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side view of cake with slice taken out.

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
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 16 people
Calories 288kcal


  • 2 9-Inch Cake Pans
  • Mixing Bowls
  • Whisk


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
  • 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

Dry Ingredients:

  • 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

Additional Ingredients

  • 2 ½ cups carrots , finely grated (not matchstick)
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts + more for topping (*optional)
  • 1 batch Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting (*see note)


  • 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.


Nutritional info doesn't include the frosting. That information is in that recipe card. 
Instead of Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting, you can try my Vegan Buttercream Frosting recipe. 
Measuring Flour - For accurate results, don't scoop the flour with a measuring cup directly from the flour container. Instead, aerate it first, then 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.
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 leavening agents are important for a successful baking experience.
You can also make this in two 9-inch cake pans. Bake for 30-40 minutes.
Raisins are a nice addition too. Just decrease the walnuts to ½ cup and add ½ cup of raisins. You can also just swap out the walnuts for raisins or omit the add-ins altogether. 


Serving: 1slice | Calories: 288kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Sodium: 105mg | Sugar: 21g