Classic Vegan Carrot Cake Recipe

Make this incredibly moist vegan carrot cake recipe and you’ll see why it’s our favorite. It’s creamy, delicious, and topped with a sinfully sweet vegan cream cheese frosting. Bake this classic layered carrot cake recipe complete with chopped walnuts, cinnamon spice and the ultimate tangy cream cheese frosting today!

A slice of Vegan Carrot Cake sits in front of the rest of the cake.

It’s time for a little decadence, don’t you think? But if you’re going to go for an indulgent dessert, I think you should go all in. That’s why today I’m sharing this recipe for a classic Vegan Carrot Cake recipe. It’s so delicious, you might even want to share it with friends. While you’re thinking about delicious decedant vegan desserts, why not check out my Vegan Coconut Cake recipe. Or how about my Vegan Vanilla Wacky Cake with Chocolate Frosting? It’s all so good!

Are Carrots Really in Carrot Cake?

The short answer is, yes, there are carrots in carrot cake. And I never really understood the idea of it. Carrots in a cake? It doesn’t make sense. I mean, carrots are vegetables. We don’t serve spinach in a cake. Right? So what’s the deal with carrots?

The wet ingredients for this healthy carrot cake recipe are in a glass mixing bowl.

There are a few crossover veggies that have found their way in desserts, including carrots and sweet potatoes, and obviously pumpkin. Do you see anything in common there? They’re all orange!

Can we call it revenge of the orange vegetable?

I bet you’re already one step ahead of me and thinking about the zucchini which has been used in a cake here or there. I might have even created a Vegan Chocolate Zucchini Cake myself. And the avocado has been used in desserts as well.

So, I guess that means I should just give up on my resistance to carrots in a cake. Oh, in fact, I already have.

Healthy Carrot Cake

A carrot cake recipe is really just a spice cake in disguise. All you have to do is make a spice cake batter and add shredded carrots. Voila. You’ve got a carrot cake.

This vegan carrot cake happens to be one of Shawn’s favorite recipes. I made it over the holidays and we both had a tough time staying out of it. In fact, I had to make it again just so we could shoot it.

The carrots add a lot of delicious moisture to this cake. It’s a perfect combination between those delicious spices we all know and love, and the moisture delivered from the cooked carrots. Throw on some creamy frosting and walnuts, and you’ll see why we love this vegan carrot cake recipe so much.

You’ll love that this carrot cake is moist, sweet, rich and flavorful. You’ll love even more that it’s topped with a vegan cream cheese frosting. We even sprinkled the top with some chopped walnuts for a dramatic flair. Because, you know me. I’m all about the drama.

Actually, my goal is to keep the drama out of life and in the food. Should that be a quote somewhere?

Keep the drama out of life and in your food. — Namely Marly

Ingredients from a food processor are being poured into a glass bowl full of the flour ingredients.

Vegan Carrot Cake Cupcakes

I recently turned this recipe into cupcakes, although I called them carrot cake muffins. There’s a lot of crossover between muffins and cupcakes, especially when you’ve got frosting involved.

I think it’s good to play with your food and alter it into different forms and flavors. So, you can make this recipe as a loaf, or cupcakes, or you can even change the flavors around to suit your own needs. In my mind every recipe is better when it has more of your personal touch in it.

The dry ingredients for this cake are in a white mixing bowl.

I highly recommend taking a look at most every recipe and see the ways you can change it around. If you’d like help getting started, here are some ways I’d change this vegan carrot cake recipe:

  • Why not include some dried fruit, like raisins, dried blueberries or the like?
  • Has there even been a chocolate carrot cake? Hmm, makes me want to try it just thinking about it. I’d probably add a tablespoon or two of cocoa powder and go from there
  • I always feel like there should be coconut shreds in a carrot cake. I don’t know why, but it just seems like it would work. Why not add 1/4 cup of coconut shreds and see how it goes?
  • I have a thing for cloves, so adding a quarter teaspoon of dried ground cloves would be a nice touch
  • Can you tell I have a thing for peanut butter? But seriously, adding a little peanut butter might add a tasty touch to this recipe. Maybe substitute 1/4 to 1/2 cup in place of the current vegan butter
  • Why not throw in some vanilla bean while you’re at it. Just scrape the insides of a pod and add that to the cake batter. Yum!

