Vegan Carrot Cake
This vegan carrot cake is moist, lightly spiced and full of flavour. Topped with dairy-free cream cheese frosting and chunky walnut pieces, it makes for a perfect Spring time treat.
Carrot cake is one of those classics that has been around foreeever. It was one of the first things I made when I started learning how to bake.
It’s also one of my favourite desserts. And my boyfriend’s… and my granny’s… Almost everyone I know loves it. Even the non-vegans in my life have a soft spot for my eggless carrot cake.
As much as I love to experiment with new flavours and ideas, you just can’t beat the classics. So I thought it was high time for me to share my delicious carrot cake recipe.
This cake is so moist and flavourful, lightly spiced with cinnamon and ginger, and sprinkled with chunks of chopped walnuts for added flavour and texture. I also topped it with my delicious dairy-free cream cheese frosting which is an absolute must when it comes to carrot cake.
You can also top your cake with vanilla buttercream instead if cream cheese isn’t your thing.
No Flax Eggs!
Believe it or not, this recipe was the first one I tried without using any kind of vegan egg replacer.
When I first started vegan baking, I used to like using things like flax or chia seeds to help hold the mixture together. But I soon realised that most cake recipes don’t actually need them. In fact, they turn out much fluffier without!
So, if you happened to be looking for a vegan carrot cake without flax eggs, I’m here to answer your prayers. No egg replacers necessary for this one!
How To Make Vegan Carrot Cake
The first step is to preheat your oven to 180°C/ 350°F and grease, flour and line two 7-inch cake tins.
I typically use the standard cake tins that are 2-inches deep and my cakes turn out pretty nice every time. You can purchase similar ones from Amazon.
If you want to make a larger cake in an 8 or 9-inch tin, I’d recommend using just 1 tin instead of two to keep the cake nice and thick, although you may have to bake it for a little bit longer.
Next, peel and grate your carrots. I find that the taste and texture are best when the carrots are grated quite finely. I use the small side of the grater to do this, which ensures there are no heavy or extra-large pieces that might weigh the cake down.
It’s also best to grate the carrots just before baking rather than doing it in advance, as fresh carrots will add a little more moisture to your cake.
I know that grating carrots by hand can be a little time-consuming so if you prefer, you can pop the peeled carrots in a food processor until they are shredded.
You’ll need about 2-3 medium carrots for this cake. The weight after peeling and grating should be around 250g (or 2 cups worth).
I prefer to do the grating before I begin baking or mixing anything else together, to save messing around once I get started.
Next, we need to make the “wet” mixture.
In a large bowl, mix together 200g (1 cup, packed) of soft brown sugar, 250ml (1 cup) of vegetable oil and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract. Once that’s combined, add in your grated carrots and mix again.
To that same bowl, add in 300g of self-raising flour (2+1/2 cups), 1 teaspoon of baking powder, 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon, ½ a teaspoon of ground ginger and 6 tablespoons of plant-based milk. Mix it all together to form a thick cake batter.
If you don’t have self-raising flour to hand, you can swap it for all-purpose flour instead. You’ll also need to up the baking powder to 2 teaspoons instead of 1, and add ½ a teaspoon of baking soda too.
Add in 100g (3/4 cup) of chopped walnuts and fold them into the batter. If you’re not a fan of walnuts, see the “mix ins” section below for some other ideas.
Divide the batter equally between your cake tins and bake in the middle shelf of your oven for 25- 30 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.
Leave the cakes in the tins for 10 minutes to cool slightly, then transfer them to wire rack to cool completely.
While the cakes are baking, prepare your vegan cream cheese frosting. I find the frosting is easier to work with after it’s been refrigerated for a while so I’d recommend doing that if you can.
Once the cakes are cool, place the first layer onto a plate or cake stand. Spread a thick layer of frosting over it.
Add your next layer of cake on top of the first and spread some more frosting on top. If you want to frost the sides of the cake, just double the frosting recipe to ensure that you have enough.
Decorate the top of the cake with chopped walnuts and refrigerate the whole thing for 1 hour to let the frosting harden slightly.
