There's truly nothing better than this Vegan Carrot Cake! It's made with white whole wheat flour, and spices like cinnamon and ginger, along with carrots, walnuts and a simple cinnamon buttercream for a perfectly moist cake recipe.
We're doing it -- vegan carrot cake, here we come!
I have no idea why it's taken me this long to post a carrot cake recipe. I mean, I have a vegan vanilla cake, a vegan chocolate birthday cake, a chocolate zucchini cake, and a vegan coconut cake, but NO carrot cake in sight.
If you love carrot cake, you're going to adore this recipe, and I pinky promise you'll never know it's vegan!
- Perfectly moist, and filled with just the right amount of carrots + walnuts
- Uses maple syrup, applesauce and almond milk in place of eggs/dairy
- The cinnamon buttercream is similar to the one used in my vegan pumpkin cake and it's SO good
This list is simply to provide further clarification on a few of the ingredients; the full ingredient list is below in the recipe card.
- White whole wheat flour: This was my first time baking with white whole wheat flour (I know, crazy!), and I gotta say, it's pretty perfect in this cake. With that said, you can substitute half whole wheat flour half all purpose flour, or just use all purpose flour instead if you prefer.
- Sugar(s): Brown sugar is a MUST in carrot cake (in my opinion), but I didn't want to only use brown sugar, hence the combination of that plus cane sugar. I haven't tested this with any other sugar combination, but you could probably use only cane sugar or coconut sugar.
- Applesauce: The applesauce helps to keep this cake nice and moist -- no substitutions, but make sure to use plain, unsweetened applesauce.
- Maple syrup: In many recipes, you can use maple syrup and honey interchangeably, but in this cake, I wouldn't recommend it. The maple syrup pairs well with the spices! No substitution.
- Milk: Feel free to use your favorite kind of dairy-free milk (I used almond).
Step 1: Whisk wet ingredients. In a large bowl, whisk the maple syrup, applesauce, milk, apple cider vinegar, and vanilla together.
Step 2: Add dry ingredients + add-ins. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, both sugars, and the spices, and pour them into the bowl with the wet ingredients, and whisk to combine with an electric mixer. Then, fold in the shredded carrots and chopped walnuts.
Step 3: Bake. Divide the batter evenly into your greased + lined cake pans, then bake the cakes for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Wait 10 minutes, then carefully invert them onto a cooling rack and wait until cakes cool before icing them.
Step 4: Assemble. Last, make the icing and assemble the cakes by placing a large dollop of icing onto the first cake, then using an offset spatula or the back of a spoon to smooth it out. Place the second cake on top and repeat the same process. Slice and enjoy!
Tips and tricks
-Though it's kind of a pain, I recommend grating the carrots by hand on a box grater instead of using a food processor because the food processor makes the carrots a little too moist/wet, which we don't want.
-Always line your cake pans! Simply place your cake pan on top of parchment paper, then trace it with a pen/pencil and cut out the circle. Place it into your pan, then grease the sides of your pan with coconut oil. This will ensure your cake doesn't stick.
Yep. If you're not into white whole wheat flour, you could use 1 ¼ cup whole wheat flour and 1 ¼ cup all purpose flour. Or, use only all purpose flour.
If you want, you could use ½ cup walnuts, and ½ cup raisins! That would be delicious.
Store cake at room temperature for up to 4 days. I do recommend wrapping it with plastic wrap, as that'll help hold in the moisture. And, though it keeps for 4 days, it tastes best when consumed within 48 hours.
More delicious vegan desserts
If you made this recipe, be sure to leave a comment and star rating below. Thanks!
Vegan Carrot Cake
for the cake:
- ½ cup maple syrup
- 1 cup applesauce
- 1 ½ cups almond milk or milk of choice
- 2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 ½ cups white whole wheat flour
- ½ cup cane sugar
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 2 ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups carrots grated
- 1 cup walnuts chopped
for the icing:
- ½ cup vegan butter softened
- 2 tablespoon almond milk or milk of choice
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 ½ cups powdered sugar
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon or more to taste
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- In a large bowl, whisk the syrup, applesauce, milk, vinegar, and vanilla together. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cane sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices together.
- Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, then use an electric mixer to stir together. Gently fold in the carrots and walnuts with a spatula until just combined.
- Line two 8" cake pans with parchment rounds (or grease really well with coconut oil), then divide the batter evenly into the pans. Bake the cakes for 40-45 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove them from the oven, then wait 10 minutes before running a knife along the edges and carefully inverting them onto a cooling rack. Wait until the cakes cool completely before icing them.
- For the icing: Whisk the butter, milk, syrup, and vanilla together, then add in the powdered sugar and cinnamon and whisk until the icing is smooth.
- To assemble: Place a large dollop of icing on top of the one cake, then use an offset spatula or the back of a spoon to smooth it out. Place the second cake on top, and top it with the remaining icing. Slice and enjoy!
Can I leave out the walnuts and reduce the sugar?
You can definitely leave out the walnuts, but I'm not sure about reducing the sugar... maybe by 1-2 tbsp but I wouldn't drastically reduce it (you can, but I haven't tested it).
Cheryl Ford says
Vegan or not, I encourage anyone who loves a good, moist carrot cake to make this recipe. It is easy to make and is delicious. It's healthier than the carrot cake I used to make but tastes just as delicious!
Thank you!! So happy you enjoyed the cake 🙂