The absolute best vegan carrot cake recipe! Perfectly spiced and so easy to make, this cake is moist, dense, and topped with an amazing vegan cream cheese frosting made from cashews. Perfect for your Easter menu or anytime dessert, this vegan cake is completely oil-free and dairy-free!
For the cake
- 2 flax eggs (2 Tbsp ground flax + 6 Tbsp warm water)
- 3 cups whole wheat pastry flour or organic unbleached flour
- 1 Tbps pumpkin pie spice
- 1 Tbsp baking powder
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk
- 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 2 cups shredded carrots
- 1 cup crushed pineapple
- 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- 1/3 cup raisins
For The Frosting
- Preheat your oven to 350˚F and prepare your cake pan(s) by lining the bottom of the pans with parchment paper. Use one 9×13-inch pan, two 8-inch round pans, or three 6-inch round pans.
- Shred the carrots, make your flax eggs, and then set them aside.
- To a large bowl add the flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and whisk everything together.
- Mix the non-dairy milk, apple cider vinegar, vanilla extract, sugar, and maple syrup together in a large measuring cup. Pour into the dry ingredients, add the flax eggs, and mix until everything is just combined.
- Add the shredded carrots, pineapple, applesauce, walnuts, and raisins then gently mix everything together until it forms a thick cake batter.
- Spoon the batter evenly into your prepared pan(s). Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the top is deep golden brown and a toothpick or knife inserted into the center comes out clean. You want the top to be a deep golden brown without any wiggling or jiggling.
- For the frosting: While the carrot cake is baking go ahead and make the vegan cream cheese frosting. Simply add all of the frosting ingredients to a high-speed blender and process until it’s completely smooth and creamy. Place the frosting in the fridge and let it sit for at least 30 minutes so it set up all nice and firm.
- Remove from the oven and let the cake(s) sit in the pan(s) for at least 15 minutes. Then carefully run a knife around the edges and gently flip onto a cooling rack and cool completely.
- Once the cake has completely cooled you may frost the cake however you desire.
Nutrition info is an estimate which includes the frosting recipe.
Let the carrot cake completely cool! Allowing the cakes to completely cool will help the flavor develop. This cake benefits from lots of air-flow. If you’re in a rush place the cakes in the refrigerator or freezer until cool to the touch.
Pineapple. If using canned pineapple be sure and use one NOT packed in syrup. YUCK!
Use parchment paper. If you are not using a silicon baking pan always place a piece of parchment paper in the bottom of your pans. It helps the cake to slide out much easier.
If any of your ingredients are cold allow them to come to room temperature before baking with them. They will mix together much easier than firm and cold ingredients.
Do not overmix! Yes, this vegan carrot cake is dense. But, overmixing will cause it to firm up and hardened during the baking process. Dense and firm are not the same thing.
Follow the recipe. Weigh or measure the ingredients and follow the recipe. That is all.
Frosting: If you are making a single-layer vegan carrot cake you will have more than enough frosting. However, you will need to double the frosting recipe if you plan on making a two or three-layer vegan carrot cake.
Do not frost the cakes until they have completely cooled. If the cakes are warm the icing will soften and the layers will slide.
Refrigerate. You can totally enjoy this cake at room temperature. But, for an exceptional experience place the cake in the fridge for 30 minutes once it’s been frosted. Amazing!