This vegan carrot cake is light and fluffy yet very moist. Filled with chunky walnuts, lightly spiced and topped with vegan cream cheese frosting, it makes the perfect afternoon 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 carrot cake. Even the non-vegans in my life have a soft spot for my vegan 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 recipe for vegan carrot cake!
This carrot cake is so moist and flavourful on the inside, sprinkled with chunks of walnuts for added texture.
I also topped it with some delicious vegan cream cheese frosting which made a beautiful, creamy topping.
An Eggless Carrot Cake!?
Believe it or not, this recipe is the first time I tried baking without any sort of vegan egg replacement.
Usually, I like to use something like flax or chia seeds to help hold the mixture together. But because this recipe contains quite a bit of oil, which is quite heavy in itself, I figured it would probably hold together by default.
And I was right! This naturally eggless carrot cake turned out perfect the very first time.
So, if you’re looking for a vegan carrot cake without flax eggs, this is it! There are no vegan egg replacers necessary for this one!
How To Make The Best Vegan Carrot Cake
The first step to making a beautifully moist carrot cake is to 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.
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 4 medium carrots for this cake. When I checked, they weighed around 400g after I had grated them.
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.
This involves combining caster sugar, brown sugar (yes sugar is a wet ingredient!), vegetable oil, the vanilla, plant-based milk of your choice, and of course the carrots.
Mix everything together really well until it’s nice and smooth. It should look sort of like a thick paste at this point.
The dry mixture.
In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and spices of your choice. I used cinnamon and a pinch of ginger for mine.
I personally find the other typical carrot cake spices like nutmeg to be too strong, even when I only use a miniscule amount, so I skipped them this time around.
But if you’re into other spices, feel free to use them by all means!
Combine your wet mix and dry mix. Stir gently until you create a thick batter.
Now for the add-ins!
For this recipe, I used chopped walnuts. But I’ve heard of people adding all sorts in, from raisins to crushed pineapple!
You can add in whatever sounds tasty for you. About 1-2 large handfuls of add-ins should be perfect.
Line or grease a 9-inch cake pan and spoon your batter in.
Remember, the batter should be a little bit thick, so you’ll need to use a spoon or spatula to spread it out in the tin.
Bake the cake for around 40 minutes until a toothpick through the center comes out clean.
Leave it to cool completely, then remove from the cake tin.
While the cake is baking, prepare your vegan cream cheese frosting by mixing together your cream cheese, vegan butter, lemon juice, and vanilla essence. I like to use an electric whisk for this to make it faster.
Next, add your powdered sugar to the bowl. Make sure to add it in a little at a time rather than all at once. This will make it easier for you to mix.
Top the cooled cake with your vegan cream cheese topping and decorate as you wish.
I used some mixed peel which complimented the carrot cake flavour so well! I think crushed walnuts would also look really pretty!
Looking for more delicious vegan dessert recipes? Try these:
- Vegan Scones Recipe With Clotted Cream
- Salted Chocolate Chunk Shortbread Cookies
- Vegan Krispy Kreme Donuts (copycat)
- Apple Crumble Pie
Want A Gluten-Free Vegan Carrot Cake Recipe?
To make this carrot cake gluten-free, all you need to do is simply switch out the plain flour for a gluten-free flour blend. I like to use this Doves Farm one because it holds just as well as regular flour.
If you do decide to make it gluten-free, I’d recommend adding in an extra tablespoon or two of your plant-based milk to make sure it stays super moist inside.
I hope you enjoy this recipe! If you make my vegan carrot cake, please leave a rating and a comment below to let me know how it went.
A lightly spiced, moist carrot cake with a vegan cream cheese frosting. It's completely dairy-free and eggless, with a gluten-free option too.
- 80 g Caster sugar (1/3 cup)
- 150 g Soft brown sugar (3/4 cup)
- 250 ml Vegetable oil (1 cup)
- 1 Teaspoon Vanilla essence
- 2 Tablespoons Plant-based milk
- 4 Medium carrots, finely grated
- 300 g Plain flour (gluten-free if desired) (2 + 1/3 cups)
- 1 Teaspoon Baking powder
- 1/2 Teaspoon Baking soda
- 1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
- 1 Teaspoon Ground ginger
- 100 g Walnuts (1 cup)
- 80 g Vegan cream cheese (3/8 cup)
- 50 g Vegan butter (3 tablespoons)
- 1 Teaspoon Lemon juice
- 1 Teaspoon Vanilla
- 300 g Powdered sugar (2 + 1/3 cups)
- 2 Tablespoons Mixed peel or chopped walnuts
Grate your carrots and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F and line or grease a 9" cake pan.
In a large bowl, mix together the caster sugar, brown sugar, oil, vanilla, and plant-based milk.
Add in your grated carrots and mix again.
In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and ginger.
Add your wet carrot mix to the dry mix and gently combine. Add in your walnuts at this point too. You want to end up with a slightly thick batter.
Spoon the batter into the cake tin and bake for around 40 minutes, or until a toothpick through the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool completely before removing from the tin.
Add the cream cheese, butter, lemon juice and vanilla to a bowl. Mix well until smooth.
Add in your powdered sugar, a little at a time and keep mixing until fluffy and smooth.
Spread the frosting over your cooled cake and decorate with chopped orange pieces or walnuts if desired.
*Can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the fridge for up to 5 days.
*Freeze any leftover slices in an airtight container. Defrost at room temperature for a few hours before eating.