Cake is a celebratory food for a reason and damn, this carrot cake needs to be celebrated. This vegan carrot cake recipe is THE best. Moist cake smothered in a decadent maple “buttercream” frosting, adorned with crushed walnuts and carrots. Do I have your attention now? Keep reading to get to the good stuff!
Let’s give it up for Springtime and carrot cake! My sweet tooth has been through the roof this week and no one can stop me. The time of year when carrot cake is “in season” as if that’s even a thing. I’m so excited to introduce this vegan carrot cake recipe with you. Carrot cake if my all-time favorite cake flavor and I was itching to make a vegan version of this classic.
Do you ever look at some desserts and you just admire how beautiful it is? Let alone how it might taste? Cake is that food for me. I see all the craft and finesse in making a beautiful cake and it shows how amazing food can look.
Make this vegan carrot cake for Easter or Mother’s Day brunch. Every year my mom would make carrot cake for my birthday and perhaps you should start that tradition too!
Okay, let’s talk about the two things I love most about this recipe:
- I hate to say the word, but please don’t cringe when I say this cake is so moist. The carrots pack so much moisture you don’t even have time to miss the eggs and butter.
- Three words. VEGAN. MAPLE. FROSTING. Maple is THE sweetener of choice for me and lucky for me, and you, the maple flavor is perfect with the spicy, aromatic flavors from the carrot cake. Trust me on this one. You need to try this frosting!
The frosting/cake combo is the best marriage and I’m so into it. Plus, we can count this as a serving of vegetables right? If eating cake for your vegetables is your thing (as it should be), you’re going to be ALL OVER this recipe.
Variations for carrot cake:
- Add 2 Tablespoons of crushed pineapple
- Add 1/2 cup raisins
- Add ginger or cardamom for a unique flavor
- Substitute pecans instead of walnuts
- Omit nuts – this cake will still taste amazing!
Tips when making carrot cake:
- If cake batter seems dry, add some more almond milk. The batter should be thick and scoopable, not pourable
- Make sure not to overmix batter. Mix until all ingredients are incorporated. Then fold in your nuts, carrots, raisins (optional). Tip: I used a rubber spatula to mix the batter
Tips when making frosting:
- Add almond milk 1 Tablespoon at a time until a thick, buttercream type consistency is reached
- If frosting gets too runny, try adding some more powdered sugar or cornstarch. Be cautious with cornstarch as it can add a not-so-pleasant starchy flavor to your frosting if you add too much!
If you tried this vegan carrot cake, let me know in the comments below and share a photo using #mindfulavocado. I’d love to hear from you! Want to see more recipes? Let’s get social! CONNECT WITH ME on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest to see what I’m currently cooking up!
Updates: This post was originally published on April 5th, 2017. I modified the recipe and added more tips!
Vegan Carrot Cake
This vegan version of the classic carrot cake is the perfect plant-based dessert! Spicy, aromatic carrot cake smothered in a maple "buttercream frosting and adorned with crushed walnuts and carrots. You don't want to skip out on this delicious vegan dessert recipe.
For the Cake:
- 4 flax eggs (4 Tablespoons ground flax seed + 10 Tablespoons water)
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 3 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup cane sugar
- 1/2 cup coconut sugar or brown sugar
- 1/2 cup melted coconut oil
- 2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
- 1 cup walnuts chopped
- 2 packed cups grated carrots (about 2-3 medium carrots)
For the frosting:
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 3 Tablespoons vegan butter (I use Earth Balance)
- 2 - 3 Tablespoons unsweetened vanilla almond milk
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 Tablespoon maple syrup
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
Make flax eggs by combining ground flax and water. Stir well and place in the fridge to set. They should be a thick egg-like consistency when ready
Sift flour into medium mixing bowl. Add baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt
In a large mixing bowl, mix cane sugar, brown sugar, melted coconut oil, vanilla, flax eggs and almond milk
Add flour mixture to wet ingredients and stir until well combined
Fold in carrots and chopped pecans
Pour into 9-inch cake pan and bake for 25 minutes. Test to see if done by sticking a toothpick in the center and seeing if it comes out clean
Remove from oven and let cool for 1-2 minutes. Transfer to cooling rack
When the cake is baking, prepare the frosting. In a mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar together with an electric hand mixer.
Add almond milk 1 Tablespoon at a time until it is a frosting like consistency.
Stir in vanilla extract and maple syrup
When cakes are completely cooled, frost top of one lightly and place the second cake on top.
Use the remaining frosting to frost the top of the second cake.
Decorate with extra shredded carrots and chopped pecans.
To make use this recipe to make cupcakes, fill cupcake tin 3/4 full with batter. Bake for 15 minutes, checking doneness by inserting a toothpick in the center
The frosting recipe was loosely adapted from Loving It Vegan
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