Simple Carrot Cake Recipe

This is a simple vegan carrot cake recipe that I based off of my vegan wacky cake. A wacky cake is basically a simple cake recipe made without eggs. It uses baking soda combined with apple cider vinegar to give the cake a nice rise. It works!

You can serve Vegan Carrot Cake with a cup of some Vegan Skinny Hot Chocolate on the side. It’s just one more thing that will make this cake sing! I also highly recommend sharing this showstopping cake at family events. Have a birthday coming up? Surprise someone you love with this delicious vegan carrot cake!

a slice of vegan Carrot Cake with a fork holding a bite of carrot cake next to it.

You know, we hope you love these Vegan Carrot Cake as much as we do. If you decide to make the recipe, snap a photo and share it with us using #namelymarly on Instagram or SnapChat (I’m @NamelyMarly). We LOVE seeing your photos!

5 from 4 votes
Vegan Carrot Cake
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
35 mins
Total Time
40 mins
 
Make this vegan carrot cake recipe and you'll see why it's our favorite. It's moist, delicious, and topped with vegan cream cheese frosting.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: vegan cake, vegan carrot cake
Servings: 14
Calories: 461 kcal
Author: Marly
Ingredients
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup vanilla plant-based protein powder*
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 teaspoon baking soda
  • cups walnuts
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cup cold water
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 cups chopped carrots
  • Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 8 0 z container vegan cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup vegan butter
  • 2 - 3 cups powdered sugar
  • Additional walnuts for garnish
Instructions
  1. Heat your oven to 350Spray two round cake pans with vegetable spray. You can also place a piece of parchment paper at the bottom of the pans and spray the sides with vegetable oil.*
  2. Combine in a large mixing bowl the flour, sugar, vanilla protein powder, salt, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and baking soda. Stir to combine. Set aside.
  3. Place walnuts on a baking pan and toast for 5 minutes. Be careful not to cook too long because they will burn. Remove from the oven and allow to cool before chopping. Stir half of the walnuts into the flour mixture.
  4. In a smaller bowl combine the vegetable oil, water, vinegar and vanilla. Stir to combine.
  5. Add the chopped carrots to a food processor and pulse several times to shred the carrots. Pour the shredded carrots into the vegetable oil mixture. Stir to combine. Pour this into the flour mixture. Stir until combined.
  6. Pour the batter into your prepared pans. Bake for 35 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  7. Allow the cake to cool for about 10 minutes before inverting onto a serving plate. Allow the cakes to cool completely.
  8. In the meantime make your Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting by combining the vegan cream cheese and vegan butter in a mixing bowl. Mix until light and fluffy. Add the powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time, until you reach a desired consistency, which should be spreadable but thick.
  9. Ice the top of one of the cakes. Top with additional chopped, toasted walnuts. Place the second cake on top. Cover the top cake and sides with frosting. Garnish with chopped walnuts.
Recipe Notes

You can use a 9X13 pan if you prefer that instead of a layered cake. If so, you'll need to bake the cake in a 9X13 pan for about 10 minutes longer. Be sure to use a tester in the center to see if the cake is done.

Nutrition Facts
Vegan Carrot Cake
Amount Per Serving
Calories 461 Calories from Fat 234
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 26g 40%
Saturated Fat 10g 50%
Sodium 421mg 18%
Potassium 142mg 4%
Total Carbohydrates 52g 17%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Sugars 29g
Protein 6g 12%
Vitamin A 61.1%
Vitamin C 1.5%
Calcium 2.7%
Iron 12.2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Finally, if you’re into delicious vegan spice cake recipes, well, there’s a good chance we two peas in a pod! That’s why I had to share with you this Vegan Apple Spice Cake by Hot for Food. It looks so good. But I can’t stop there! This Chai Spice Cake by Veggie and the Beast looks pretty tasty too. And what a great site name! Oh, and speaking of chai cakes, check out this Vegan Chocolate Chai Cake by yours truly!

Whatever spice cake you’re drooling over, enjoy!

Updated by Marly · Permalink