Learn how to make this super moist vegan carrot cake! It has delicious spiced layers and dairy-free cream cheese frosting, best of all it’s incredibly quick and simple to prepare.
Why you’ll love this carrot cake recipe
- Moist and Flavorful. Everyone loves carrot cake. Even people who hate carrots love carrot cake! It’s incredibly moist and bursting with warm, comforting spices.
- Egg and dairy-free. It’s completely dairy-free, even the cream cheese frosting, with a touch of orange zest, will satisfy even the fussiest meat-eater.
- Wholesome goodness. Packed with grated carrots, this cake is a guilt-free indulgence that brings a dose of nutrients to your dessert.
For the cake:
- Carrot. Grated carrots are the star of this show, adding natural sweetness, moisture, and a vibrant orange color.
- Soy Milk. Or any plant-based milk. Almond milk and oat milk are other popular choices.
- Canola Oil. Adds moisture and richness to the cake.
- Cake or pastry Flour. Provides a tender crumb structure, ensuring a light and delicate texture.
- Golden flaxseed meal. Acts as an egg replacer, sometimes called “flax eggs”, binding the dry ingredients together.
- Brown and cane sugar. This is the perfect sugar combo to create the right amount of sweetness.
- Vanilla extract. To balance the spice flavors.
- Ground cinnamon and ground ginger. These spices infuse the cake with warmth and a cozy, aromatic taste.
- Salt. To taste.
- Baking soda and baking powder. Leavening agents to help the cake rise and become fluffy.
- Walnuts. Add a delightful crunch and a rich, nutty flavor.
For the vegan cream cheese frosting:
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- Earth balance. A plant-based buttery spread that I adore! But any vegan butter will work.
- Tofutti cream cheese. A dairy-free alternative to traditional cream cheese that I love to use, but any vegan cream cheese will work.
- Orange zest. Orange zest adds a bright, citrusy flavor to the frosting.
- Vanilla extract. To balance the tang of the cream cheese.
- Powdered sugar. The primary sweetening agent and thickener in the frosting, creating the ideal consistency and sweetness level for spreading on the cake.
How to make vegan carrot cake
Step 1 – Prepare the carrot. Preheat oven to 175 Celsius (350 Fahrenheit) and grease a 9×5 inch loaf tin, or use parchment paper. Set aside. With the shredding blade attached to the food processor, shred carrot. Empty out carrot into a large bowl and attach a normal blade to the food processor.
Step 2 – Blitz your ingredients. Combine soy milk, canola oil, flaxseed meal, brown sugar, cane sugar, vanilla, ground cinnamon and ground ginger in the food processor. Process till smooth, about 30 seconds.
Step 3 – Thickening the batter. Add cake flour, baking soda and baking powder into food processor and pulse till almost everything is mixed. Remove food processor lid and give your cake batter a manual stir. Once all the flour has disappeared, pour batter into the bowl that contains your shredded carrot. Mix and then fold in chopped walnuts.
Step 4 – Bake. Pour mixture into prepared loaf tin and bake for 45-60 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean. Check at the 45 minute mark first, and continue baking if cake is still not cooked. Once baked, leave to cool in loaf tin for 10 minutes and then remove, leaving to thoroughly cool on a wire rack.
Step 5 – Frost and serve! Prepare your icing by mixing Earth Balance, Tofutti, orange zest and vanilla with an electric mixer till light and fluffy. Add sugar in and continue whipping until the sugar has dissolved. Top cooled cake and serve immediately!
Tips and variations
- Make carrot cupcakes instead! For cupcakes, after Step 3, spoon mixture into 12 cupcake liners and bake for 20-22 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean.
- Don’t overmix the batter. When mixing the cake batter, avoid overmixing, as it can lead to a denser texture. Mix until the ingredients are just combined to maintain a tender crumb.
- Let it cool completely. Allow the cake to cool completely before frosting. Carrot cake tends to be more delicate than traditional versions, so cooling helps it set and makes frosting easier.
To store: Place it in an airtight container or cover it with plastic wrap. Store the cake at room temperature for up to 2 days, or in the fridge for 4-5 days.
To freeze: Wrap the cake in plastic wrap to prevent freezer burn. Place the wrapped cake in an airtight container or a resealable freezer bag and freeze for up to 2-3 months.
More vegan desserts to try
Frequently asked questions
Certainly, you can add chopped pecans, or raisins to the cake batter for added texture and flavor. You can also experiment with additional spices such as nutmeg.
Carrot cake recipes use oil instead of butter for enhanced moisture, flavor, and ease of mixing. It’s a popular choice for achieving a moist and tender crumb.
While containing nutritious ingredients like carrots and nuts, carrot cake is typically not considered a “healthy” dessert due to its high sugar content.
Yes, you can replace wheat based flour with gluten-free flours at a 1 to 1 ratio. Be aware that this will alter the consistency of the cake.
Vegan Carrot Cake
For the cake:
- 2 cups carrot grated
- 1/2 cup soy milk
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons golden flaxseed meal
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup cane sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup pastry flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 cup walnuts chopped
Cream cheese frosting:
- 1 stick vegan butter (Earth Balance) about 8 oz
- 1 container Tofutti Cream Cheese about 7 oz
- 1 large orange zest only
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- Preheat oven to 175 Celsius (350 Fahrenheit) and line or grease 9×5 inch loaf tin. Set aside.
- With the shredding blade attached to the food processor, shred carrot. Empty out carrot into a mixing bowl and attach a normal blade to the food processor.
- Combine soy milk, vegetable oil, flaxseed meal, brown sugar, cane sugar, vanilla extract, ground cinnamon and ground ginger in the food processor. Process till smooth, about 30 seconds.
- Add cake/pastry flour, baking soda and baking powder into food processor and pulse till almost everything is mixed up.
- Remove food processor lid and using a spatula, give your cake batter a manual stirring. Once just combined, pour batter into the bowl that contains your shredded carrot.
- Stir until combined and then mix in chopped walnuts.
- Scrape mixture into prepared loaf tin and bake for 45-60 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean. Check at the 45 minute mark first, and continue baking if cake is still not cooked.
- Once baked, leave to cool for 10 minutes and then remove from tin and leave to thoroughly cool on a wire rack.
- Prepare your frosting by mixing Earth Balance, Tofutti, zest of 1 orange and vanilla extract with an electric mixer till light and fluffy.
- Add sugar in and continue whipping till light and sugar has dissolved.
- Top cooled cake with prepared icing.