael for sharing this post. For my first introduction into gluten free I thought Im gonna die. Every favorite of mine were with gluten! But as I dig deep into internet, I found many post containing gluten free foods and recipes! Thank you so much!

  30. Thank you for sharing. I made it and it is wonderful.

  31. Thanks for this recipe, Karina! As always, it's absolutely delicious. I made it in muffin form this weekend for friends and they never missed the wheat :)

    Btw, for those with fewer allergies or non-vegan tendencies, I used whole eggs rather than the whites, cow milk, and a 1/4 cup of flaxseed meal for added nutrition (I increased the amount of milk by a smidge to compensate for the extra flax). Worked great.

  32. Thank you for this recipe. I made it and it was delicious fresh out of the oven. Then I sliced the rest and wrapped them individually and popped them into the freezer. I get one out each day to toast and have with lashings of butter. I have linked your recipe to my blog for my readers. Hope that is ok.

  33. Thank you for a really wonderful recipe! I used my parent group as guinea pigs for trying this and I had at least 3 parents ask for the recipe! Many commented on how they couldn't believe it was gluten and dairy free. LOVE it and definitely will be making again!! (Oh, by the way, I used flax meal as a sub for millet flour...I couldn't find millet flour anywhere...and it turned out great)

  34. This bread is the epitome of synchronicity in all its' Jungian glory. An absolute symphony and everything is working together. Love it and the way you describe it all. I will go to sleep dreaming about this one.

  35. Velda15:19

    If you're seeking alternate flours, may I suggest purchasing a grain mill? We have a Nutrimill, which quickly turns whole millet, amaranth, oats (gluten-free, of course)and other grains into very fine flour. However, it doesn't mill seeds and won't crack grains for our chickens, so we're considering other mills.

    The recipe looks wonderful. To really make it chai-like, I'm planning to add cardamom. Love your recipes as well as your philosophy. Thanks.

  36. Andrea12:48

    Karina, totally off topic, but can you post a recipe for gluten free granola bars that are both chewy and have crunch? I am SO tired of eating Lara bars every day! Thanks so much, and I LOVE your recipes!!!!

  37. Karina I just wanted to thank you again. I made this (and several others of yours) recipe for Christmas. It was a big hit, even with my gluten-tolerant family members. I had so much fun making it with my brand new stand mixer! Your recipes made my Christmas cooking a baking a huge success!

  38. Could I use dried pineapple in place of raisins? Not a fan of raisins.

  39. Thanks so much everyone. And Danielle- yes, dried pineapple would lovely. Would you hydrate it first? I've never baked it with it.

  40. this sounds delicious. i'm going to try it using sweet potato - i'm allergic to carrots, but so miss carrot cake/bread. really love your posts. thank you!

  41. I love your post about supporting casts, going solo and all those wonderful truths about baking gluten-free. love it :-)

  42. Oh my gosh, that looks absolutely BEAUTIFUL! :)

  43. Hi Karina, thank you for another fabulous recipe! I'm trying not to eat rice every day, but it is hard with most gluten free products having some rice base. Any thoughts on what I might be able to sub in for the brown rice flour? I use this chart - -for non-gluten flour weights but I don't see a flour that subs in equal weight with the brown rice flour... Any suggestions??

    Thanks so much!!

  44. Made this tonight. Smells and tastes so good!

  45. This is my task for today. I have all the ingredients. I love that I have finally adapted my cupboards to be ready for anything GF. I have yet to tackle my own bread, though. I know this is more like a cake, but I like cake. And, I have to start somewhere. Thanks, again, Karina for your fabulous inspiration. Do you have any suggestions for a first time GF breadmaker with a bread machine?

  46. Hi Karina :)

    This recipe looks great :)

    I am on BED (body ecology diet) at the moment...Do you have any starch-free sweet recipes?

    Thank you so much <3

  47. Hi Karina, I absolutely love your blog and I look at it everyday for inspiration. One thing i noticed though is how much sugar you put in your baking. It seems like way too much to me. It may be because I am sensitive and am much more a savoury over sweet kinda gal. However I do usually put about 1/3 the amount of sugar the recipe calls for, and the product is always glorious. I usually sub it for brown rice syrup, agave or coconut sap (which is lovely in place of brown sugar in baking). I made your pumpkin pecan pie for my family for Thanksgiving this year and I decided to follow the recipe exactly. It came out wonderfully but when we tried it, it was so sweet we could barely finish a tiny piece! I must say I am so happy I made that pie though because it got me a job at a gluten free bakery!! I am baking at a small, independently owned bakery now and it was all because of how lovely the pie turned out! I thought I'd post this for all those who can't have sugar for whatever reason. These recipes are just as good without it!! Thank you for all your hard work on the blog. It really is a beautiful place to visit.

  48. Thanks Karina for the all the work you put into your creating and blogging! Your recipes are the best I've found since being gluten-free. I truly appreciate your prose, pictures and (for lack of another "p" word) food! Just thought I'd pop in a hi since I usually just lurk!

  49. Looks amazing, and as luck would have it - not only do I have all the ingredients (well, no pecans, but since I'm allergic, hardly a barrier! lol) but I just ground a fresh batch of brown rice flour yesterday, so it seems the stars as SO alligned, I HAVE to make this in the morning.

    If the gadget ever seems like something you would consider, I have to say my grain mill has made being GF not merely tolerable, but a downright delight. Like you - rice flour (any color) always seemed heavy, gritty, and just, well. UGH. But freshly ground grains & beans give such a wonderful touch to GF cooking, I couldn't do without mine now. No longer stuck with the gritty grinds of commercial flour - I can get powder soft brown rice flour in moments. And not be limited to 'just' white, brown, and the odd box of sweet rice flour as well. You would be shocked at how lovely wild rice flour, black rice, purple & red rice flour, even POPCORN flour can be. I don't think I could ever go back to the now-stale-tasting store bought stuff again. (Also helps that the mill paid for itself in less than 5 months - fresh flour is pennies on the pound in addition to being fresh!)

  50. This was fantastic. Thank you for the great recipes

  51. Hi, I'm from Poland (yes, in Europe) and I found Your blog 'cos... I'd been looking for photo of pineapple ;) Your muffins wiht pieces of them look so delicious but I can't leave a comment there ;P
    My sister has to live gluten-free and we very often look new recipes but... we have always problem with ingredients. Most of polish GF flours are 'mix', not the one kind of flour. Also, it's impossible to get e.g. arrowroot starch or xanthan gum. So we try to make recipes 'more likely polish' - with different results ;)

    Thanks for your recipes. We know that living gluten-free is a great way to know our possibilities! :)

  52. dear gluten free goddess i have just started my own blog got any tips here is the url