This vegan carrot cake has all the delicious flavors in a classic carrot cake. It's easy to make, and the combination of carrot spice cake and vegan cream cheese frosting is delightful.
I love a good carrot cake; something about the combination of flavors and perfect texture really does it for me. This cake is ultra-tender, with not a dry crumb to be found.
I feel like I forget about traditional carrot cake when I think of desserts, and I really shouldn't.
Typically, I only make carrot cake once a year for Easter. But, my dad also really loves it. So if he remembers to remind me, we sometimes have another appearance in September.
I don't know if this is often enough for this vegan version of carrot cake.
Do you make carrot cake for one special occasion a year, or is it one of your favorite desserts?
This is seriously the best vegan carrot cake; it's just delicious. It's not filled with the typical things people put in carrot cakes i.e.; pineapple, coconut, etc.
We are personally not a fan of pineapple in any cake; are we the only ones?
I don't know what it is about it, but it's a no go for me, and I love fresh pineapple!
I like coconut, but I didn't want it in my entire cake; I would be okay with some coconut accents for decoration.
We debated nuts, but my kids can be weird when nuts are in desserts.
But, if you love nuts, by all means, add them. It would taste delicious with walnuts or pecans.
We decorated the outside with crushed walnuts, and it added a wonderful flavor.
But the pesky 5-year-old wouldn't touch it because of said crushed walnuts; it's always got to be something.
Vegan Carrot Cake Tips
I used a food processor to shred my carrots, I would have preferred the hand-grated texture, but I didn't want to take the time to hand shred them. So, insert the food processor for a super-fast shred.
But if you don't have one, feel free to use a hand shredder.
Let's talk about the frosting for a minute.
It has a typical vegan cream cheese frosting, so pick whichever is your favorite vegan cream cheese.
I also use Earth Balance butter to add to the creaminess. My favorite part about this frosting is the ¼ teaspoon of almond extract. It's enough to make it pop and pair perfectly with the delicious vegan cake.
Watch your cooking time on this because it doesn't have eggs, only flax eggs; it can be a little tricky to tell when it's done.
Start checking it at 25 minutes; a toothpick should come out clean when done.
I have made this before when it was a little underdone on accident. However, honestly, it still tasted great and was totally gobbled up.
Can I leave the nuts out of this best carrot cake recipe?
Absolutely; if you don't like nuts or have a nut allergy feel free to leave the nuts out.
What's the best vegan cream cheese to use?
My family's personal favorite is Trader Joe's vegan cream cheese. If you don't live by a trader joes feel free to use what your store has; Violife, Tofutti, Follow Your Heart.
Can I make cupcakes with this instead of cake layers?
I have never tried it, but I think it would work fine. Just use cupcake liners and bake at 350 degrees and I would start checking for doneness at about the 20-minute mark and go from there.
Can I make a sheet cake?
You can grease a 9x13 pan and bake the cake that way. I would start checking it at the 300-minute mark. It could take from 40-to 60 minutes; I've never made it this way, so I don't have exact times.
Can I make this gluten-free?
I think if you used a gluten-free flour blend like all-purpose flour in a 1:1 ratio, it would work well for this cake.
What mix-ins can I add to the cake?
Some people enjoy adding things like; pineapple, nuts, raisins, and coconut. I prefer only nuts, but that's my personal preference; yours may be different.
What ingredients do you need for this delicious vegan carrot cake?
For the full recipe, check out the recipe card at the bottom of the post.
Carrot spice Cake
- flax seeds for a flax egg (3 TB flax meal, 6 TB water)
- vegan buttermilk (1 TB vinegar- fill the rest up with plant milk)
- oil (vegetable oil, canola oil, or melted coconut oil do not use olive oil- it's too strong)
- white sugar
- vanilla extract
- cinnamon, ground
- nutmeg, ground
- tsp salt
- all purpose flour
- baking soda
- grated carrots
- chopped walnuts, or pecans**Optional
Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting
- vegan cream cheese
- vegan butter
- vanilla extract
- almond extract
- powdered sugar
- plant milk (soy milk, almond milk, whatever you like)
- ½ cup crushed walnuts or pecans **Optional
- toasted coconut **optional
How do you make this vegan carrot cake recipe?
