Make the best ever vegan carrot cake recipe and you’ll see why it’s our favorite. It’s creamy, delicious, and topped with a delicious, dairy free vegan cream cheese frosting. Bake this easy layered carrot cake recipe complete with chopped walnuts, cinnamon spice and the ultimate tangy carrot cake frosting today! Instructions provided to transform this recipe into cupcakes.
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 the best Vegan Carrot Cake recipe.
It’s so delicious, you might even want to share it with friends. While you’re thinking about easy vegan cake desserts, why not check out my Vegan Coconut Cake recipe. Or how about my Easy Vegan Vanilla Cake recipe, otherwise known as a vegan white cake. 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?
There are a few crossover veggies that have found their way into 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.
How to Make Dairy Free Carrot Cake
I created an easy-as-possible process to make this eggless dairy free carrot cake. It begins by adding dry ingredients — flour, sugar, vanilla protein powder, salt, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and baking soda — in a bowl.
Next, toast the walnuts on a baking sheeting the preheated oven. Stir in half of the toasted walnuts to the flour mixture. Why toast walnuts if they’re going to be baked in the cake anyway? Great question! I love this response on why to toast walnuts before baking! Basically, the walnuts are insulated by all the other cake ingredients. Toasted walnuts add a great touch to your carrot cake recipe!
In a small bowl combine the vegetable oil, water, vinegar and vanilla.
Add the chopped carrots to a food processor and pulse several times to shred the carrots. Add this to the vegetable oil mixture and stir to combine before adding to the flour mixture. Stir together and then pour the batter into your prepared cake pans and bake.
Carrot Cake Frosting
To make the vegan cream cheese frosting, combine the vegan cream cheese and vegan butter in a mixing bowl. Mix on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the powdered sugar a little bit at a time until light and fluffy.
To make the carrot cake frosting without cream cheese, simply leave out the vegan cream cheese. You can substitute 1/4 cup of coconut oil if you’d like, or leave it as a simple vanilla frosting.
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.
The carrots add a lot of delicious moisture to this vegetarian 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
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 carrot cake bread (using a loaf pan) or cupcakes. Top with a dairy free carrot cake frosting.
Here are some tips and tricks to making this vegan carrot cake recipe perfect every time:
- Add 1/2 cup of dried fruit, like raisins for a variation
- For something different, add 1/4 cup of coconut shreds to the cake batter
- I use protein powder in this batter, but if you don’t have it or don’t want to use it, sub in 1/2 cup almond flour or meal
- I used two 9″ inch round cake pans but you can bake this in a 9X13 cake pan instead. Be sure to bake about 10 minutes longer
- Some people prefer hand grating the carrots but I’ve found using a food processor to be faster, easier, and provides great results
- My favorite vegan cream cheese is Tofutti’s but Follow Your Heart has a good one too
- This vegan cake is made with no eggs because it’s using the gluten from the flour to provide structure
- For something different, add 1/4 cup crushed pineapple to the batter
- You could also try adding a little lemon zest to the batter or the icing
- Be sure to allow the cakes to cool completely before frosting them
- Make this a gluten-free vegan carrot cake by using gluten free baking flour.
Simple Cake Recipes
This is a simple vegan carrot cake recipe that I based off of my vegan wacky cake. A wacky cake is basically a simple vegan sponge cake recipe made without eggs. It uses baking soda combined with apple cider vinegar to give the cake a nice rise.
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! Have a birthday coming up? Surprise someone you love with this delicious vegan carrot cake with carrot cake icing!
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!
Vegan Carrot Cake
- 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
- 1½ 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
- 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.*
- 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.
- 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.
- In a smaller bowl combine the vegetable oil, water, vinegar and vanilla. Stir to combine.
- 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.
- Pour the batter into your prepared pans. Bake for 35 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
- Allow the cake to cool for about 10 minutes before inverting onto a serving plate. Allow the cakes to cool completely.
- 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.
- 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.