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4.75 from 4 votes
Slice of Vegan Carrot Cake on a Plate
Vegan Carrot Cake
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
45 mins
Soak time
4 hrs
Total Time
1 hr 5 mins
 

Sweet layers of spiced and walnut studded vegan carrot cake are slathered with rich dairy-free cream cheese frosting to make this decadent treat! Oh, and a secret ingredient makes this cake extra moist. Spoiler: it's pineapple!

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: vegan cake, vegan dessert
Servings: 12
Calories: 662 kcal
Author: Alissa Saenz
Ingredients
For the Vegan Carrot Cake
  • ¾ cup canola oil (or another oil that's suitable for baking)
  • ¾ cup crushed pineapple*
  • ½ cup unflavored non-dairy milk
  • 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour (or sub whole wheat pastry)
  • ¾ cup organic granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup organic granulated brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon powdered ginger
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 2 ½ cups finely shredded carrots (about 5 medium carrots or ½ pound)
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts, plus more for topping (optional)
For the Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 8 ounces vegan cream cheese
  • ½ cup vegan butter (1 stick)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups organic powdered sugar, plus up to 1 additional cup
Instructions
  1. Begin by making the cake. Preheat the oven to 350°. Oil and line the bottoms of 2 (9-inch) round cake pans with parchment paper.

  2. In a small bowl, stir together the oil, milk, pineapple, flaxseed and vanilla. Allow the mixture to sit for at least 10 minutes.

  3. Meanwhile, stir the flour, sugar, brown sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and salt together in a large mixing bowl. 

  4. Add the wet mixture to the dry, and stir just until blended, being careful not to overmix. Fold in the carrots and walnuts.

  5. Distribute the batter among the two prepared pans, smoothing out the tops with a spatula.

  6. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cake comes out clean, about 45 minutes.

  7. Transfer the cake pans to a cooling rack and allow them to cool completely.

  8. While the cake layers cool, make the vegan cream cheese frosting. Place the cream cheese, butter, vanilla and salt into a large mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer at high-speed until smooth.

  9. Begin beating in the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time. Beat in 4 to 5 cups total, until the frosting reaches your desired consistency. If the frosting is still a bit runny after adding 5 cups, place it in the fridge until it firms up a bit (this shouldn't take longer than it takes for your cakes to cool).

  10. When the cake layers are cool, carefully remove them from the pans and peel off the parchment paper.

  11. Invert one of the layers on a plate, and slather the top with half of the cream cheese frosting. Top with the other layer, also inverted, and slather the top with the remaining frosting.

  12. Optionally, frost the sides of the cake and garnish the top with chopped walnuts.

  13. Slice and serve.

Recipe Notes

*To substitute diced pineapple (canned or fresh), place it in the blender or  a food processor and pulse a few times, until very finely chopped.

 

This recipe was updated in March of 2021. The original version included a cashew-based cream cheese. If you'd like to make this version, simply blend 2 cups (soaked) raw cashews, ⅓ cup maple syrup, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, and ½ teaspoon salt in a food processor until smooth and creamy.

Nutrition Facts
Vegan Carrot Cake
Amount Per Serving (1 slice (1/12 of cake))
Calories 662 Calories from Fat 292
% Daily Value*
Fat 32.4g50%
Saturated Fat 4.1g21%
Sodium 620mg26%
Potassium 135mg4%
Carbohydrates 88.4g29%
Fiber 2.3g9%
Sugar 63.2g70%
Protein 7g14%
Calcium 52mg5%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.