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, grease and flour two cake pans ( 9 inch round) cake pan set aside.
Make your flax eggs and set them aside.
Make your vegan buttermilk. Take your measuring cup, add 1 TB white vinegar, fill it the rest of the way up to ¾ cup with your non-dairy milk.
Let this sit for 5 to 10 minutes.
Take a hand mixer or stand mixer and add all your dry ingredients; mix.
Then add all your wet ingredients and mix until just incorporated.
You don't want to over mix.
Mix in your grated or shredded carrots.
Once mixed- pour into your prepared pans and cook for 25-35 minutes, checking with a toothpick to come out clean.
Place the cake pan on a cooling rack or wire rack to cool; once cooled enough, you can pop them out of the pan on a cooling rack and let the cake cool.
Make your frosting.
In a clean mixing bowl or with a hand electric mixer, whip together your vegan cream cheese, earth balance butter, vanilla, and almond extracts.
Once they are creamed, add the powdered sugar slowly, so it doesn't fly everywhere. You may need 1 TB of plant milk, or you may not; it depends on what brand you used for the vegan butter and vegan cream cheese.
Once your cakes are cooled, you can frost them as desired.
How do you serve this vegan carrot cake?
You can serve this straight from the fridge or at room temperature.
How do you store this cake?
Due to the vegan cream cheese frosting, it's best to store this in the fridge in an airtight container.
I realize that most airtight containers will not fit a cake, but if you have a large sealed container or simply plastic wrap to cover the cake.
Sometimes plastic wrap can mess with the frosting if it isn't set, so be mindful of that.
This cake can last up to 5 days in the fridge.
Can you freeze the cake?
If you want to freeze this, put slices separated by parchment paper in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 months.
Ensure it's covered well so it doesn't get freezer burned.
To eat it, let it come to room temperature on the counter and then enjoy.
Want some other vegan cake or vegan cupcake recipes?
Delicious Vegan Carrot Cake
- 3 flax eggs 3 TB flax meal, 6 TB water
- ¾ cup vegan buttermilk 1 TB vinegar- fill the rest up with plant milk
- ¾ cup oil
- 1 ¾ cup white sugar
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1.5 teaspoon cinnamon ground
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg ground
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoon baking soda
- 3 cups carrots shredded
- 1 cup walnuts or pecans**Optional
Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting
- 4 oz vegan cream cheese
- 4 oz Earth Balance vegan butter, softened
- ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon almond extract
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 1 TB plant milk
- ½ cup crushed walnuts or pecans **Optional
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees; grease and flour two cake pans ( I use 9 inch round); set aside.
- Make your flax eggs and set them aside. Make your vegan buttermilk. Take your measuring cup, add 1 TB white vinegar, fill in the rest of the way up to ¾ cup. Let this sit for 5 to 10 minutes.
- Take a hand mixer or stand-up mixer and add all your dry ingredients; mix. Then add all your wet ingredients and mix until incorporated. Mix in your shredded carrots. Once combined- pour into your prepared pans and cook for 25-35 minutes, checking with a toothpick that comes out clean. Put on a cooling rack to cool; once cooled enough, you can pop them out of the pan on a cooling rack until cool enough to frost.
- Make your frosting. Whip together your vegan cream cheese, earth balance butter, vanilla, and almond extracts in a clean mixing bowl. Once they are creamed, add the powdered sugar. You may need 1 TB of plant milk or not; it depends on what brand you used for the vegan butter and vegan cream cheese.
- Once your cakes are cooled, you can frost them as desired.
If you loved this recipe then give it a 5 star rating and leave a comment! I love to chat with you all. Please feel free to share on social media and tag #courtneyshomestead. I would love to see you over on Instagram or Facebook.
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