overhead view of uncut vegan carrot cake on a white stand. Flowers on top.
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Vegan Carrot Cake

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. 
Course Dessert
Cuisine American, Vegan
Keyword Vegan Carrot Cake
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 8 people
Calories 435kcal
Author Melissa Huggins

Ingredients

Wet Ingredients:

  • 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
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup grapeseed oil or any neutral flavored oil
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Dry Ingredients:

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Additional Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups carrots , finely grated (not matchstick)
  • Double batch Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting (*see note)
  • 1/3 cup walnuts , chopped or crushed (*optional)

Instructions

  • 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. (soy milk curdles the best)
  • In a large mixing bowl with a Mesh Strainer on top (or use a Flour Sifter), sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Now whisk to combine well. 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 together until just combined. Small lumps are fine. (*Don't over mix). Gently fold in the carrots to combine.
  • Divide batter between both pans and place in the oven for 35-40 minutes. To check for doneness, lightly press the surface - It should spring back (You can also use a toothpick and push it through the center - it should come out mostly clean).
  • Let the cake cool in the pan for 10-15 minutes before removing. Then let them cool on a rack completely before frosting. Frost and top with walnuts if desired. Enjoy! 

Notes

* Nutritional info doesn't include the frosting. That information is in that recipe card. 
* If you want to frost the cake like my photos above, you will only need 1 batch of cream cheese frosting (instructional video in the post above)
* I do not recommend matchstick carrots for this recipe. Finely grated carrots provide moisture and they soften better during baking. 
* Make sure the baking powder and baking soda are not expired. Fresh baking agents are important for a successful baking experience.
MEASURING FLOUR: For accurate results, don't scoop the flour with a measuring cup directly from the flour container. Instead, scoop the flour out of your container with a spoon and then into a measuring cup. Don't pack or tap the cup. After filling, lightly sweep a butter knife across the top to remove the excess flour. * Example photo below recipe card.

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice | Calories: 435kcal | Carbohydrates: 67g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 389mg | Potassium: 310mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 41g | Vitamin A: 6680IU | Vitamin C: 2.5mg | Calcium: 83mg | Iron: 2.1mg