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This Vegan Carrot Cake has sugar, spice, and everything nice! It's loaded with warm spices and has a tender-sweet crumb that will melt in your mouth.
If you haven't tried Vegan Carrot Cake yet, you're going to love this version! It's just as delicious as the original and nobody will know the difference.
It is perfect for springtime or Easter, but it's also a winner for potlucks, parties, or really any occasion throughout the year. It's a crowd-pleaser!
Vegan Carrot Cake Ingredients
Here are the ingredients you'll need to make the most delicious carrot cake you've ever had:
- Flour - I used regular all-purpose flour. I haven't tried making this gluten-free, but I'd imagine a 1.1 all-purpose gluten-free flour would work.
- Carrots - it's very important to use fresh-grated carrots and not store-bought matchstick carrots. They are dry and won't add the proper moister to the cake.
- Flax Egg - it's a combination of flaxseed meal and water. It will gel and thicken almost like a regular egg.
- Moisture - I used canola oil and applesauce which creates a tender and moist crumb. Any neutral-flavored oil will work such as sunflower, grapeseed, or avocado oil. If you don't have applesauce you can use plain vegan yogurt (I prefer coconut yogurt).
- Vegan Buttermilk - I combined soy milk and apple cider vinegar. Soy milk curdles and thickens the best, but feel free to use any plant-based milk. You can also use lemon juice in place of the vinegar.
- Sugar - I used a blend of cane sugar and brown sugar. You can use just cane sugar or brown sugar if desired. However, the cake comes out moister with at least some brown sugar.
- Flavor - I used a combination of ground ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, vanilla extract, and salt. Don't skimp on the salt. This helps bring all the flavors together.
- Leavening Agents - I used a combination of baking soda and baking powder. I have not tried this cake with just one of them.
- Add-Ins - I used chopped walnuts, but you omit them if you don't like them. You can also use a combination of walnuts and raisins. Just make sure to use the same ratio.
How to make Vegan Carrot Cake
It's really easy to put whip up this cake batter. Check out the easy step-by-step photos below.
- Combine the ground flax and water and let it sit for 10 minutes to thicken and gel up.
- Add the soy milk and apple cider vinegar to a medium mixing bowl. Combine and let it sit for 10 minutes to create vegan buttermilk.
- Add the oil, applesauce, granulated sugar, brown sugar, flax egg, and vanilla to the bowl of buttermilk. Whisk to combine well.
- Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in large mixing bowl.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk until almost combined.
- Now gently fold in the carrots and walnuts until combined.
- Divide batter between both pans and place in the oven for 35-40 minutes. To check for doneness, light press the surface. If it springs back, it is done.
Baking Success Tips
- I recommend using an oven thermometer. If your oven runs too cool/hot, it can yield undesired results.
- Measure all ingredients accurately and don't add more/less of any ingredient or it can change the results.
- Check to see if the baking soda/baking powder are not expired otherwise it could alter the final results.
- Let the cake completely cool before frosting or it will melt. If you're adding toppings, add them right away after frosting so they stick well.
- Don't overbake or the cake will turn out dry. Check for doneness around the 35-minute mark.
- Avoid scooping flour directly from the container using a measuring cup. Instead, use a spoon to scoop flour into the measuring cup, then level excess off using a butter knife. Avoid packing or tapping flour into the cup.
- Don't overmix the batter or too much gluten will develop. The texture will be off and the cake may not rise well.
- Use room-temperature ingredients. Warm ingredients will bond together much easier and yield a smooth batter. This will help maintain the proper structure while baking. If some ingredients are cold, leave them out while you pre-heat the oven and prep.
Ironically, it doesn't taste much like carrots at all. It has a very subtle carrot flavor, but the cake gets most of its flavor from brown sugar, vanilla, and warm spices. The carrots provide lots of moisture which yields a cake consistency that is dense, ultra-moist, and tender. It will melt in your mouth!
Yes, carrot cake freezes really well for 2-3 months and it thaws perfectly! You can freeze it in portions, by wrapping each piece in wax paper and then storing it in an airtight container or Ziploc bag.
More vegan desserts to try
I love to hear from you
If you make this Vegan Carrot Cake, let me know what you think by ★ star rating it and leaving a comment below. It would really make my day. You can also follow me on Instagram and share your creation with me. Just tag me @veganhuggs and hashtag #veganhuggs so I don’t miss it.
Vegan Carrot Cake
- 1 cup soy milk or any plant-based milk
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar (sub lemon juice)
- 2 tablespoons ground flax meal + 5 tablespoons water
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- ¾ cup light brown sugar (sub with dark)
- ½ cup + 2 Tablespoons canola oil or any neutral flavored oil
- ½ cup applesauce
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 ½ cups carrots , finely grated (not matchstick)
- 1 cup chopped walnuts + more for topping (*optional)
- 1 batch Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting (*see note)
- 2 9-Inch Cake Pans
- Mixing Bowls
- Preheat your oven to 350 °F (177 °C). Line the bottom of 2 8-inch Cake Pans with parchment paper and lightly grease the sides.
- Combine the ground flax and water in a small bowl. Set aside for 10 min. It will thicken and gel up a bit.
- In a medium mixing bowl, add the soy milk and apple cider vinegar. Combine and let it sit for 10 minutes to create vegan buttermilk. It will thicken and curdle slightly. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt. Set aside.
- In the medium bowl with the buttermilk, add the oil, applesauce, white and brown sugar, prepared flax egg, and vanilla. Whisk to combine well.
- Now slowly pour the wet ingredients into the larger bowl of dry ingredients. Whisk until almost combined. Now gently fold in the carrots and walnuts until combined.
- Divide batter between both pans and place in the oven for 35-45 minutes. To check for doneness, lightly press the surface - It should spring back without leaving an indent. You can also insert a toothpick in the middle - it should be clear of wet batter, but some dry crumbs are fine
- Let the cake cool in the pans for 10-15 minutes before removing. Then let them cool on a rack completely before frosting. Frost and top decorate with chopped walnuts.