Alternative mix-in ideas:
Although I personally believe that walnuts and carrot cake are a match made in heaven, I understand that they’re not everyone’s cup of tea. So I’ve compiled a small list of alternatives for you. If you have any other mix-in ideas, please let me know in the comments below and I’ll add them to the list!
- Other chopped nuts such as pecans or almonds
- Crushed pineapple
- Raisins or other dried fruits
- Orange or lemon zest
- Chocolate chips
Store it, covered, in the fridge and it’ll last for around 4 days.
Yes! As always, I recommend freezing this eggless carrot cake in slices in an airtight container. You can freeze it with or without frosting- it will still taste delicious either way. To defrost, transfer the slices onto a plate and leave them at room temperature for 2-3 hours until fully thawed.
Yes! You’ll just need to add an extra teaspoon of baking powder and 1/2 a teaspoon of baking soda (bicarbonate of soda) to help the cake to rise.
More eggless cake recipes
I hope you enjoy this vegan carrot cake recipe. If you make it yourself, please let me know how it goes by leaving a comment below. Happy baking! xo
Vegan Carrot Cake
Moist eggless carrot cake with walnuts and dairy-free cream cheese frosting.
- 200 g Soft brown sugar (1 cup)
- 250 ml Vegetable oil (1 cup)
- 1 Teaspoon Vanilla extract
- 250 g Grated carrots (2 cups)
- 300 g Self-raising flour (2+½ cups)
- 1 Teaspoon Baking powder
- 1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
- ½ Teaspoon Ground ginger
- 6 Tablespoons Soy milk
- 100 g Chopped walnuts (¾ cup)
- 1 Batch Vegan cream cheese frosting
To top (optional):
- 2 Tablespoons Chopped walnuts
Preheat your oven to 180°C/350°F (160°C/325°F if using a fan or convection oven) and grease, flour and line two 7-inch cake tins.
In a large bowl, mix together the brown sugar, oil and vanilla.
Add in your grated carrots and mix again.
Now add in the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger and soy milk. Mix until well combined. You should have a slightly thick cake batter at this point.
Add the chopped walnuts and fold them in.
Divide the batter equally between your two cake tins. Bake on the middle shelf of your oven for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick through the centre comes out clean.
Leave the cakes in the tins for 10 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.
While the cakes are cooling, prepare the cream cheese frosting.
Spread the frosting over the first layer of cake. Place the second cake layer on top of the first, add another thick layer of frosting and sprinkle some chopped walnuts on top.
Refrigerate the whole cake for 1 hour to allow the frosting to set before cutting into slices.
- If you wish to frost the sides of your cake too, simply double the frosting recipe to ensure you have enough.
- Store the cake covered in the fridge for up to 4 days.
- Freeze any leftover slices in an airtight container. Defrost at room temperature for a few hours before eating.
Monday 23rd of January 2023
hi chlo can this recipe be used for making muffins??
Monday 23rd of January 2023
Hey Mona, it sure can! I also have a carrot cupcake recipe on my blog :)
Wednesday 23rd of November 2022
Perhaps date syrup or similar? Thank you!
Thursday 1st of December 2022
@Chloe, thanks ever so much l!
Thursday 24th of November 2022
Hi Marianne. I can't say for sure what the end result will be as I have never experimented with this, but I would try using about 160ml (2/3 cups) of date syrup instead of the brown sugar. You may need to add less or more of the soy milk until you get the correct texture. Do let me know how you get on :)
Wednesday 23rd of November 2022
Hello! Do you think I could bake with a sugar alternative? Was thinking of making it for my little ones first birthday. He’s got lots of allergies so this looks perfect. thanks!
Saturday 12th of March 2022
Perfect carrot cake recipe have made this loads of times and everyone loves it. Thanks.x
Tuesday 15th of March 2022
Great to hear Katie, thanks for your feedback 😀
Saturday 20th of February 2021
Delicious cake! I baked it vegan, and all my family loved it. Then my daughters baked it using non-vegan ingredients and loved that version too. Excellent cake which has now become a family favourite.
Sunday 21st of February 2021
Thanks Rachel :)